Computers in Physics — PHYS 3730/6720

Fall 2021

Welcome to the external pages for this course! If you are a student in this class, please see the Canvas LMS website for all the information you'll need.

This is a computer course! Connectivity to Physics & Astronomy servers is essential. If you are having trouble, please this link for a very old-school recommendation!


Ben Bromley

Syllabus (short version!)

course description and objectives

"Brief introduction to computing tools for science and engineering work on modern workstations. Topics include Unix (file structures, commands, scripts, etc.), editing (especially with emacs), spreadsheets, technical document preparation (LaTeX, Postscript), symbolic manipulation (Maple), use of library routines (LAPACK), programming in Python and C++, and organizing large codes with makefiles. These tools will be illustrated by applying them to scientific and engineering problems."
                [source: the U's General Catalog]

Please note that the programming focus of the course now almost exclusively on Python, although C++ basics will be introduced.

Pre-requisites: PHYS 2210, PHYS 2220, PHYS 2235, MATH 2250 (or an equivalent set).

textbook and references

There is no required textbook for this course. Please note that extensive resources exist both in print and online, as will be discussed in lecture.

class format

Each class will consist of a lecture part and a lab component. The lecture part may vary in style from traditional lecture to discussion; the lab part will involve students solving lab exercises to be handed in for grading. The instructor will be available to provide direction and answer questions as needed. In some cases, prelecture material will be available through the Canvas system, accessible through The U's main webpage. Homework assignments will be a major part of this course. There will be approximately one per week, and will be done primarily on the department computing system. Students also should prepare to take one in-class exam and a final.

We will use the U's implementation of the Canvas learning management system for aspects of this course, including class announcements and grades. Until notified otherwise, please expect to find lecture plans, lab exercises, and homework assignments posted on links available on this site.