skip to content

Course summary

The NST MathComP course is part of Mathematics for IB Natural Sciences Tripos. The course consists of six projects:

  1. Introduction and familiarisation: Numerical integration
  2. Solving ordinary differential equations: Accuracy of the Euler and Runge-Kutta methods
  3. Root finding
  4. Solving partial differential equations
  5. Matrix algebra: Gauss-Jordan Elimination
  6. Sturm-Liouville Theory: Eigenfunction Series Expansions

No specific practical session times will be allocated. You are expected to make use of the Desktop Services (also called Managed Cluster (MCS) or Personal Workstation Facilities (PWF)) provided by the University at times to suit yourself. Computing Services' MCS computer rooms web page provides comprehensive details of the location of MCS computer rooms, their opening hours and the available hardware. All necessary software is provided on the MCS.

You may also undertake the practicals in your college or indeed on your own computer provided you have access to specific software packages.

  • Copies of the Course Booklet can be obtained from Reception at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce road. The Booklet will also be available on Moodle (as separate chapters).
  • Registration for the course is now closed and you should all have been sent your PIN number
  • Submission directories for those who have registered have been set up and are ready for use.
  • MathComP news will give details of errata in the Handbook and other important information.
  • The deadline for the submission of the four Lent Term projects was 25th March 2017. The submission directories have been copied in to the marking directories.
  • Download solutions Word documents

Submission arrangements

  • You will almost certainly need to use a Cambridge University PWF computer to carry out the electronic submission.

    For a hypothetical user <qxk13>, the submission directory is


    If submitting from college, you may find that "X:/" is not set to point to "PWF-CENTRAL/UX/". In that case, either use one of the main PWFs to submit your projects or set "X:/" to point to "PWF-CENTRAL/UX/" -- ask a knowledgeable friend or your college computer officer if you don't know how to do this. You do NOT need to submit a paper copy of your project. Full details of the submission process are given on pps 2--3 of the Handbook.

  • If you plan to submit remotely, you should follow the instructions on page 2--3 of the handbook but, instead of delivering the declaration form to CMS reception, you should place it in an envelope addressed to:

    Dr S.M. Colwell
    Centre for Mathematical Sciences
    Wilberforce Rd
    CB3 0WA.

    If you submit the declaration form by post you will need to accept the small risk that it may arrive late or go astray.

  • You are allowed to discuss the projects with each other and with your supervisors, but the work that you submit must be your own.

Email help line

An email "help desk" is available

Useful reference

Riley, K. F., Hobson, M. P., Bence, S. J., 3rd Edition 2006: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering, Ed. Cambridge University Press.



Sue Colwell,
NST MathComP Director,
 29th March 2017.