This is the course website for An Introduction to Scientific Computing, a course being taught as part of UCSD's Academic Connections program. I'm the instructor, Rick Wagner.


Computers play a huge role in modern science, from the level of an individual researcher's workstation, to massive parallel supercomputers, shared by hundreds of users. This course has two goals:

  1. To help students understand how and why computers are used in scientific research;
  2. how to use computers effectively in the pursuit of science.

Topics will include mathematical and numerical modeling, computer simulations, data analysis, and visualization.

Half of the course is hands-on, using Open Source software to do simulation and analysis of physical systems. Some of these exercises are done using existing software, and for some the students write their own. All programming is done in the Python programming language, both for its ease of use, and the availability of interactive scientific packages.


A significant portion (almost half) of this class is adapted from Software Carpentry, developed by Dr. Gregory V. Wilson.

For a complete list of local wiki pages, see TitleIndex.

Paraview Tutorial