CS368: Learning a New Programming Language
Lec 1 (MATLAB), Spring 2017


  • Lecture 1: 1221 Computer Sciences, W: 12:05 pm - 12:55 pm


  • Beck Hasti
    5375 Computer Sciences, 263-2622, hasti (at) cs.wisc.edu
    Office Hours:
    • 10 am - noon Mondays
    • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Tuesdays
    • 2 - 3 pm Fridays
    • and by appointment


  • Zeping Ren
    3367 Computer Sciences, zpren (at) cs.wisc.edu
    Office Hours (every week)
    • 4 - 5 pm Tuesdays
    • 3 - 5 pm Wednesdays
    • 4 - 5 pm Thursdays
    Additional Hours (on weeks assignments are due)
    • 5 - 6 pm Tuesdays
    • 5 - 6 pm Wednesdays
    • 10 am - noon Fridays

Course Announcements:

  • The CS 368 website is under construction for the spring 2017 semester.
  • This section of CS 368 covers MATLAB.
  • There is no textbook for this course.
  • See the Syllabus page for the schedule of topics, links to the on-line readings, and links to handouts from class.

  • We will be using
  • Notify Beck Hasti within the first two weeks of classes if:
    • you participate in religious observances that may conflict with course requirements.
    • you have a VISA from the McBurney Disabillity Resource Center.

Course Description:

CS 368 gives students an introduction to problem solving and programming techniques using MATLAB. Techniques are illustrated using sample problems drawn from elementary engineering and computer science. Emphasis is on introduction of algorithms with the use of MATLAB to illustrate the methods. The course is offered Credit/No Credit and may not be taken for a grade.

Prereqs: Some programming experience is assumed; one semester of calculus (Math 221) is useful. Students are expected to be able to draw upon information from prior (high school) math and science classes.


  • MATLAB basics: the MATLAB environment, built-in commands and functions, matrix and vector creation and manipulation
  • MATLAB as a programming language: functions and scripts, variables, operators, control flow, console and file I/O
  • MATLAB as a numeric computation tool: plotting, linear systems, data interpolation and approximation, successive numeric approximation algorithms, finding roots, areas under curves


There is no required textbook. The course readings available online provide much information regarding how to solve problems using MATLAB. They include Learning Objectives, Lesson text, Examples, and Exercises. To get the most out of this resource, complete the examples and exercises in MATLAB before lecture for that week.

Course Grading:

Your grade is based on:

  • Attendance : make sure to sign the attendance sheet at each lecture
  • Homework Assignments : 6 to 7 homework assignments are due roughly every other week

Students meeting both of the following requirements will receive 1 credit (i.e., a grade of CR) for the course:

  1. attendance at at least 12 of the 15 lectures
  2. a cumulative score of 70% or better on the assignments

If a student misses more than 3 lectures, then for each lecture missed (beyond 3), the cumulative score on the assignments required to earn credit for the class is increased by 5 points. For example, if a student attends 10 of the 15 lectures, credit will be given if the cumulative score on the assignments is 80% or better.

Last Updated: 1/31/2017     ©2017 Beck Hasti