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An Introduction to Scientific Computing

By Jennifer Houchins
Shodor, Durham, North Carolina

This page provides download links for a set of curricular materials designed to introduce scientific computing to undergraduate or graduate students in science and other STEM disciplines. The module teaches the principles of scientific computing using code examples in the C programming language. The module consists of the documents described below. The documents can be downloaded individually, or as a zip archive containing all of the documents:

  • IntroScientificComputing.pdf contains a presentation introducing Scientific Computing. It provides sections describing:

    • Strategy
    • Approximations
    • Error Analysis
    • Computer Arithmetic

  • Numerical_Errors.xls Bob Panoff's Excel file demonstrating why we should be concerned with approximations.
  • Drop of Water.xls Bob Panoff's Excel file demonstrating how to frame a problem computationally.
  • Poor Random Noise Data.xls Bob Panoff's Excel file with linear and quadratic data sets with noise added, as well as a sheet for looking at truncation in stepwise progressions.


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