Physics 210: Intro Computational Physics: Course News
|This document will be updated throughout the course; entries are in reverse chronological order.
this matter arose at the end of yesterday's presentations, and since
the description on the main course page was previously ambiguous
concerning this matter, please note that you must e-mail me an
electronic version of your writeup when you have completed it (PDF
preferred, but .doc or one of the OpenOffice formats will also be
Please refer to the Friday Nov 20, 1:30 PM item below for additional information concerning the writeups, what to do with your source code etc.
Good luck with the remainder of your term work, and with your final exams!
are a few more announcements concerning your term projects and my
availability over the next few days:
|Kasun has kindly reported that the xfpp3d was not drawing particles
with different sizes per my claim in the demonstration last Tuesday, as
well as the help message returned by xfpp3d -h.
I believe that I have now fixed this, and have updated xfpp3d on hyper. Those of you who have downloaded and installed xfpp3d on your machines will need to redownload and reinstall should you wish to take advantage of the feature.
Also note that contrary to what I claimed during the demo, the particle sizes that are read are not rescaled by the minimum size in the set, nor is the displayed particle size roughly logarithmic in the size that is read. Rather, the sizes read are used in an absolute sense, although you can still rescale them once the application has started using the Particle size slider. Thus, for example, sizes of 0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 will result in particles drawn with one tenth the default size, the default size and 10 times the default size, respectively.
Finally, note that I have added two additional command line options to the program, -s which renders the particles as solid spheres, and -w which renders them as wireframe spheres. However, since use of either of these will only result in further sluggishness of xfpp3d when running on the computer lab terminals, you will probably not want to use them unless you are running on your own system.
note the following items:
|Usage information concerning the
following visualization tools that may be useful for your term projects
is now available via the course Resources Page:
Additionally, information concerning the installation of these programs on your own Linux / MAC systems is available via the course Software Page. Please note that if you encounter any difficulties installing these on your own systems you should feel free (absolutely, totally free!) to contact me immediately about the matter, and I will do my best to help you get things going.
|PLEASE MAKE CAREFUL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING
As announced in yesterday's class, the lecture component of 210 is now concluded. Thus, next week do not go to Buchanan at 2:00 PM, but instead head directly to the computer lab where you can devote your full attention to your term projects.
Unless you feel very confident that you have your project under control, and that you do not require any assistance in order to complete it in a timely fashion, I urge you to take full advantage of the six scheduled hours we will have in the lab next week to get help as necessary with this crucial component of the course.
Over the weekend, I will put information online about the available visualization utilities that I have mentioned previously, as well as some guidelines for those of you who wish to install one or more of them on your own machines. You will also be able to get help using these utilities during the lab sessions.
TERM PROJECT DETAILS
Let me know immediately if you have any questions or concerns about the above information/instructions.
|1) Solutions for yesterday's lab activities
are available on hyper:
/home/phys210/octave/pendulume.m2) As mentioned in yesterday's class, the third homework is being morphed into Homework 3 AND Homework 4:
i) The new---and final---version of HW 3 consists of the first three questions of the previous version. We have now covered in class all of the background material necessary for you to complete it.
THE DUE DATE FOR THE HOMEWORK HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO FRIDAY, NOV 13, 11:59 PM, which I would ask you to treat as pretty firm, given how late in term it will be by that point, and especially given that you need time to work on your term projects.
ii) Homework 4 consists of a single question, namely the solution of the wave equation, which was previously Problem 4 of Homework 3. We should be done with the background material for that question early in next Thu's lecture, or possibly even next Tue.
THE DUE DATE FOR HW 4 IS WEDNESDAY, NOV 18, 11:59 PM. Once, more please take that date seriously so that you will then be able to devote your full attention (outside of lectures) to your term projects.
The homework page has been updated with the final version of HW 3 and the new HW 4 is available there as well. I will distribute hardcopy for H4 on Tuesday, but will not give you new printouts for HW 3, since nothing has changed for problems 1 through 3.
3) I should have mentioned this previously, and have done so explicitly in the preamble for HW 4:
You are free to use code that I have written to solve other problems as templates for your implementations of functions in the two
homeworks. However, whenever you "recycle" a program in a substantial way, then, following usual academic protocol, you should acknowledge that fact in a comment near the top of the source file. For example
% This code is based in part on foo.m written by M.W. Choptuik4) All Faculty of Science Instructors have been asked to pass along the following information to you concerning what you should do should you come down with the flu (apparently any variety of the flu). You should already have received a "communique" from UBC concerning this matter, but I'm just dutifully following instructions here!
Instead of coming to class, your students should use the new tool on the Student Service Centre to inform the university that they are isolating themselves because of the flu and will not be attending class until they are well. We understand that a communique providing more details will be sent to students by early in the week of Oct. 26th.
