Module Specifications..
Current Academic Year 2023  2024
Please note that this information is subject to change.
 
Repeat examination 

Description This module introduces research students to the concepts and techniques of computational physics, in the context of studies in physical sciences. In particular, students should understand that the method proceeds by (i) identifying a suitable physical model expressed in mathematical terms, (ii) finding an algorithm by which the model can be solved, (iii) implementing the solution, and (iv) calculating the desired results. In addition to this basic approach, the module will also discuss modern ideas about the challenges of establishing that the correct solution has been found, and the opportunities and difficulties of exploiting high performance computer hardware for large scale problems. The continuous assessment element of the module will include practical exercises, which will assume a working knowledge of a suitable computer language, such as Python or MatLab.  
Learning Outcomes 1. Develop and articulate a systematic understanding of knowledge at, or informed by, the forefront of research both qualitatively, and quantitatively of the fundamental and underpinning elements of the computational approach. 2. Demonstrate this systematic understanding by developing and articulating a mathematical model in a form suitable for computational solution. 3. Select from complex and advanced techniques across this field of learning to identify suitable tools for generating the computational solution (e.g. algorithms, computer languages, hardware). 4. Demonstrate this systematic understanding and also demonstrate a critical awareness of the main issues and modern insights around establishing that the computed solutions are correct, based on modern ideas on verification and validation. 5. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the challenges and opportunities of high performance computation for large scale problems.  
All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml 

Indicative Content and Learning Activities
Basic Concepts General ideas on the role of computation in the physical sciences. The process of developing a computational model, from mathematical formulation to developing and testing the solution. Ideas about critical evaluation of solutions. Mathematical Models Formulation of mathematical models, beginning with conceptualising a physical model and proceeding to a formal mathematical model, including identifying relevant boundary conditions and parameters. Computational Tools Choosing a computational approach based on the mathematical character of the model. Algorithms for ordinary and partial differential equations. Monte Carlo methods. Software Tools Computer languages for scientific problems. Libraries and other software packages. Verification and Validation Criticism of the computational approach. Recent ideas on establishing the correctness of scientific computations and physical models.  
 
Indicative Reading List
 
Other Resources None  
Programme or List of Programmes
 
Archives: 
