Useful links

MATLAB Installation: 

MATLAB is a great mathematical programming language that we will be using occasionally in this class.  You do not need to know MATLAB to take this class.  One of the class goals is to learn MATLAB.   MATLAB is freely available to all students.  You can use it in the computer labs (CIS, Sciences Library, Rockafeller Library) or you can download it onto your personal computer from Brown CIS.  For version 7 you click here for Windows or click here for Macintosh.  (It is fine to use an older version of MATLAB.  For example, I think only version 5 is available for older Macintosh operating systems.)

Brown CIS provides installation support only.  Once you get MATLAB working, the Division of Applied Math has a computer TA that can help you with other MATLAB questions. 

If you use MATLAB in one of the computer labs, then you will also need a place to store your work.  Brown's campus file service (CFS) provides space for students and they can help you with this at CIS.  (Also, if you are going to be printing from one of the computer labs, make sure you pick up your free printing card during the month of September.)

MATLAB Tutorials

There are hundreds of different MATLAB tutorials on the web.  Once you can open MATLAB, you need to figure out how to type commands into the command window and also how to create functions (m-files).  Here is a short tutorial that describes how to do these two things.  (Make sure to follow the function link in the tutorial.)

The official MATLAB page from The MathWorks also has a tutorial that you can go through. 

If you find a tutorial that you really like, please let me know.


This page has a good schematic diagram of a neuron.
You can read more about neurons and see some cool pictures here.

Differential Equations:

These two online introductory texts by Sasha Panifilov cover a lot of the same material that we wil cover: Introduction to differential equations of one and two variables and Qualitative analysis of differential equations.  I have not carefully read them.  Please let me know if they are good or not.

I will place an excellent differential equations textbook on reserve at the Sciences Library: Elementary differential equations (with Boundary Value Problems, 7th edition) by William Boyce and Richard DiPrima (QA371.B773 2001).  This book goes into a lot more depth than we will, but I will try to list relevant sections here as we cover the material.