SHPC4001 Principles of Scientific Computation

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Physics [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
Scientific computation is about constructing theoretical and mathematical models of physical systems, adapting efficient numerical techniques, and using modern computers to solve real world scientific problems. This unit provides an introduction to the main computational techniques used in solving practical problems in physics, chemistry, geosciences and engineering. It is hands-on and designed to help students learn by doing, thus a significant fraction of students' time is spent actually programming specific physical problems. The unit is required for students with specialisation in Scientific High Performance Computation, but it is also open to students in other science or engineering subjects.
Students are able to (1) become accustomed to a modern computer environment of UNIX workstations and have a working knowledge of the programming language Fortran or Python and (2) apply numerical techniques commonly used to solve problems in science and engineering, such as numerical differentiation and integration, ordinary and partial differential equations, Fourier transforms, linear algebra and eigensystems, Monte Carlo simulation, optimisation, variational method, as well as numerical error analysis.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignment and (2) project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jingbo Wang
Unit rules
MATH1001 Mathematical Methods 1 (or equivalent);
MATH1002 Mathematical Methods 2 (or equivalent)
Advisable prior study:
introduction to programming offered by iVEC@UWA
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; labs/projects: 3 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1_2019 [SEM-1_2019]
  • 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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.