Another Blog

Mostly about computers, generally Linux-related

Computational Physics

I got this monumental shock today when I went to my first Computational Physics class. I thought it would be a uselessly hard, overly theoretical course that is not connected to computers. On the contrary, 70% of the grade is based on part of a program I need to write. I already chose my task, which is finding the common surface between two Gauss bells (one ideal, and the other real). It will be my first opportunity to code something useful to another area and I look forward to getting started. I was thinking of including a Gtk2 interface, but it is not essential — a graphical representation is not required.

The teacher looks like a typical elderly geek, a helpful, non-ignorant, but probably fully vertical man. Although the course is optional and there are very few of us taking it, we’re probably going to have to work hard for an A; but hard work is not what I fear.

C is, of course, the language of choice; its speed and simplicity will allow me full liberty, although I will probably need to be careful with floating point operations (which abound in my task). It will be interesting to see the errors that occur, as well as the manner in which our various programs will be combined into a single one (the professor has great plans, but I think he’s biting more than he can chew). Time permitting, I might volunteer to help glue code together, although I shiver at the thought of what I might find in others’ code. I have this strange lean towards never changing code that’s not mine.

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March 3, 2007 - Posted by | programming, school

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