Skip to main content Skip to navigation

MA124 Mathematics by Computer

Lecturer: Richard Lissaman and Marya Bazzi

Term(s): Term 1 and 2

Status for Mathematics students: Core for Maths

Commitment: One lecture per week with one 1-hour help class per week

Assessment: The material learnt in the contact sessions will be assessed through five assignments, counting for 100% of the total mark

Formal registration prerequisites: None

Assumed knowledge: None, other than that already covered in core first-year mathematics modules

Useful background: Prior experience with Python or other programming languages will be useful

Synergies: The assignments will make contact with material from other first-year mathematics modules, in particular:

Leads to: The following modules have this module listed as assumed knowledge or useful background:

By the end of the module you will find the computer to be a tool that can aid you throughout your life as a mathematician and, in particular, in many modules you will take at Warwick. Specific modules which might use Matlab include: MA261 Differential Equations: Modelling and Numerics, MA398 Matrix Analysis and Algorithms, MA3H7 Control Theory. But you should think of your computing skills as a powerful resource to be used, potentially, at any time.


The first aim is to show how the computer may be used, throughout all of mathematics, to enhance understanding, make predictions and test ideas.


The module will be taught using Python. Through using this language you will be introduced to the rudiments of computer programming.

You will learn how to graph functions, study vectors and matrices graphically and numerically, how to iterate and use iteration to study sequences and series, how to solve algebraic and differential equations numerically, how to use symbolic algebra in Python as well as some statistical techniques.


    • M Lutz, Learning Python, O'Reilly Media Inc., 3rd edition, 2007, ebook here
    • JV Guttag, Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python, MIT Press, 2nd edition, 2016, ebook here


Additional Resources