MA4NLA-Numerical Linear Algebra

Module Provider: Mathematics and Statistics
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: MA2NA1 Numerical Analysis I or MA2NAN Numerical Analysis or MT24C Numerical Methods for Environmental Science and MA1LA Linear Algebra
Non-modular pre-requisites: some knowledge of Matlab programming
Modules excluded: MA3NA2 Numerical Analysis II and MA3NAT Numerical Analysis II
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Amos Lawless


Type of module:

Summary module description:

In many applications it is necessary to solve very large systems of linear equations, often with thousands or millions of unknown variables. This module introduces and analyses a range of techniques in numerical linear algebra for solving such large systems.


To motivate, develop and analyse a range of numerical linear algebra techniques.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students are expected to be able to:

• Understand how to measure the sensitivity of a linear system;

• Apply and analyse a range of techniques in numerical linear algebra, including direct and iterative methods;

• Implement a range of numerical linear algebra techniques on a computer.

This module will be assessed to a greater depth than the excluded module MA3NAT.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

The course will cover the following topics:

• Methods for analysing the stability of linear systems;

• Direct methods for solving linear systems (including Gaussian elimination, LU decomposition, Cholesky decomposition);

• Stationary iterative methods (including Jacobi, Gauss-Seidel, SOR);

• The QR method for solving linear least squares problems.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures supported by problem sheets and tutorials.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 5
Guided independent study 75
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Set exercise 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One final examination of two hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A number of written and computing assignments

Formative assessment methods:

A number of problem sheets.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 50% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    One examination paper of 2 hours duration in August/September - the resit module mark will be the higher of the exam mark (100% exam) and the exam mark plus previous coursework marks (70% exam, 30% coursework).

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):


    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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