Remind your students that they do not need a note from their doctors and, in fact, they should not try to get one. On the other hand, they should report through the SSC if they wish consideration for missed labs, assignment deadlines and exams. Reporting will also help the university estimate the scale of the issue and determine what further steps might be needed to manage the situation.
The purpose of the on-line reporting system is to help students, not to penalize them. With one action, they will notify all their instructors of their absence. Remind students that when they are ready to return to school they first report back in on the SSC and then communicate directly with you in a timely manner.
I am also to provide you with following information
Communicate your policy for late or missed assignments, labs, quizzes, and exams.
POLICY: If you are unable to complete work by its due date because of illness of any kind, you will not be penalized. To the extent that it is possible, you will requested to submit the work as soon as is feasible, once you are better. If your sickness is prolonged, and completion of the missed work will pose real hardship for you, the missed work will not factor into your grade for the course.
This policy applies to your project presentations and projects themselves, as well as to the remaining two homeworks.
Let your students know what materials you (or your replacement) will be making available on the web to help them keep up while they are absent or how they will be able to catch up when they return. Post this information on your course website or make it known to students in other ways.
POLICY: Lab activities will continue to available on-line, and if you miss one or more classes, and are unable to get notes from a fellow student, you can e-mail me and I will forward you a copy of my own notes.
If I cannot lecture due to illness, my "buddy" Prof Joerg Rottler will be assuming my lecturing and lab supervisory responsibilities for the course.
As usual, let me know should you have any questions concerning these points.
analyzed your second attempt at generating length-10 sequences of 1's,
2's and 3's.
Here's a table that summarizes the results of the 2 experiments
As you can see, there was a definite improvement in "randomness" in the second attempt: however, there was, in fact, an "overcompensation" in terms of inclusion of sub-sequences of identical consecutive digits with length > 2.
In order to get an estimate of the likelihood that the distribution produced in the second student experiment was truly generated at random, I ran 100,000 trials of "Octave Pseudo-Random 2" and from the analysis of the data found the following
where the numbers in the second row are the % of trials that produced the specific number of length-n sub-sequences generated in the second student experiment. In particular, you will note that the value of 88 for n=1 is quite improbable. Here's the same analysis for the first experiment:
All told, though, it is impressive how much better the class did the second time through, including the elimination of the previous biasing of 1's vs 3's!! (i.e. the mean value was precisely 2)!
full handout for Homework 3 is now available HERE as well as via the course Homework Page. I will
distribute hardcopy in tomorrow's lecture.
were two other bugs/typos with the second homework handout, this time
in Problem 5.
The output from calc for the third-to-last and second-to-last sample invocations should be as follows:
% calc 'sin(0.2)^3' 30Again, I have updated the online version of the homework, available HERE to reflect this change, and with luck that will be it for the typos! Thanks to Steven for identifying today's bugs, and Lewis for yesterday's, and, again, my apologies for any inconvenience these various bugs/typos have caused.
of you has decected another bug/typo in the second homework handout,
this time in Problem 4.
In the fourth example of kinematics, namely kinematic(Time->tanh(Time), T, 0, 0, 0, 4); the x axis should be labelled T (not Time), and the caption for the acceleration plot should read tanh(T), (not tanh(Time)). That is, the plots should always be labelled with the second argument passed to kinematics. I've updated the online version of the homework handout (available HERE), to reflect this change, and apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you.
make careful note of the following:
to follow up on today's rather intensive lecture/lab combo:
regular office hour tomorrow (1:00 - 2:00 PM) is cancelled due to an unavoidable
was a serious typo in Problem
3.3 of the second homework handout. The string which is passed to
the error routine (see below
additional note on error),
like all Maple strings, should
be enclosed in double quotes ("), not
single quotes (').
In addition, as mentioned in the last lecture, the recommended way to print an error message and return from a Maple procedure is to use the error command. In older versions of Maple, one used ERROR (recall that Maple is case-sensitive), and although ERROR still works in Maple 12, I have updated the current homework so that Problem 3.3 now reads:
If l is the null list, lprod, should call error("argument is null list").
You will not be penalized for using ERROR rather than error, but you will find that a syntax error is reported if you enclose the error message in single quotes rather than double quotes.
A corrected version of the homework handout is available from the Homework Page, as well as directly from HERE.
new version of the Unix/Linux notes has been posted on the Course Notes page. I will distribute hard
copy in today's lecture.
first homework assignment is now available for downloading from the Homework Page. I will distribute hard
copy in tomorrow's lecture.
210 students! Our first lecture is Thursday September 10,
B303 at 2:00 PM. This will be followed by our first
computer lab session in Hennings 205. Looking forward to meeting
all of you! ... Your instructor, Matt Choptuik
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