April 26, 2004

Mauel, Michael Silver_nugget
[APAM 1601] Introduction to Computational Math and Physics

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I think this is one of the better (maybe best) pre-professional courses, but it might be slightly more work than others. Professor Mauel is super-enthusiastic about everything which helps in a what could be a painful experience. The course is devoted to doing physics with Mathematica, which enables you to solve problems with difficult math without knowing it. But you have to use a computer...which introduces its own problems. However, whenever you are having trouble, you can e-mail the professor and he will help you. The class was a pretty rewarding experience for me, but I can see how it might frustrate others. The strength of the course is that Professor Mauel encourages students to do their own "research" projects, but provides all of the tools necessary so that you can do something unique on your own without being too hard or time consuming.

Workload:

Weekly assignments, which shouldn't take more than an hour or two at the most (if it is taking you that long you should ask for help) and four research projects which Professor Mauel gives ideas to investigate and sets up any computer tools you'll need in class. Depending on your computer skills, slightly below or above average workload.