The text will be used as a resource for you, but I will not be following it in detail, and certainly we will not cover all the materials it contains.
The motto of the book is "The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers" and that is a good thing to keep in mind. While the techniques we develop will get you an answer, the most important thing to think about is what that answer means, and also what it doesn't mean. No algorithm will be appropriate for all situations, so you need to know how each algorithm operates, and what are its pitfalls, so that you can apply it to the right problems and interpret it s results appropriately.
The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers. Although the book was written in the 1970's, and the power and available memory for computers have increased dramatically since then, most of the information in the book is still as current today as it was then. Some of the details (like the range of numbers available) may have changed, but the underlying theory is all correct.
The book includes some algorithms or analysis that we will not cover in this class, and it should serve as a good resource for you in the future. In particular, the book treats topics related to those we will cover (like complex roots of functions) that you should be able to read on your own when you need them later one. The author gives lots of practical advice, and gives a more mathematically complete treatment of error analysis and other topics than will we be able to do in ten weeks. It can be a difficult read, however, for the novice, but it is well worth looking at once you have the experience you will gain in this class.

