CS86 COMPUTING TOOLS, INSTRUMENTATION, AND SCIENCE (3 credits, 4 hours)

Pre-requisite: Math10

Description:
Introduction to tools for scientific computing. Use of computing tools for learning mathematical concepts such as basic statistics, and for supporting scientific studies that involve tedious computations such as correlation analysis. The course includes a laboratory component on using computer controlled instrumentation and using tools for data analysis and solving computing problems. Students will also get hands on experience on electronic books and learn to create an electronic document with an embedded computing environment.

Remark:
This course is intended to satisfy the LASAR requirement for "Scientific Methodology & Quantitative Reasoning".

Handbook description:
Internet technology; Concepts on electronic books and embedded computing environment; Numerical vs symbolic calculations and existing tools; Concept on scientific visualization using graphing and animation tools; Introduction to scientific computing using basic statistics concepts and packages; Concept on data processing and use of data analysis tools; Interconnection computing using component based programming paradigm; PC-instrumentation.

 

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction

Learning Objective: Students will be introduced to the scientific tools such as Mathcad, and Internet resources. They will learn the help facilities in the tools.

Components:

    1. Help facilities in Mathcad.
    2. Internet resources: telnet; ftp; usenet; web.

 

Module 2: Exploring computing tools

Learning objective: Learn four specific tools in Mathcad to explore data analysis and modeling using different modalities made available by the computing tool such as graphics, data animation etc.

Components:

    1. Numeric and symbolic calculation tools --- exercises in expansion, and factorization will be given.
    2. Graphing and visualization tool --- exercises in using the graphing and visualization tools to understand basic statistical concepts.
    3. Statistics and Data Analysis tool --- exercises in using the statistics and data analysis tool for discovering relationships from empirical data.

 

Module 3: Electronic books and preparing electronic documents

Learning objective: Understand how to drag-and-drop data from/to spreadsheet, and WYSIWYG "live" data from existing electronic books to create electronic laboratory workbooks.

Components:

    1. Concept of WYSIWYG interface will be discussed. Using WYSIWYG interface to access electronic handbook such as CRC Handbooks for Physics and Chemistry will be introduced.
    2. The concepts of "cut-and-paste", and "drag-and-drop" will be introduced for preparing a customized electronic laboratory workbook. Exercises will be built upon incorporating the data imported from spreadsheets and results of the analysis conducted in the embedded computing environment into an electronic logbook.

 

Module 4: Embedded computing environment

Learning objective: Learn basic programming concepts and skills to program in an embedded computing environment. Understand the process of linking multiple computing components and applications.

Components:

    1. Concept of embedded computing environment for electronic books will be introduced. Accessing electronic books to practice work problems in the embedded computing environment will be discussed.
    2. Data import and export through spreadsheet program such as Excel will be introduced. Exercises will be built upon importing data collected from PC-instrumentation in Module 5.
    3. Introduction to Pascal-like syntax for an embedded computing environment such as Maples and basic programming concepts such as input/output, conditional statements, and loops.
    4. Interconnection computing concepts using component based programming paradigm such as Delphi will be introduced: OLE techniques on linking different computing applications such as Excel and Mathcad; "Drag-and-drop" concept on linking instrument control components to commercial PC-controlled instrumentation such as Component Works of National Instrument.

 

Module 5: PC-Instrumentation

Learning objective: Understand how to operate the control software for PC-instrumentation, and hands-on experience in using it for data acquisition.

Experiment 1:

 

Experiment 2:

 

At the end of the semester, students are expected to prepare a customized electronic laboratory workbook which may also include an embedded computing environment. Detail lesson plan for each week is available at: CS 86 course plan