CS368: Learning a New Programming Language
Lec 1 (MATLAB), Spring 2020


  • Lecture 1: 121 Psychology, W: 2:25 pm - 3:15 pm


  • Michael O'Neill
    4378 Computer Sciences, moneill (at) cs.wisc.edu
    Due to the course moving online, office hours will now be hosted using BBCollaborate on Canvas. In addition, to make it easier for office hours to manage, a google sheet will be used to sign up for time slots. Dropping in is still allowed and encouraged, but preference will be given to those who sign up for a time slot. Please follow this Canvas link for details (and the sign up sheet).
    Office Hours:
    • 1 - 3 pm Mondays
    • 2 - 4 pm Tuesdays
    • 2 - 4 pm Thursdays
    • and by appointment


  • Peyman Morteza
    4220 Computer Sciences, morteza (at) wisc.edu

    Office Hours
    • 4 - 5 pm Tuesdays
    • 4 - 5 pm Wednesdays
    • 4 - 5 pm Thursdays
    Additional Hours (on weeks assignments are due)
    • 5 - 6 pm Tuesdays
    • 5 - 6 pm Wednesdays
    • 5 - 6 pm Thursdays

Course Announcements:

  • The CS 368 website is under construction for the spring 2020 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 Michael O'Neill 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 Attendance will no longer be checked due to the move to online classes.
  • Homework Assignments : 6 to 7 homework assignments are due roughly every other week

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

  1. a cumulative score of 70% or better on the assignments

Attendance no longer counts towards a student's grade

Last Updated: 3/21/2020, Michael O'Neill