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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2011/2012
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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Computational Methods (PHYS09016)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website WebCT Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe course is a practical introduction to computational simulation techniques in physics, using the Java programming language. The rationale behind computer simulation will be introduced and the relationship between simulation, theory and experiment discussed. The course will also cover the implementation of some common computational time-integration algorithms. Assessment is by a series of checkpoints covering Fourier series, vectors, and particle dynamics. The material is available through WebCT. Checkpoints must be marked by a demonstrator during a timetabled CP Lab session.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Physics 2A (PHYS08022) AND Physics 2B (PHYS08023) AND Mathematics for Physics 4 (PHYS08038)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Advanced Computer Simulation (PHYS10014)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLaboratory2-11 14:00 - 17:00or 14:00 - 17:00
First Class Week 2, Tuesday, 14:00 - 17:00, Zone: King's Buildings. CP LAB - ROOM 1206 - JCMB, First class is either Tuesday or Friday
No Exam Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 1, Part-year visiting students only (VV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLaboratory2-11 14:00 - 17:00or 14:00 - 17:00
First Class Week 2, Tuesday, 14:00 - 17:00, Zone: King's Buildings. CP LAB - ROOM 1206 - JCMB, First class is either Tuesday or Friday
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion it is intended that the student will be able to:

1. Explain why it is appropriate to solve certain physical problems, such as integration and modelling interacting particles by computation;
2. Appreciate the relationship between simulation, theroy and experiment as scientific techniques;
3. Understand and apply the techniques of formulating algorithms and converting them into real programs to simulate physical phenomena;
4. Explain the use of Java classes as building blocks in object-oriented programming, and differentiate the purpose of private, public and static fields and methods;
5. Use system library routines to read in data from external sources, process those data, and export results to visualisation software;
6. Explain the origin of numerical errors in computational techniques, and demonstrate understanding of their impact;
7. Use graphing and visualisation packages (XMGRACE, VMD).
Assessment Information
Coursework, 100%
5 checkpoints marked out of 20. Final mark is the weighted sum of the checkpoint marks. Weighting:

Checkpoint 1: 5%
Checkpoint 2: 10%
Checkpoint 3: 25%
Checkpoint 4: 30%
Checkpoint 5: 30%

Visiting Student Variant Assessment
Coursework, 100%

Checkpoint 1: 5%
Checkpoint 2: 10%
Checkpoint 3: 25%
Checkpoint 4: 30%
Checkpoint 5: 30%
Special Arrangements
None
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus & Explain why it is appropriate to solve certain physical problems, such as integration and modelling interacting particles by computation;
& Appreciate the relationship between simulation, theroy and experiment as scientific techniques;
& Understand and apply the techniques of formulating algorithms and converting them into real programs to simulate physical phenomena;
& Explain the use of Java classes as building blocks in object-oriented programming, and differentiate the purpose of private, public and static fields and methods;
& Use system library routines to read in data from external sources, process those data, and export results to visualisation software;
& Explain the origin of numerical errors in computational techniques, and demonstrate understanding of their impact;
& Use graphing and visualisation packages (XMGRACE, VMD).
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsCMeth
Contacts
Course organiserDr Andrew Turner
Tel: (0131 6)51 3578
Email: andrew.turner@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Laura Gonzalez-Rienda
Tel: (0131 6)51 7067
Email: l.gonzalez@ed.ac.uk
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