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Module

PHY2034 : Computational Methods and Professional Skills for Theoretical Physics

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Mark Rayson
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To raise awareness of and develop students' transferable Physics career management skills.
To enable students to utilise current careers information to help them to make future careers decisions.
To reflect and market their employability attributes in job applications.

To build and extend familiarity with MatLab for standard mathematical operations, and to work towards the idea of coding user-defined functions and further towards programming aimed at solving more substantial problems.
To promote some element of independent thinking and critical appraisal by linking the computational experience to the tackling of unfamiliar problems.

Module Summary

The career management aspects of the module will develop students' understanding of what it means to be employable in the national and international labour market. Computing methods are of great use in a wide range of applications of Physics. This module will introduce and develop familiarity with numerical computing, relate this to problem solving techniques based on independent thinking, and develop the ability to apply such methods independently, towards specific goals in Physics: theory and applications.

Outline Of Syllabus

Professional Skills: employability attributes awareness and development, occupational/LMI awareness, marketability including application writing and interview techniques.

Numerical Analysis: root finding, interpolation, numerical differentiation and integration, minimisation of functions, linear algebra and iterative methods.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials181:0018:00Non Synchronous Activities
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion122:0022:00Written exercise 2 (numerical analysis)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Written exercise 1 (numerical analysis)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture14:504:50Synchronous On-Line Material
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops14:504:50Present in Person
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion41:004:00Professional skills seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Office Hour or Discussion Board Activity (online)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery110:0010:00Professional skills assessment writing
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study124:2024:20Professional skills study
Total100:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
PHY2028Laboratory and Professional Skills in Physics
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Non-synchronous online materials are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on assessed work. Present-in-person and synchronous online sessions are used to help develop the students’ abilities at applying the theory to solving problems and to identify and resolve specific queries raised by students, and to allow students to receive individual feedback on marked work. Students who cannot attend a present-in-person session will be provided with an alternative activity allowing them to access the learning outcomes of that session. In addition, office hours/discussion board activity will provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer: a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.
Alternatives will be offered to students unable to be present-in-person due to the prevailing C-19 circumstances.
Student’s should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1M50Career management portfolio made up of report of current graduate landscape, selection of 1 career idea, annotated USP, media report
Written exercise1M15Numerical analysis coursework assignment
Written exercise1M35Numerical analysis coursework assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The two coursework assignments allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques and to practise the methods learnt in the module. They also allow the assessment of the computational skills acquired by the students.

The application portfolio will consist of a number of tasks (which could be, for example, application questions, CVs and cover letters).

Reading Lists

Timetable