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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Computer Simulation (PHYS08026)

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 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website WebCT Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course covers the methodologies of solving scientific problems using computers. It provides a training in the computational modelling of scientific problems and their representation using computer graphics. It also provides a grounding in object-oriented programming through the practical application of the Java language. Students will carry out extensive practical and project work.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed ( Mathematics for Physics 1 (PHYS08035) AND Mathematics for Physics 2 (PHYS08036)) OR ( Practical Calculus (MATH08001) AND Solving Equations (MATH08002) AND Geometry & Convergence (MATH08003) AND Group Theory: An Introduction to Abstract Mathematics (MATH08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students should have programming experience (not necessarily of Java) to the level of, for example, Informatics 1B or the introductory computing module in Physics 2A.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Class Delivery Information Computational Physics Lab Sessions Tu & Th. If, due to timetable constraints, students are unable to attend scheduled lab sessions, they are expected to fulfil the time commitments of the course outside of scheduled hours.
Course Start Date 12/01/2015
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 6, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 33, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 149 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 30 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 40 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)3:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, it is intended that a student will be able to:

- Explain why it is appropriate to solve certain physical problems, such as integration and modelling interacting particles by computation

- Apply the techniques of discretisation and iteration to solve open-ended physical problems and demonstrate an awareness of the origin and impact of numerical errors inherent in such techniques

- Apply the key concepts of OO programming (data encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism) by analysing a problem statement to produce a simple OO design and implementing it in Java

- Make use of classes and interfaces of the Java SE API, in particular to read and process data from external sources and to construct simple graphical applications

- Predict when variables are copied by reference or by value according to their type, and the consequences thereof

- Recognise the importance of clear, consistently-documented and error-tolerant codes, making use of Java's language features for achieving this

- Locate and use additional sources of information (to include discussion with peers where appropriate) to resolve practical problems that arise
Assessment Information
5 checkpoint assignments, 30%
Project (code and report), 40%
Degree Examination, 30%
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus * Key concepts of OO programming; data encapsulation, objects and classes, inheritance and polymorphism;
* Analysis of problem statements to produce simple OO designs;
* Classes and class hierarchies containing multiple constructors and methods;
* Declaration and initialisation of objects and arrays of objects;
* Creation of multiple instantiations (objects) of a class;
* Method execution on objects and classes;
* Pass by reference copy and pass by value; how arrays, objects and primitive types are passed;
* Utilisation of classes and interfaces of the Java SE API;
* Reading and parsing text from a file and writing data to a file;
* Checked and unchecked exceptions; handling exceptions (throw and try/catch);
* Simple graphical applications, including drawing objects, simple animation and user interaction (event handling).
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Kevin Stratford
Tel: (0131 6)50 6759
Course secretaryMrs Bonnie Macmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 5905
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