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Unit information: Mathematical Programming in 2020/21

Unit name Mathematical Programming
Unit code MATH20014
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Silke Henkes
Open unit status Not open

A in A Level Mathematics or equivalent



School/department School of Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Science


Lecturers: Andrew Donald, Charles Harris, Silke Henkes, and Alexander Holroyd

Unit Aims

The use of computers is increasingly pervasive in all areas of mathematics. This unit aims to introduce the foundational concepts of programming and some of the many computational tools in common use by mathematicians.

Unit Description

Toward the end of the term, students will have the opportunity to work together in small groups and apply their knowledge to solve one of several computational problems, similarly to the Mathematical Investigations unit

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the unit, the students should be able to

  • write, debug and run programs in Python
  • demonstrate familiarity with the basic concepts of programming and algorithms
  • apply and use various computational methods and tools
  • work in teams

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • synchronous online and, if subsequently possible, face-to-face lectures
  • asynchronous online materials, including narrated presentations and worked examples
  • guided asynchronous independent activities such as problem sheets, computing exercises and/or other exercises
  • synchronous weekly group problem/example classes, workshops and/or tutorials
  • synchronous weekly group tutorials
  • synchronous weekly office hours

Assessment Details

Assessment will be 100% coursework-based, with weekly individual programming assignments submitted and assessed online and a group project component later in the term

Reading and References


  • Beginning Python
  • Python Essential Reference
  • Learning Python