Catalog Pages referencing this course

Change Type

Minor

PY (Physics)

251

031994

Dual-Level Course

Cross-listed Course

No

Introduction to Scientific Computing

Intro Sci Comp

College of Sciences

Physics (17PY)

Term Offering

Fall, Spring and Summer

Offered Every Year

Previously taught as Special Topics?

No

Course Delivery

Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method

Graded with S/U option

3

16

Contact Hours

(Per Week)

(Per Week)

Component Type | Contact Hours |
---|---|

Lecture | 3.0 |

Course Attribute(s)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.

University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit

No

John M. Blondin, J. David Brown

Professors

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip

Enrollment Component | Per Semester | Per Section | Multiple Sections? | Comments |
---|---|---|---|---|

Lecture | 20 | 20 | No | n/a |

Prerequisite: MA 241; Corequisite: PY 202 or PY 208

Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?

Yes

SIS Program Code | Program Title | Required or Elective? |
---|---|---|

17PHYSBS | Physics-BS | Elective |

17PHYSBA | Physics-BA | Elective |

17MATHBS | Mathematics-BS | Elective |

17AMATHBS | Applied Mathematics-BS | Elective |

An introductory course in scientific computing for the physical and mathematical sciences using python and other open-source tools. Using a problem-oriented approach, students will learn the basic computing skills needed to conduct scientific research and to prepare for upper-level courses in science and engineering. Topics will include algorithm development, numerical methods, elements of programming, data analysis, and data visualization.

Previously, PY251 carried a prerequisite of PY202 or PY208. With this revision, the requisites are changed to: Prerequisite: MA241; Corequisite: PY202 or PY208. Experience in teaching this course has shown that the students' success depends strongly on their level of experience in mathematics. The level of physics experience is less important, as the lessons generally do not require any physics knowledge beyond PY201 or PY205. The change in requisites will allow students to enroll if they are sufficiently advanced in mathematics, having completed MA241, and currently enrolled in PY202 or PY208 (having completed PY201 or PY205).

No

Is this a GEP Course?

No

GEP Categories

Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:

Obj. 1) Engage the human experience through the interpretation of culture.

Obj. 2): Become aware of the act of interpretation itself as a critical form of knowing in the humanities.

Obj. 3) Make academic arguments about the human experience using reasons and evidence for supporting those reasons that are appropriate to the humanities.

Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category
of the General Education Program will provide instruction and
guidance that help students to:

Obj. 1) Improve and refine mathematical problem-solving abilities.

Obj. 2) Develop logical reasoning skills.

Each course in the Natural Sciences category
of the General Education Program will provide instruction and
guidance that help students to:

Obj.O 1) Use the methods and processes of science in testing hypotheses, solving problems and making decisions

Obj. 2) Make inferences from and articulate, scientific concepts, principles, laws, and theories, and apply this knowledge to problem solving.

Each course in the Social Sciences category
of the General Education Program will provide instruction and
guidance that help students to:

Obj. 1) Examine at least one of the following: human behavior, culture, mental processes, organizational processes, or institutional processes.

Obj. 2) Demonstrate how social scientific methods may be applied to the study of human behavior, culture, mental processes, organizational processes, or institutional processes.

Obj. 3) Use theories or concepts of the social sciences to analyze and explain theoretical and or real-world problems, including the underlying origins of such problems.

Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:

Obj. 1) Distinguish between the distinct approaches of two or more disciplines.

Obj. 2) Identify and apply authentic connections between two or more disciplines.

Obj. 3) Explore and synthesize the approaches or views of two or more disciplines.

1. Which disciplines will be synthesized, connected, and/or considered in this course?

Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:

Obj. 1) Deepen their understanding of aesthetic, cultural, and historical dimensions of artistic traditions.

Obj. 2) Strengthen their ability to interpret and make critical judgements about the arts through the analysis of structure, form, and style of specific works.

Obj. 3) Strengthen their ability to create, recreate, or evaluate art based upon techniques and standards appropriate to the genre.

Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:

Obj. 1) Acquire the fundamentals of health-related fitness, encompassing cardio-respiratory and cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, muscular flexibility and body composition.

Obj. 2) Apply knowledge of the fundamentals of health-related fitness toward developing, maintaining, and sustaining an active and healthy lifestyle.

Obj. 3) Acquire or enhance the basic motor skills and skill-related competencies, concepts, and strategies used in physical activities and sport.

Obj. 4) Gain a thorough working knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of the spirit and rules, history, safety, and etiquette of physical activities and sport.

Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:

Obj. 1) Identify and examine distinguishing characteristics, including ideas, values, images, cultural artifacts, economic structures, technological or scientific developments, and/or attitudes of people in a society or culture outside the United States.

Obj. 2) Compare these distinguishing characteristics between the non-U.S. society and at least one other society.

Obj. 3) Explain how these distinguishing characteristics relate to their cultural and/or historical contexts in the non-U.S. society.

Obj. 4) Explain how these disinguishing characteristics change in response to internal and external pressures on the non-U.S. society.

Each course in the US Diversity category
of the General Education Program will provide instruction and
guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following
objectives:

Obj. 1) Analyze how religious, gender, ethnic, racial, class, sexual orientation, disability, and/or age identities are shaped by cultural and societal influences.

Obj. 2) Categorize and compare historical, social, political, and/or economic processes producing diversity, equality, and structured inequalities in the U.S.

Obj. 3) Interpret and evaluate social actions by religious, gender, ethnic, racial, class, sexual orientation, disability, and/or age groups affecting equality and social justice in the U.S.

Obj. 4) Examine interactions between people from different religious, gender, ethnic, racial, class, sexual orientation, disability, and/or age groups in the U.S.

a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.

b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?

List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.

List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)

Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.

Title and author of any required text or publications.

Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

n/a

Students will learn to (i) solve and analyze scientific problems using numerical methods on the computer; and (ii) write reports in the style of a scientific journal article.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students should be able to demonstrate the following:

(1) Write a python code to solve an ordinary differential equation using a second order Runge Kutta method.

(2) Calculate the value of a definite, one dimensional integral using Simpson's rule.

(3) Use linear algebra functions in scientific python to find the fundamental modes of a coupled oscillator.

(4) Use an error plot to estimate the role of truncation error on a numerical solution.

(5) Compute a solution of Laplace's question in two dimensions using a relaxation method.

(6) Generate a power spectrum using a fast fourier transform and interpret the features of the spectrum.

(7) Use a random number generator to model a random walk in tow dimensions.

(8) Write a paper in latex format in the style of a scientific journal, describing a numerical model of a physical problem and interpreting the results.

Evaluation Method | Weighting/Points for Each | Details |
---|---|---|

Written Assignment | 25 | Each paper is prepared in latex and includes a description of the physics being studied, the equations used to model the physics, and the numerical algorithm employed to solve the equations. Each paper must include at least one figure generated by the student. |

Midterm | 15 | The midterm exam will consist of two problems to be solved by writing a python code during the exam time. |

Homework | 40 | Each lesson ends with a problem to be solved with python code. The working code must be well-documented and any graphical output must include appropriate notation (labels, titles, etc.). |

Final Exam | 20 | The final exam will include three problems to be solved with numerical techniques during the exam time. |

Topic | Time Devoted to Each Topic | Activity |
---|---|---|

Introduction | 1 class | Introduction |

Python basics | 3 classes | Numerics, arrays, plotting, control structures, etc. |

Ordinary Differential Equations | 1 class | Numerical solution of an ordinary differential equation using forward Euler method |

Validation and Verification | 1 class | Testing code and determining accuracy |

Applications | 1 class | Ex, solving for supersonic free-fall |

Latex | 1 class | Writing a paper using Latex |

Root Finding | 1 class | Bisection and Newton's method |

Linear Algebra | 2 classes | Using python to solve linear algebra problems. |

Numerical Integration | 2 classes | Numerical integration using left and right endpoint rules, midpoint rule, trapezoid rule, and Simpson's rule. |

Data Fitting | 1 class | Least squares fit of data to linear and nonlinear functions. |

Ordinary Differential Equations | 1 class | Runge-Kutta methods. |

Chaotic Pendulum | 2 class | Numerical investigation of period doubling, phase space methods and chaotic motion. |

Fourier Transforms | 1 class | Numerical calculation of the fast Fourier transform and power spectra |

Monte Carlo | 1 class | Integration using Monte Carlo methods. |

Random Walks | 1 class | Numerical investigation of random walks and diffusion. |

Entropy | 1 class | Numerical investigation of entropy. |

Ising Model | 1 class | The Ising model and phase transitions. |

Boundary Value Problems | 2 classes | Numerical solution of Poisson's equation and other boundary value problems using relaxation methods. |

Wave Equation | 2 classes | Numerical techniques for solving partial differential equations in one dimension. |

Reflection and dispersion | 1 class | Numerical investigation of reflection and dispersion of waves. |

Key: 7003