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# Numerics in General

Numeric analysis or briefly numerics has a distinct flavor that is different from basic calculus, from solving ODEs algebraically, or from other (nonnumeric) areas. Whereas in calculus and in ODEs there were very few choices on how to solve the problem and your answer was an algebraic answer, in numerics you have many more choices and your answers are given as tables of values (numbers) or graphs. You have to make judicous choices as to what numeric method or algorithm you want to use, how accurate you need your result to be, with what value (starting value) do you want to begin your computation, and others. This chapter is designed to provide a good transition from the algebraic type of mathematics to the numeric type of mathematics.

We begin with the general concepts such as floating point, roundoff errors, and general numeric errors and their propagation. This is followed in Sec. 19.2 by the important topic of solving equations of the type f(x) = 0 by various numeric methods, including the famous Newton method. Section 19.3 introduces interpolation methods. These are methods that construct new (unknown) function values from known function values. The knowledge gained in Sec. 19.3 is applied to spline interpolation (Sec. 19.4) and is useful for understanding numeric integration and differentiation covered in the last section.

Numerics provides an ...

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