Physics 693
Core Skills for Computational Science
Spring 2005

This page is always under construction


This course will be taught by many instructors including ARSC staff, Physics department faculty and guest speakers. The primary points of contact for the class are:


Tom Logan, WRRB105-117, 450-8624,
Office Hours: 2–5 pm M-F (please call or e-mail first)


David Newman, NSF 112, x7858,


Semester schedule (calendar)
Where possible, the lecture slides are linked to the lecture topic in the semester schedule


Final Grades (new or vapor grades)

This syllabus is located at:

Course Syllabus

In approaching this (and all) classes, please note the following ancient chinese proverb:

Teachers can open the door,
but you must enter by yourself.


Prerequisites:. Some basic computer familiarity (and some programing)

Content: This course provides students of computational sciences an introduction to the basic skills required to operate in the modern high performance computing (HPC) environment offered at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (ARSC). Topics include an introduction to HPC, basic Unix/batch/scripting skills, performance programming, vectorization, shared and distributed memory parallelism, code validation and debugging, data storage and management, data visualization, and future technologies. Each of these topics will be presented in lecture form. To provide additional applied knowledge, either a thorough case study by a guest speaker and/or a hands-on lab session will be given in support of each.
In the past, components of this class have been regularly offered as individual training sessions by the staff at ARSC. The impetus for creation of the ‘core skills’ class was to provide a more intensive training environment for new student users, while still providing distinct modules for more advanced researchers to refresh/update skills.

Lectures/Lab Meeting time and place: Gruening 211, Tuesday/Thursday, 9:15 – 11:15am (participation counts)

Homework: There will be approximately one homework assignment per week. The assignment will be given out (and posted on the web) on Thursdays and will be due in on the following Thursday in class. These assignments help in assessing your understanding of the material, and will count as a major part of your final grade.

Project: There will be a semester project due worth a maximum of approximately 30% of the course grade. The project will be discussed in class. The project topic must be agreed to by Feb ??th. They will be graded both for presentation and content.

Mid-term Exam: A mid-term exam will be given during the Thurday lecture on March ??th.

Grading: The course grade will consist of the following components:

	Homeworks		40 %
	Semester project	30 %
	Mid-term		20 %
	Participation		10 %

The class will be graded on a curve however at the very least > 95 - A, 95-90 - B, 89-85 - C ... once again the grading will almost certainly be much more curved then this but this is to satisfy University rules for a set grading scale.

Contacting us: During office hours listed above or by appointment, with any of the instructors. A list of email contacts is listed below:

Instructor Key Position E-mail Office Phone Ext
Baring, Tom TB Vector Specialist


Edberg, Roger RE Visualization Specialist



Hedstrom, Kate KH Oceanographic Specialist



Higbie, Lee LH Vector Specialist WRRB105-116 x8688
Kornkven, Ed EK Vector Specialist WRRB105-112 x8669
Logan, Tom TL MPP Specialist WRRB105-117 x8624
Maurits, Sergei SM Visualization Specialist WRRB008-014 x8697
McAllister, Jeff JM MPP Specialist WRRB008-003 x8653
Newman, David DN Assoc. Prof, Physics Dept NSF 112 x7858

Special Needs: The Office of Disability Services implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and insures that UAF students have equal access to the campus and course materials. We will work with the Office of Disabilities Services (203 WHIT, 474-7043) to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities.

Plagiarism etc: Plagiarism and cheating are matters of serious concern for students and academic institutions. This is true in this class as well. The UAF Honor Code (or Student Code of Conduct) defines academic standards expected at the University of Alaska Fairbanks which will be followed in this class. (Taken from the UAF plagiarism web site, which has many links with good information about this topic)

Complaints and Concerns: You are always welcome to talk to the instructors about anything, however, if you have a non-subject matter question or concern that cannot be resolved by the instructors contact the department chair, Dr. Craven, Physics Department Office, room 102 NSCI.


last updated 14 February, 2006