ChE 2176 - Mathematical Modeling of Chemical Engineering Systems
Instructor: Karsten E. Thompson, Associate Professor
320 Chemical Engineering Bldg.
Lectures: Tu/Th, 9:10 - 10:30, 221 Tureaud.
Prerequisites: ChE 2160, ChE 2171, C or better in ChE proficiency courses (see flowchart or catalog).
Office hours: Monday: 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Wednesday: 3:30 – 4:30 pm
I am happy to answer short questions by email (i.e., yes/no or a simple explanation). Please avoid
phone questions unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Required Text: Chapra, S.C, and R.P Canale, Numerical Methods for Engineers, 5th Ed., McGraw Hill, New York
(2006). (4th edition is acceptable)
Recommended Felder, R.M., and R.W. Rousseau, Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, 3rd Ed., Wiley,
Computers and MATLAB will be the main mathematical packaged used in this course. Work hard during the first
Software: few weeks to familiarize yourself with MATLAB. This initial effort will pay off later. The MATLAB
student version is available for $99 from mathworks.com. The student version includes a number of
powerful toolboxes such as Simulink, symbolic math, optimization, image processing, and more.
Or, link through the main ChE website by clicking on Academics → ChE courses → Spring 2009.
Check the class page frequently. It will be the only method for distributing homework assignments,
review material, etc., and it will be used to communicate information between class meeting times
(e.g., clarification to a homework problem, etc.). It will also contain grade postings for anyone who
provides me with an alias.
Homework: Homework will be assigned via the webpage. It must be turned in at the beginning of class on the date
that it is due. Homework turned in after the beginning of class will be accepted up to one-week late
for 1/2 credit. The lowest homework grade will be dropped.
There is no required format for homework. However, your solutions must be well organized and
presented; graders are instructed to spend only a limited time attempting to understand how a problem
has been approached.
Homework solutions will not be posted. Questions can be addressed in class.
Quizzes: Four short quizzes will be given during the semester, each covering a topical section. The lowest quiz
grade will be dropped; the other four will be averaged and count toward 30% of your grade. The
quizzes are closed book. However, equation sheets will be made available for use during the quizzes
and exams. You may write any additional information you wish on the equation sheets.
Mid-Term and A cumulative mid-term exam will be given on March 5. The final exam is scheduled for May 6
Final Exam: from 10:00 am – noon. It will be cumulative for the entire semester. These exams will be closed book,
but you may use the same equation sheets as on the quizzes.
Group We will often do short problems in small groups (2-3) during class. During the first week or so,
Problems: find seats adjacent to the other students(s) you will work with so you can quickly get together. In
cases where we turn in results from a group exercise it will be worth ¼ of a homework grade.
Electronic Everyone who has taken ChE 2160 during the past three semesters should have created an electronic
Portfolios portfolio. Make sure it is up to date and in good working order. You will be asked to post two
projects to the portfolio during the semester. Part of the final homework grade will be a review of
Grading: Homework assignments and projects will be graded by graduate teaching assistants. Quizzes and
exams will be graded by the instructor. For homework sets with multiple problems, the grading will
be as follows:
50%: One problem selected at random and graded in detail for correctness.
50%: Completeness, presentation, and organization of the whole assignment.
On tests, credit is given for the correct approach: few or no points will be subtracted for arithmetic-
type errors; however, few or no points will be given when the approach is incorrect or your work
does not make sense. Because homework should be worked carefully and checked for correctness, a
significant portion of the credit will require correct numerical answers.
The projects will be graded according to a rubric that will be provided to you later.
The weights toward the final grade are as follows:
Homework + Class problems: 10%
Mid-term Exam: 20%
Final Exam 30%
The following are maximum letter-grade cutoffs for the class.
A ≥ 90%
B ≥ 80%
C ≥ 70%
D ≥ 60%
Make Ups For LSU-scheduled absences (e.g., athletics, band, student conferences), quizzes or exams may be
made up. Quizzes or homework missed for other reasons may not be made up. The dropped quiz and
homework policy is meant to address issues such as car trouble, sickness, etc.
Drop Policy Please be aware of LSU’s drop policy: only one W (withdrawal) is allowed during the time a student
has sophomore standing, one during junior standing, and one during senior standing. This means that
you must decide by Jan. 20nd whether to remain in the course.
Classroom: I like to have an open, interactive class with a relaxed atmosphere; discussion and questions are
encouraged. However, some basic policies are essential and it is important to respect your colleagues’
right to learn in the classroom. The following simple guidelines are a good starting point.
Class will start and end on time. Do not come late; do not pack up your things early. If you have a
problem arriving on time because of a previous class across campus, please let me know. If you must
leave early on any given day please mention it to me at the beginning of class.
Laptops are not necessary (or usable) in this class, mainly because of the large amount of diagram-
type notes and equations that are involved. Please keep laptops, newspapers, cell phones, etc. turned
off and put away during class.
Academic I encourage you to work together on homework and when studying. However, the assignments you
Integrity: turn in must be your own work. Any problems concerning academic integrity will be referred in
writing to the Department Chairman and the Dean of Students to ensure that they are dealt with fairly.
Planned Class Schedule
The following is a tentative schedule for the semester. It may be altered as we go along. Changes will be announced in
class and on the course website.
Please note that the quiz dates also show a topic, which is for after the class; it is not the topic of the quiz.
1/13 T Introduction; Math modeling; Numerical methods
1/16 Th Error analysis; Taylor series
1/20 T Computer Class #1: Project 1
1/22 Th Newton Cotes methods
1/27 T Gauss quadrature
1/29 Th Quiz 1 (1/2 hour); Project 2 intro
2/3 T Computer Class #2: Project 2
2/7 Th Direct methods for solving matrix equations
2/10* T Pivoting techniques; LU decomposition
2/12* Th Iterative solution of matrix equations
2/17* T Quiz 2 (1/2 hour); Project 3 intro
2/19* Th Bracketing methods for nonlinear equations
2/24 T (Mardi Gras holiday)
2/26 Th Computer class #3: Project 3
3/3 T Open methods for non-linear equations
3/5 Th Mid-Term Exam
3/10 T Introduction to curve fitting methods; least squares regression
3/12 Th Interpolation techniques
3/17* T One-step and predictor-corrector methods
3/19* Th Models that produce 2nd order ODEs
3/24* T Quiz 3 (1/2 hour); Project 4 intro
3/26* Th Computer class #4: Project 4
3/31 T RK methods
4/2 Th Shooting methods
4/7 T (Spring Break)
4/9 Th (Spring Break)
4/14 T Finite differences; the finite difference method
4/16 Th Quiz 4 (1/2 hour); Project 5 intro
4/21 T Computer class #5: Project 5
4/23 Th Equilibrium problems
4/28 T Transient problems
4/30 Th Overview/review
May 6 W Final Exam, 10:00 – noon