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Develop Interdisciplinary Module on Computational Problem Solving

We aim to develop a cross-faculty scientific computing type module that teaches problem solving on a computer in a variety of disciplines, including not only the natural sciences but in particular also social sciences, humanities and the arts. The module will focus specifically on problem solving as opposed to the nitty-gritty of programming. It will primarily be aimed at the level of Y2 and Y3 undergraduates, but open to all UG and PG students.

There will be a core part of the module (3 weeks) as well as topics that will change each year (6 weeks). Topics will cover: from real-world problems to mathematical models, deterministic and stochastic simulation, data analysis, analysis, visualisation and interpretation of results. Examples of concrete topics are: statistical regression and cluster analysis using political and social datasets, sensitivity analysis, and differential equations.

This undertaking has several aims, including: new training in practical computing, new transferrable skills training, increasing the number of options for students to take across faculty.

In the long term, this module will provide a stepping-stone towards a coherent stream of scientific computing type modules throughout the undergraduate curriculum, especially with an eye towards feeding into MSc and PhD programmes (e.g. Centre for Scientific Computing, the Warwick Q-Step Centre and the Warwick Centre for Predictive Modelling). The infrastructure and experience we are building up through this project will feed into this long-term plan.

Student leadership and student as researcher: part of the assessment for the module will be through group mini-projects (research component) where each group is comprised of students from different disciplines; these projects have some freedom for the groups to develop (leadership). We also plan to offer summer-projects for exceptional students taking the module (significant research) in partnership with the existing URSS and GRP summer programmes.

Dr James Kermode is an assistant professor (lecturer) associated with the Warwick Centre for Predictive Modelling and the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick.

Christoph Ortner is a Professor of Mathematics whose research and teaching focus is numerical algorithms and simulation with applications in materials science

Dr Emma Uprichard is a Reader at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at Warwick.