As software needs of science become larger and larger, there will be a growing need for mathematicians and data specialists who understand how to deal with big data, including its processing. The NSF has stated that  “Many scientific problems depend on the ability to analyze and compute on large amounts of data. This analysis often does not scale well; its effectiveness is hampered by the increasing volume, variety and rate of change of big data.”

I hope that all of us come out of the class with a better understanding of how we can use computers to handle numbers and in particular the need to be cautious. There are many possible shortcomings and all should be well controlled in our support of the projects of our collaborators and employers, whether it be in government, business or science.

A highly recommended supplementary material is Chris Moler’s book on Numerical Methods and MATLAB. Since projects are required, his book on experiments should also prove useful. You can again download by chapters but this time, you may chose to download the whole book.  Zips of the m-files which accompany the books are available on the respective pages.