Chemistry 5 - Scientific Computing Skills

Professor: Douglas Tobias, Ph.D.

Professor, Chemistry

School of Physical Sciences

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Course Information

  • Prerequisites: Chemistry 1A - 1B
  • Available: Now
  • Format: Mixed Studio and Video Lecture
  • License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
  • Lecture Topics:
    • Scientific Computing Skills


There is no textbook required for this class. We will be using software tools for which good online documentation is readily available, and I will be distributing detailed notes and examples. All of the software required for this course is available on the computers in MSTB 226. You should be able to complete all of your homework assignments during the lab sections. You can also work on your homework in MSTB 226 when it is not being used by a class. You can check the weekly schedule for MSTB 226 here.

We will be making extensive use of Mathematica, a powerful mathematical and scientific software package developed by Wolfram Research. Mathematica is available on the computers in MSTB 226. Although you are not required to do so for this course, you can purchase a fully functional copy of Mathematica for Students for your personal computer at a greatly reduced price from the UCI Computer Store.

Although a textbook is not required for this course, you may wish to have a book to use a reference. There are many books available for Mathematica users of all skill levels. The following are introductory books that I am familiar with and can recommend:

Mathematica Demystified, by Jim Hoste, ISBN 978-0-07-159144-7.
Getting Started with Mathematica, by C.-K. Cheung, G. E. Keough, R. H. Gross, and C. Landraitis, ISBN 0-471-47815-6. The Student's Introduction to Mathematica: A Handbook for Precalculus, Calculus, and Linear Algebra, by Bruce F. Torrence and Eve A. Torrence, ISBN 0-521-59445-6.


Important notes concerning homework: You are expected to complete your homework assignments by yourself. The chances of two students independently completing an assignment in exactly the same way are extremely small. Students turning in suspiciously similar assignments could be accused of cheating. Sophisticated code analysis software exists that could be used to check the similarity of suspicious assignments. Completing the homework assignments on your own is the best way to prepare for the exams. You should be able to finish your homework during the lab sessions, where you will be able to get help from your TA. Do not put off doing the homework until the last minute. You cannot rely on having last minute questions concerning the homework answered by the instructors via e-mail.

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