One of humankind's most pressing challenges right now is to understand our climate and the effects we have on it. It is also one of the most pressing problems in applied mathematics. For instance, the year 2013 was as a special year on Mathematics of Planet Earth. Check out this introduction to climate modeling from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The differential equation models describing our climate are far too complicated to be solved by hand, and must be solved numerically using computers. Along the right-hand side of the linked page, take note of the useful (and beautiful-looking) predictions that get output by numerical climate models.
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to do the following in Matlab:
- Perform basic calculations on scalars and vectors
- Index vectors and matrices
- Plot data
- Create a function file
- Solve a single ODE numerically
- Solve a system of ODEs numerically
- Watch Matlab Overview and Getting Started with Matlab.
- Read and work through every example in this tutorial on functions.
- Watch Solve Ordinary Differential Equations in Matlab.
- Read pp. 3 - 31 of Introduction to Matlab.
- Work on this activity.
- Do post-class problems.