- ARCHIVE as at 1 September 2014

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Programming and Data Analysis (PHYS08049)

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) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course provides an introduction to computer programming and data analysis. It serves as a preparation for further study in some physics-related degree programmes, and as a stand-alone course for students of other disciplines, including mathematics, chemistry, geosciences, computer science and engineering. The course consists of laboratory sessions and workshops to develop understanding, familiarity and fluency.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Practical Physics (PHYS08048)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 15/09/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 65 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course it is intended that student will be able to:
- Appreciate the relationship between experiment, theory and computation as scientific techniques
- Explain the importance of reproducibility of scientific work, and the role that quantitative statements of confidence in results play in achieving this
- Present a record of a computation in an appropriate, clear and logical written form (e.g. fully documented computer code), augmented with figures and graphs where appropriate.
- Assess whether an output from a computer program is physically reasonable
- Locate and use additional sources of information (to include discussion with peers where appropriate) to resolve problems that arise in the computational physics laboratories
- Take responsibility for learning by attending laboratory sessions and workshops, and completing coursework
Assessment Information
60% Programming/Computing Skills
40% Data Analysis
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Scientific Programming
- Introduction to programming; Basics of Linux; Data Types, Variables and Operators
- Basic Input and Output; Math Class and Constants
- File Input and Output; Conditional Statements; Loops; Arrays and Strings
- Plotting Graphs Using the ptplot Package
- Introduction to Methods; Introduction to Objects
- Finding and Fixing Bugs

Data Analysis
- Uncertainty, Accuracy and precision
- Mean value; standard deviation; error on the mean
- Microsoft EXCEL for data analysis
- Combining uncertainties
- Graphs and graph plotting
- Least squares methods
- Application on a real-world problem
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserProf Malcolm Mcmahon
Tel: (0131 6)50 5956
Course secretaryMrs Bonnie Macmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 5905
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2014 The University of Edinburgh - 29 August 2014 4:37 am