Course Title: Mathematics for Applied and Environmental Scientists

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Mathematics for Applied and Environmental Scientists

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010

Course Coordinator: Yousong Luo

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99252276

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You are expected to possess the capabilities of manipulating algebraic equations; simplifying expressions involving fractions, powers and indices; solving quadratic equations and simultaneous equations; and manipulating exponentials, logarithms, cosines and sines. You are also expected to understand the concept of functions. Such capabilities should be attained upon successful completion of either of the RMIT courses MATH1077 or MATH2123.

Course Description

MATH1078 provides the mathematics needed for students in Applied Chemistry, so that they may practice, with understanding, the mathematical techniques needed throughout their program of study and to gain experience in applying mathematics in the physical sciences. The topics covered have been designed using the guidelines of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

You will gain or improve capabilities in:

  • Theoretical knowledge: differentiation and its applications, integration and its applications, first and second order differential equations and applications, power series and applications, matrix algebra, vector algebra and applications.
  • Technical ability: with its emphasis on problem solving, this course prepares you to be able to analyse the physical world in a systematic manner.
  • Critical analysis and problem solving: you will be afforded opportunities to mathematically formulate and solve problems creatively.
  • Communication and working in teams: capabilities will be improved through feedback on their written submission for assessment tasks.

On successful completion of the course, you should be able to

  • determine derivatives of complicated functions using product, quotient and chain rules;
  • determine anti-derivatives of complicated functions using the methods of substitution, partial fractions and integration by
  • find the general solutions for first order separable and linear differential equations;
  • find the general solutions for second order linear differential equations with constant coefficients;
  • determine the particular solutions for the initial value problems of differential equations;
  • determine the Taylor’s series of functions;
  • manipulate power series and use them to approximate functions;
  • determine partial derivatives of functions of several variables;
  • calculate the sum, transpose, product of matrices;
  • evaluate determinants of matrices;
  • determine scalar multiple, sum, dot product, cross product of vectors.

Overview of Learning Activities

Attendance at lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;

Completion of online WebLearn tests designed to consolidate your basic skills and gaps in your basic knowledge of the topics presented in class; WebLearn quizzes can be attempted repeatedly before attempting the tests until proficiency is achieved;

Completion of practice questions to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on your progress and understanding;

Private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials, working through the homework problems set from the textbook.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through the Learning Hub (also known as online@RMIT). The Learning Hub will give access to important announcements, a discussion forum, staff contact details, the teaching schedule, online notes, external links, assessment timelines, WebLearn tests and quizzes, review exercises and past exam papers. The Learning Hub can be found at

Overview of Assessment

Your capability developed in this course will be tested through a combination of continuous assessments and examinations. The continuous assessments may include written assignments and online tests. Both writen assignments and online tests will be marked and returned to you for feedback information.