Computer Algebra and Dynamical Systems module (MA21002)

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Module code


About the module

The aim of this module is to make the students familiar with a Computer Algebra software package and to use this software to solve a number of problems from the area of Dynamical Systems. This module is mandatory for all Level 2 students on Mathematics (including Mathematics combined) degrees except for those taking the BSc or MSci in Mathematics and Physics, for whom it is optional. If you have questions about this module please contact our Undergraduate Admissions Tutor or your Advisor of Studies.


Students taking this module must have achieved a pass mark in each of the modules MA11001 and MA12001, or equivalents.

Indicative Content

  • An introduction to Maple

    The Maple front end and syntax. Plotting. Integration/differentiation. Differential equations.

  • An introduction to Dynamical Systems

    Vector fields, the gradient field, integrals of motion, fixed points and their classification. Examples of dynamical systems, including mass on a spring, pendulum, Van Der Pol oscillator, non-linear oscillator. Conservation laws for a system of interacting bodies. Orbits in a gravitational field. Non-autonomous systems.

Delivery and Assessment

The module is delivered in the form of lectures and computer lab workshops. Assessment is entirely computer-based and is via an exam (60%) and coursework (40%) consisting of homeworks and tests.

Credit Rating

This module is a Scottish Higher Education Level 2 or SCQF level 8 module and is rated as 20 SCOTCAT credits or 10 ECTS credits.