PHYS5513 Computational Statistics for Physics

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Physics [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
This unit provides key tools for the statistical and numerical analysis of complex problems in physics and astrophysics. It includes a solid introduction to the R statistical programming language and contains many practical examples, mainly from cosmology and astrophysics, but extending to general physics and medicine.
Students are able to (1) use R, interface with other scientific languages and I/O scientific data; (2) demonstrate mastery essential numerical analysis techniques in R and benefit from various packages to quickly solve numerical problems.; (3) explain basic statistical concepts (probability trees, joint probabilities, ensembles, resampling, frequentist statistics, tests, correlations, distributions, expectations, moments); (4) apply Bayesian inference to a wide range of scientific problems and master related concepts (maximum likelihood, Fisher information, Laplace approximation, Jeffreys prior); (5) demonstrate understanding of advanced inference problems and packages available to solve them; including by MCMC algorithms.; and (6) demonstrate mastery temporal and spatial statistical estimators and their Fourier space representations.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) programming assignments and (2) written assignments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Danail Obreschkow and Aaron Robotham
Unit rules
completion of the core and complementary units for the Physics major or equivalent.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.