# PHYS 140: Computational Methods in Physics, Fall 2013

**Time:** Tuesday, 1:30-5:20pm; Thursday, 1:30-2:20pm

**Location:** Incubator Classroom, Clark 111

**Supplemental URL:**http://info.sjsu.edu/web-dbgen/catalog/courses/PHYS140.html

## Description

This course provides an introduction to traditional numerical analysis techniques
in the

context of a modern computational environment for physicists. The primary emphasis
is

on learning to program with Python, and on computer-driven communication and

problem solving in general, including use of Unix and LaTeX.

This semester the course meets in the Incubator Classroom, which provides a state-of-the-art technology-assisted, flexible learning environment, with facilities such as screensharing, multiple projectors, smart boards, and lecture capture. For further information, see http://www.sjsu.edu/at/asc/classroom_resources/.

Prerequisites include the calculus-based introductory physics sequence. Linear algebra

and ordinary differential equations are strongly recommended.

**Course Goals and Learning Outcomes**

The critical goals of this course are to (1) gain basic competency with a widely used

computer language, Python, for both general and scientific programming, (2) understand

and apply fundamental numerical analysis methods used by physicists, (3) become

familiar with other standard scientific software tools, and (4) improve skills in
scientific

communication.

After this course, the students will (1) be capable of writing a Python program to
solve a

research problem, (2) be able to recognize basic numerical problems and program

solutions for them, (3) be able to navigate basic Unix commands, and (4) produce

scientific reports with LaTeX.

Syllabus available here.