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.
Curriculum and Requirements
The concentration in scientific computing requires a total of 3 units of Kenyon coursework. MATH 118/SCMP 118 Introduction to Computer Science (.5 unit) serves as a foundation course for the program, introducing students to programming and other essential ideas of computer science. However, many students already have programming experiences before they come to Kenyon. Such students may substitute an appropriate intermediate course to fulfill the program requirements.
Since computational methods are of increasing importance in every scientific discipline, students in the scientific computing program will take at least 1 unit of "contributory" courses in one or more scientific disciplines. Contributory courses have been identified in chemistry, economics, mathematics, and physics (see list below). In these courses, computational methods form an essential means for attacking scientific problems of various kinds.
Students in the concentration will also take at least 1 unit 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.
The capstone course of the program is SCMP 401 Advanced Scientific Computing (.5 unit), a project-oriented, seminar-style course for advanced students.Required courses (1 unit)
MATH 118/SCMP 118 Introduction to Programming or PHYS 270 Computational Physics
SCMP 401 Advanced Scientific Computing
Contributory courses (1 unit)
CHEM 336 Quantum Chemistry
CHEM 370 Computational Chemistry
ECON 375 Introduction to Econometrics
MATH 206 Data Analysis
MATH 226 Design and Analysis of Experiments
MATH 347 Mathematical Models
PHYS 140,141 Classical Physics
PHYS 240,241 Fields and Spacetime
PHYS 380,381,382 Electronics
PHYS 385,386,387 Experimental Physics
Intermediate courses (1 unit)
MATH 218 Data Structures and Program Design
MATH 328 Coding Theory and Cryptography
PHYS 218 Dynamical Systems and Scientific Computing
PHYS 219 Complex Systems in Scientific Computing
SCMP 493 Individual Study in Scientific Computing