The Scientific Computing Concentration is an interdisciplinary program in the application of computers to scientific inquiry. A longer title for the program might be "Computing within a Scientific Context."
The concentration focuses on four major areas: (1) computer program development, including the construction and implementation of data structures and algorithms; (2) mathematical modeling of natural phenomena (including cognitive processes) using quantitative or symbolic computer techniques; (3) analysis and visualization of complex data sets, functions and other relationships using the computer; and (4) computer hardware issues, including the integration of computers with other laboratory apparatus for data acquisition. The overall aim is to prepare the student to use computers in a variety of ways for scientific exploration and discovery.
The concentration in scientific computing requires a total of 3 units of Kenyon coursework. SCMP 118 Introduction to Computer Science (.5 units) serves as a foundation course for the program, introducing students to programming and other essential ideas of computer science.
Contributory courses have been identified in biology, chemistry, economics, environmental studies, mathematics, political science and physics (see list below). In these courses, computational methods form an essential means for attacking problems of various kinds.
Students in the concentration also will take at least half (.5) units of "intermediate" scientific computing courses. These courses have computational methods as their main focus and develop these methods extensively.
In addition to regular courses that are identified as "contributory" or "intermediate," particular special-topics courses or independent studies in various departments may qualify in one of these two categories. Students who wish to credit such a course toward the concentration in scientific computing should contact the program director at the earliest possible date.