Computer-Aided Teaching of All Mathematics

FIX University

Computer-Aided Teaching of All Mathematics (CATAM)



The CATAM Computational Projects courses provide an education in solving mathematical problems using a computing environment. The emphasis is on developing mathematical skills rather than programming abilities. The aim is for students to learn to use basic computational techniques and software packages to solve interesting problems, many of which are analytically intractable (or at least algebraically messy!).

News and Help

Read CATAM news for announcements of misprints and other important information about the projects. Urgent messages are also sent out by email.
Access to MATLAB and Questions about Software
For access to MATLAB, including obtaining your own copy, see the Recommended Software section below. Some questions and answers about software can be found on the MATLAB Q&A page.
Other Queries
If you have difficulties with the software, programming or understanding the manual (that are not answered in the above pages), please contact the CATAM helpline by sending an email message to: Answers to some general questions which have arisen can be found here for Part IB and here for Part II.

Practicals, Lectures and Example Classes

There are introductory MATLAB practicals for Part IA students prior to the start of CATAM. Students can sign up for a session either at the end of their Part IA Lent Term, or for a session during their Part IA Easter Term. Sign-up sheets are provided towards the end of the Lent Term.
  • There are introductory lectures in the Easter Term of the Part IA year; these are announced in the Lecture Timetable.
  • There is a single lecture for Part II students in the Michaelmas Term; this is announced in the Lecture Timetable.
Example Classes
Example classes are given at the start of Michaelmas Term of the Part IB year and announced by email. Handouts from the 2011 classes are available here.

Computational Projects Manuals

These manuals contain the project questions themselves.

Part IB
The manual for Part IB can be downloaded either as a complete manual, or in sections, from links on the Part IB Computational Projects Manual page.
Part II
The manual for Part II can be downloaded in sections, from links on the Part II Computational Projects Manual page.
If you are a Mathematical Tripos student and you have trouble accessing this information from locations outside Cambridge, then as an alternative to downloading the files you can collect a paper copy in person from the CMS reception. In the vacations you may ask for a copy to be posted to you (telephone 01223 765000, or email CMS reception); please specify whether you require a Part IB blue CATAM manual or a Part II red CATAM manual.
Data files
A few of the projects need data or other files; these can be downloaded from the Data Files page.

Recommended Software

We recommend that programs are written in MATLAB. All undergraduate students at the University are entitled to download and install MATLAB on their own computer, running Windows, Linux, or MacOS. for non-commercial University use only. The files for download are available here, with full installation instructions. MATLAB is also available on the CATAM Personal Workstation Facility (PWF) in room GL.04 of CMS, and also on the Computing Service public PWF computers, and the PWF computers at a number of Colleges.
A booklet on learning to write MATLAB programs is available online.
Other Programming Languages
You may, if you prefer, use any other appropriate software on any computer system to which you have access (such as your own computer). If you do this, however, please remember that we cannot promise to help you with programming problems or to provide supporting software.
Word processing
Word-processing packages, such as Microsoft Word and LaTeX, are available on the PWF. You can also install LaTeX, free of charge, on your own computer.

Computing Facilities

To access the CATAM PWF, which is located in room GL.04 in the basement of pavilion G, descend the stairs immediately in front of you after entering the main entrance to the CMS and turn right at the bottom, the basement entrance to pavilion G will be in front of you. Go through entrance, turn left (in front of the next set of doors) and the CATAM PWF will be in the room to your right, labelled ‘Computer Teaching Room’.
The CMS buildings are generally open from 8.30am-5.30pm, Monday-Friday; they are also open 8.30am-1pm on Saturdays during the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. They are closed on Sundays. The CATAM PWF is available most of the time that the CMS buildings are open, although it is sometimes booked for other purposes.

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