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Modeling and Computation, Spring 2004


Chapter 1: Finite Difference Equations

  • functions, iterations, and cobweb plots
  • fixed points, cycles and their stability
  • bifurcation diagrams, bifurcation points, Feigenbaum's constant
  • solving f(x)=0 for x using bisection and Newton's method

Chapter 2: Boolean Networks and Cellular Automata

  • Cellular automata models for diffusion and forrest fires
  • Stephen Wolfram's experiment, Conway's game of life

Chapter 3: Self Similarity and Fractals

  • the Brocolli fractal, Serpinski's gasket in 2D and 3D
  • dimension, the Cantor set and the Mandelbrot set

Chapter 4: One Dimensional Differential Equations

  • exponential growth, Newton's law of cooling, logistic growth
  • data fitting using linear least squares
  • fixed points and their stability
  • Euler's method, Heun's method, Taylor series methods

Chapter 5: Two Dimensional Systems of DEs

  • simple harmonic motion, damped harmonic motion,
  • the Lotka-Volterra system, a virus model, room heating models,
  • partial derivatives, Taylor series and least squares approximation.
  • the phase plane, fixed points and their stability.


Non-Linear Dynamics by Kaplan and Glass.


The course will involve extensive use of Maple, a mathematical software package, for the assignments and exams. The university has a site license for Maple. Maple is installed on the PCs and MACs in the assignment lab, the CECM lab, university open labs and the library. Maple is available from the computer shop for about $200.

p. (778) 782-4279 · f. (778) 782-4947 · Shrum Science K 10501 · Department of Mathematics · 8888 University Drive · Burnaby · BC · V5A 1S6 · Canada