This unit (RCM3711) introduces students to numerical and approximate techniques to solving applied mathematical problems and the application of current problem-solving tools such as CAS calculators. Computational methods are a core technique for analysing and explaining patterns: both naturally-occurring and arising in industrial and scientific applications. While applied mathematics can provide many "aha!" moments with recognising connections between two seemingly different topics, computational methods are also highly satisfying to teach. As with all mathematics, this unit requires demonstration of logical rigour and application to problem solving. Pre-service teachers will learn how to introduce students to the relevance of computational methods, relevant technology and applications. This unit will consist of: - error analysis & propagation; - use of technology (CAS Calculators & Desktop Tools) - solving non-linear equations; - solving systems of linear equations; - interpolation and extrapolation; - numerical calculus, including integration (quadrature) and differentiation; Although the modules are discrete, they are scaffolded to the extent that later modules assume material and techniques from previous modules.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RCM2713 - Modelling for Decision Making or

RCM2611 - Linear Statistical Models or

RCM2911 - Linear Optimisation Modelling

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse the errors inherent in numerical processes.  
  2. Implement numerical techniques using a CAS Calculator as well as with desktop computer tools;  
  3. Critically evaluate a numerical process in terms of its speed of convergence, robustness, and ease of implementation;  
  4. Apply appropriate processes to a wide variety of mathematical problems; and  
  5. Critically review the use of technology in the secondary mathematics classroom.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Online Quiz (MCx10) 10%
Other Discussion Board Posts (5) 10%
Assignment Written Computations (2) 60%
Presentation Case Study of a real world problem 20%
Each of the Assignments aligns the approximate amount of pages to the weighting of the assessment item. This does not include screenshots and computer code.

Where to next?

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.