Numerical Methods

Academic year
Subject Area
Applied Mathematics
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Mathematical Analysis I, Mathematical Analysis II, Linear Algebra.

Teaching Methods

Theoretical classes will be based on the presentation and explanation of concepts and methods (using media) complemented with the resolution of some illustrative problems of the exercises sheets.

The practical-theoretical classes has two components:

• Resolution of important examples to improve the understanding of the theoretical lectures (30 min maximum);

• Discussion of problems proposed at the exercises sheets, being the students stimulated to solve them individually or in group, under the supervision of the professor (1h00).

Learning Outcomes

This course aims to make students aware of the importance that currently have numerical methods in solving different engineering problems, and to present the mathematical foundations of a range of well-established numerical algorithms used in its resolution.

At the end of the course, the students should be able to:

- Understand the capabilities and the limitations of computer arithmetic. Differentiate errors caused by computer arithmetic and those caused by the limitations of algorithms.

- Know basic numerical techniques, emphasizing practical application and limits of their appropriate use.

- Identify and classify the numerical problem to be solved and choose the most appropriate numerical method for its solution based on characteristics of the problem.

- Provide a base set of numerical skills required for the proper functioning of other c.u.

- To be capable of communicating and presenting knowledge clearly and unambiguously.

Work Placement(s)



Chapter 1 - Introduction to error analysis (Taylor Series, Truncation error, Round-off error, Floating point number systems). 

Chapter 2 -  Root finding of non-linear equations (Bisection method, Newton's method, Secant method)

Chapter 3 - Interpolation: Polynomial interpolation. Cubic splines.

Chapter 4 - Curve fitting: Least squares. Linear regression. Two parameter models. Linearization.   Linear models of n parameters.

Chapter 5 - Numerical integration. Trapezoidal and Simpson Rules. Gaussian Quadrature Formulas.

Chapter 6 - Equations systems:  Systems of linear equations (direct methods and iterative methods: Jacobi and Gauss-Seidel methods). Introduction to systems of non-linear equations.

Chapter 7 - Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs). Numerical solutions of ODEs- Initial value problems (Taylor Series methods, Runge-Kutta methods).

Chapter 8 - Introduction to Partial Differential Equations (PDEs). Finite difference method for parabolic problems.

Assessment Methods

Exam: 100.0%


Abreu, J.M, Antunes do Carmo, J. S.  (2010) - Métodos Numéricos em Engenharia, DEC-FCTUC.

Chapra, S.C., Canale, R.P. (2010) - Numerical methods for engineers. McGraw-Hill Int. Eds., 6nd Edition.

Conte, S.D., de Boor, C. (1981) - Elementary Numerical Analysis: An Algorithmic Approach. McGraw-Hill Int. Eds., 3rd Edition.

Curtis, F.G., Wheatley, P.O. (1994) - Applied numerical analysis. Addison Wesley, 5th Edition.

Pina, H.L.G. (1995) - Métodos numéricos. McGraw-Hill.