Computational physics course or numerical analysis course

In summary, the conversation is about a person struggling to choose between a computational physics course and a numerical analysis course at the graduate level. They have a background in computational physics but want a better understanding of the inner workings of numerical methods. They are also interested in quantum Monte Carlo in condensed matter physics. They ask for advice on whether computational physics will cover basic numerical analysis and which course others have taken in the past.
  • #1
td21
Gold Member
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A question for those who are computational physicist:
Dear Computational physicist,
I am struggling between computational physics course or numerical analysis. They are both in graduate level (so very intensive), one in physics department and another in math. Both are taught by leading experts in scientific computing field.

I have 3 plus years in computational physics research background and recently finished a parallelized research project. The reason I want to take these courses is in the past I use MATLAB functions, scipy library to do integration, root finding and stuff, but actually I do not really understand the inner working. So for example if i want to implement my own implicit ode algorithm , I cannot but just copy it from somewhere else and unable to develop my own to suit my specific problem.

I am also not familiar with Newton's method, interpolation and root finding as in numerical analysis, but very familiar with linear algebra and somewhat familiar with differentiation, integration and differential equations (I read these chapters from a numerical analysis book) . On the other hands, I am not interested in molecular dynamics or chemistry stuff, but I am interested in quantum monte carlo in condensed matter physics. Will computational physics also cover basic numerical analysis?

I also want to ask: Which one do you take in the past? or did you take both?

Thank you very much for your advice.
 
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  • #2
It would help if you could list the contents of the courses.
 

Related to Computational physics course or numerical analysis course

1. What is the difference between a computational physics course and a numerical analysis course?

A computational physics course focuses on using computers to solve complex physical problems, whereas a numerical analysis course focuses on developing mathematical methods and algorithms for solving problems numerically.

2. Do I need a strong background in physics or math to take a computational physics or numerical analysis course?

While a basic understanding of physics and math is helpful, most computational physics and numerical analysis courses are designed to be accessible to students with various backgrounds. It is recommended to have a solid foundation in calculus and linear algebra.

3. What programming languages are typically used in a computational physics or numerical analysis course?

Commonly used languages include Python, MATLAB, Fortran, and C++. The specific language(s) used may vary depending on the course and instructor.

4. Will I learn how to write my own programs or will we use pre-existing software?

Both options are possible, as it largely depends on the course curriculum and goals. Some courses may focus on developing programming skills, while others may use pre-existing software to teach specific concepts and techniques.

5. What career opportunities are available for those with a background in computational physics or numerical analysis?

Graduates of computational physics or numerical analysis courses can pursue careers in various fields, such as scientific research, engineering, data analysis, and computer programming. These skills are highly sought after in industries that require problem-solving and data analysis, including finance, healthcare, and technology.

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