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

Undergraduate Course: Computer Modelling (PHYS09057)

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 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 introduces good software development techniques, the algorithm/code design process and how to analyse/understand the results of simulations. Students are expected to work both individually and as part of a group. Assessment is by a series of exercises (completed with a partner/in a group) that lead to a mini-project to write a full simulation code - with an individual marked write-up. The material is available through Learn. The first three exercises 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: Practical Physics (PHYS08048) OR Programming and Data Analysis (PHYS08049)
Prohibited Combinations 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:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Class Delivery Information Online lectures and weekly practical session (each student selects one of two weekly practical times).
Course Start Date 15/09/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 7, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 58 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
- Explain why it is appropriate to solve certain physical problems, such as integration and modelling interacting particles using computer modelling.
- Understand the position of computer modelling in the scientific method.
- Be able to design algorithms and software to implement physical models.
- Write simple, object-oriented programs in Java.
- Recognise the importance of good software development practice and employ this in your programs.
- Exploit third-party packages, such as xmgrace and vmd, for the visualisation of results.
- Resolve conceptual and technical difficulties by locating and integrating relevant information from a diverse range of sources.
- Work as part of a software development team and collaborate effectively to produce good software.
Assessment Information
100% Coursework: In-class marked checkpoints, submitted source code and written reports.

Checkpoints 30% (marked in class, as a group):
- Checkpoint 1 (0%)
- Checkpoint 2 (15%)
- Checkpoint 3 (15%)

Mini-project 70% (submitted online):
- Code and Algorithm Design (20%, as a group)
- Source Code (10%, as a group)
- Project Report (40%, individual)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus - Computer simulation and modelling as part of science
- Basic code and algorithm design
- Software engineering good practice
- Simple object oriented programming in Java
- Use of external tools (VMD) for analysing modelling results
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Andreas Hermann
Tel: (0131 6)50 5824
Course secretaryMrs Bonnie Macmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 5905
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