CMDA 3606: Mathematical Modeling: Tools and Techniques II

Virginia Tech · Spring 2018 · CRN 18781

CMDA 3606 is a course devoted to variations on the equation $Ax=b$. Not only do we see how such equations arise from static equilibrium problems in circuits and structures; we will also consider a variety of inverse problems, for example, associated with image deblurring. Course topics include modeling linear systems; the singular value decomposition; matrix approximation, PCA, and recommender systems; regularized least squares probelms and imaging applications; solving large-scale linear systems via Krylov methods; unconstrained nonlinear optimization.


Monday/Wednesday, 2:30-3:45pm, McBryde 308


Mark Embree,, 575 McBryde

Office Hours:   

Monday 4-5:30pm, Tuesday 4-5:30pm, Friday 12:30-1:30pm, or by appointment


The course Piazza page provides a forum for class discussions.

17 January 2018

Review of the course contract and discussion of notes/book options.
Reading: course notes, Chapter 1: Introduction.
Reading: course notes, Chapter 2: Linear Systems from Resistor Networks (draft).
Introduction to circuit modeling.

Problem Set 1

Posted 18 January 2018. Due 24 January 2018.
hw1.pdf: assignment

Full Course Contract

Download a copy of the electronic version of the course contract and tentative schedule.

Grade Policy

Final course grades will be thus allocated:
     40%: problem sets
     40%: midterm exams (21 February and 4 April, in class)
     20%: final exam (9 May, 10:05am-12:05pm)

Honor Code

Virginia Tech's Honor Code applies to all work in this course. Students must uphold the highest ethical standards, abiding by our Honor Code: "As a Hokie, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do." From the Office for Undergraduate Academic Integrity: "Students enrolled in this course are responsible for abiding by the Honor Code. A student who has doubts about how the Honor Code applies to any assignment is responsible for obtaining specific guidance from the course instructor before submitting the assignment for evaluation. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the University community from the requirements and expectations of the Honor Code. For additional information about the Honor Code, please visit:"

Text Books

We will not closely follow any one textbook; the instructor will provide notes for much of the course. The following books, all freely available online to Virginia Tech students, provide helpful background information.


Any student with special needs or circumstances requiring accommodation in this course is encouraged to contact the instructor during the first week of class, as well as Virginia Tech's SSD Office. We will ensure that these needs are appropriately addressed.