Over the summer of 2014, Soft matter theory PI Tim Atherton and grad student Chris Burke designed a brand new course on Computational Physics, i.e how to use computers to solve physics problems. Unlike traditional classes, this adopted a radical new strategy: teaching computing through a sequence of carefully designed group projects. To ensure the course was grounded in the skills students actually needed for their future work as physicists, the course was created by interviewing faculty about how they actually use computers in their own work as researchers.

Following an initial run of the course in Spring 2015, Atherton and Burke decided to write up the design process and results from the class for an education journal to help other faculty create similar courses. You can download the paper at the American Journal of Physics website. For those without access to a subscription, a preprint is available on the ArXiV.


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