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SF1524 Basic Numerical Methods and Programming 7.5 credits

This course gives an overview and basic skills in numerical methods for simulating technical and scientific processes based on mathematical models.

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus SF1524 (Autumn 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

  • Solving problems by subdivision into smaller ones.
  • Programming in a modern computer language for computations (e.g. Matlab)
  • Use of mathematical software to solve scientific problems, do numerical experiments and present the solutions.
  • Basic ideas and concepts in numerical methods: algorithms, computation cost, local linearization, iteration, discretization, stability, convergence.
  • Assessment of reliability: parameter sensitivity, perturbation estimation.
  • Numerical methods for non-linear equations and linear systems of equations, integrals, interpolation, least squares method.
  • Analytical and numerical methods for systems of ordinary differential equations.

Intended learning outcomes

A general aim with the course is to give the student the understanding that numerical methods and programming techniques are needed to make reliable and efficient simulations of technical and scientific processes based on mathematical models.

  • For a general formulation of a technical or scientific problem: be able to identify and classify the mathematical subproblems that need to be solved, and reformulate them to be suitable for numerical treatment.
  • Be able to choose, apply and implement numerical methods to produce a solution to a given problem.
  • Be able to use concepts in numerical analysis to describe, characterize and analyze numerical methods and estimate the reliability of numerical results.
  • Be able to clearly present problem statements, solution approaches and results.
  • Be able to use basic control and data structures of the programming language used in the course to solve problems.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Completed course SF1625 Calculus in one variable.

Recommended prerequisites

SF1624 Algebra and Geometry 


No information inserted


Announced no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course on the course web page.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LABA - Laboratory Work, 1,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • LABB - Laboratory Work, 1,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • LABC - Laboratory Work, 1,5 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3,0 hp, betygsskala: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

In this course, the code of honour of the school is applied, see:

The examiner decides, in consultation with KTHs Coordinator of students with disabilities (Funka), about any customized examination for students with documented, lasting disability. 

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Anna Nissen

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web SF1524

Offered by


Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

DD1321 Applied Programming and Computer Science, SF2520 Applied Numerical Methods. 


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