I don't really know if my experience was just different from the other reviews so far, but this class felt just all right, not great and not horrible. Christofides presents the ideas fairly well, but none of the Matlab code actually gets written in class or in discussion, which is weird since the department requires students take Matlab.

The new math material in this class mostly consisted of elementary point-set topology (normed spaces), boundary value ODEs (if you haven't done these before), Fourier series and separation of variables for PDEs (mostly heat, wave, and Laplace equation). If you've had some prior experience in any of these, the explanations will be greatly simplified from what you've learned, and so you should probably consult the source you learned it from (especially Fourier series and separation of variables).

The numerical methods in this class are not so hard to understand, but the class really does not do all that many examples and usually does the easier ones anyways. The codes written are mostly just putting into Matlab code the ideas that you memorize in class (since most of them require real analysis to prove). You should try to write functions when possible as codes written earlier in the course get used for later assignments.

The class structure basically follows this format

Weeks 1-2: solving matrix equations

Week 3: solving nonlinear systems of equations

Week 4: systems of ordinary differential equations

Week 5: Midterm

Week 6-7: boundary value problems

Week 8-9: heat, wave, and Laplace equations

Week 10: separation of variable methods, Fourier series

The midterm covers everything from weeks 1-4 and the final covers everything after the midterm. However, the past final and the one I took really emphasized separation of variables and finite difference approximations. The exams are fair, but also really tedious as you're basically writing out the calculations a computer does in a For loop. On one problem on the final, the numbers got so big that my calculator would have refused to do the calculations for the next step. They are also really hard graders on short answer for some reason? Definitely lost a lot of points on explanations that I thought were complete.

The project for this class literally never changes over the years. Some of the TAs did the same project as undergraduates. Just ask an upperclassman with how they would deal with the problems you're having or how to do something.

Grading for the class follows like this.

Midterm: 25%

Homework 10%

Project: 15%

Final: 50%

The homework was never returned and I doubt they actually check your code. They also ask you to print out your code and output, so they don't actually have the ability to test it. The midterm average was 83%, which is fairly high, but I think a lot of people struggled on the final.

Overall, a relatively fair class for chemical engineering, but you need to see a lot more examples than the one shown in class to understand the material (especially some examples for Fourier series where you actually do the integral, which for some reason was always avoided in this class).