Courses & Units

Engineering Mathematics KME771


This unit is primarily concerned with extending concepts of single variable calculus into the domain of several variables. It also looks at the construction of periodic functions with Fourier series.

The calculus section of this unit is focussed on dealing with functions of several variables, of which the typical case is z = f(x,y). Functions like this are
important because they describe many of the situations we encounter when applying mathematics to models of the real world. The graph of the
function z = f(x,y) is a surface, so it might be used to describe building structures; aeroplane wings; temperature, stress, and pressure distributions;
and so on. We need to be able to say how rapidly such a surface curves, and that immediately requires us to do calculus on functions of two (or more) variables.

We will also need to consider vectors that are functions of several variables. Some obvious examples are the velocity vector in a moving fluid,
the heat-flow vector in a solid, and the electric and magnetic fields produced by an antenna. This will lead us to consider more advanced concepts
such as circulation, compressibility, divergence, and curl. Understanding this material is fundamental to the study of all areas of Engineering and
(continuum) Applied Mathematics, and it underpins modern continuum mechanics and electromagnetic theory.
Topics will be introduced in the Cartesian (rectangular) coordinate system but we will also investigate functions, regions, vectors, operations, and integration in
cylindrical and spherical coordinates.

The Fourier-Series section of this unit is concerned with how to represent periodic functions. Previously we have looked at power series as an infinite
sum of terms involving increasing powers of a particular variable. A Fourier series is an infinite sum of terms involving sine and cosine functions. This
is an important concept for solving problems in acoustics, signal processing, heat-flow theory, fluid mechanics, vibrations, electromagnetic field theory,
and so on.


Unit name Engineering Mathematics
Unit code KME771
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Mathematics
Coordinator Doctor Michael Brideson
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • interrogate the behaviour of multivariable functions using a variety of analytical techniques
  • manipulate functions, operations, and problems into different coordinate systems and solve problems accordingly
  • solve unconstrained and constrained optimisation problems involving several variables
  • construct and solve double and triple integrals, as well as line, surface, and volume integrals
  • develop and use vector calculus techniques to solve problems involving scalar fields and vector fields
  • develop and use Fourier Series techniques for periodic functions
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
$515.00 $515.00 not applicable $2,522.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.





Teaching Pattern

3x1-hour workshops and 1-hour tutorial weekly

AssessmentFinal Examination (40%)|Online Homeworks (20%)|Written Assignments (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.


Students who completed KMA152 and KMA154 should have downloaded a copy of the following text. 

  • Thomas’ Calculus, 14th edition in SI Units (electronic), Hass et al. (Pearson Education, 2020).

You will also find a significant amount of material for this unit in books such as: 

  • Calculus, 8th edition Metric Version, J Stewart (Cengage 2016)
  • Advanced Engineering Mathematics, 9th edition, E. Kreyszig (Wiley 2006)
  • Advanced Engineering Mathematics, 3rd edition, D Zill and M Cullen (Jones and Bartlett 2006)
  • Advanced Engineering Mathematics, 8th edition, P O’Neil (Cengage 2018)

The Advanced Engineering Mathematics texts are excellent reference books, covering a plethora of applied mathematics topics including linear algebra, vector calculus, differential equations (ordinary and partial), Fourier analysis, complex analysis, numerical analysis, optimisation, and probability and statistics. There are many topics that you will meet in other Engineering units.

There is quite a large number of text-books with the same or similar title, and you should be able to find some of these in the library.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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