CS 4365/CS 5351
Interval Computations
What is interval computations?
 You think computers are
too smart?
Sometimes they are, but often, they are silly.
 You give them the number, they think it is exact.
 If you
give a computer your height in centimeters, and ask to translate
it into inches,
the computer will give you 13 digits after
the decimal points.  Do these digits make sense? Of course,
not: no one is exactly 170 cm tall.
 For this simple
formula, it is easy to tell how many digits make sense.

However, for complex data processing algorithms, this is not so
easy (it is actually NPhard).
 This inaccuracy may not be
critical for measuring height.
 However, it is definitely
critical when you are computing the trajectory of a manned space
flight:
there, a computational inaccuracy can be
catastrophic.
What you will learn in this class: 
You will learn how input uncertainties influence the computation
results.
 You will learn about the applications:
 to
manufacturing,
 to robotics,
 to geoinformatics
(processing geophysical data),
 to bioinformatics (processing
bioinformatics data),
 to economics,
 to computer
graphics,
 to computer security and privacy
(where
intervals are introduced on purpose, to avoid disclosing exact
values).
You will also:  have a chance to work
on the uncertainty aspects of your thesis or dissertation
research,
 or, if you are interested, pick up a topic of your
own related to uncertainty!
But will it be mathematically
intimidating?
Especially for those students who might have
previously struggled with some math concepts?  not
really;
 the only math skills that we will assume is
the
ability to compute the derivatives
(and thus, to find maxima
and minima);  if you do not remember the corresponding
formulas by heart,
it is OK, we will go over them again; 
during the course, we will also learn a little bit:
 about
probabilities and
 about matrices;
but no prior
knowledge of that is required;  so, do not worry;
 if you
are a CS student, the emphasis will be:
 on algorithms
 not on proofs;
 and if you are a math
student scared of coding,
we can work out a special
arrangement where the emphasis will be: on math and

not on coding :(
Want to know more? Go to the syllabus
http://www.cs.utep.edu/vladik/cs5351.17/syllabus.html.
See you all in class!