Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Efficient algorithms for numerical analysis and optimisation are the basis for high performance computing (HPC) in many scientific fields. This unit provides the mathematics and algorithms needed to implement such efficient algorithms for HPC applications in Physics, Chemistry and the Geosciences, illustrated by examples from these fields. The laboratory component emphasises the implementation of these algorithms from scratch, as well as the use of pre-written programs and packages commonly used in HPC.

Specific topics are selected from (1) linear algebra, eigensystems, singular value decomposition, and sparse methods for dealing with them; (2) single and multidimensional quadrature; (3) function approximation; (4) pseudorandom numbers and monte carlo; (5) Newton-Raphson, conjugate gradient, least squares; (6) fourier transforms, wavelets and filters; (7) modelling data—least squares, maximum likelihood, inverse problems and regularisation, and compressive sensing; and (8) multimensional partial differential equations. Except for laboratory sessions, the unit involves significant self-study with lectures partly used as tutorials or as assessment periods.

6 points

Students are able to (1) be familiar with numerical analysis techniques as described above, their implementation, cost and accuracy and (2) demonstrate mastery of programming of numerical techniques in Fortran or C taking advantage of the above techniques.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) laboratories; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jingbo Wang
Unit rules
SHPC4001 Principles of Scientific Computation or equivalent as approved by the Faculty
Contact hours
lectures: 26 hours per semester (2 hours per week from week 1)
practical classes/labs: 36 hours per semester (3 hours per week from week 2)

Numerical recipes

  • 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 one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. 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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.