A Course in Computational Science
Supercomputer Applications is a half-credit semester
course with a suggested AP computer science co-requisite. Students will
explore computational science and high performance computing using
various scientific visualization techniques. Working in a UNIX
environment with full Internet access, students will solve problems using
the C++ programming language, and will display graphics using
OpenGL commands. Students will experiment with parallel computing on
various UNIX systems using PVM as well as a LINUX cluster.
Properly documented programs are
to be submitted electronically, and students
are also expected to
present examples of their work with appropriate discussion
in a web page format.
The student in Supercomputer Applications will
- write properly documented, well structured programs
emphasizing computer graphics using OpenGL in the
language C or C++.
- learn fundamentals of the UNIX operating system and
use of Internet resources as applied to computational
- investigate algorithm design considerations related to
high performance computing while running programs
using PVM (Parallel Virtual Machine) and the LINUX Cluster.
- study computationally intensive problem solving
techniques while investigating dynamical systems,
chaos, fractals, and ray tracing.
- develop projects using scientific visualization techniques to
help analyze large data sets.
- present research projects in a web-based format using HTML,
PHP, and various graphics tools.
Class Notes and Links:
The following notes pertain to this semester's course in Supercomputer
Applications. Exact due dates, unit sequences, and project requirments
may change, but those details will be discussed in class and eventually
reflected in this web site. They can be found in the
A. OpenGL Graphics as Part of the C or C++ Languages
- Basic Windowing Operations in a UNIX Environment
2-D Graphing Commands, Plotting in 3-D
Orthographic Projection and Perspective
Wireframe Models and Surfaces
Mouse and Keyboard Routines
Transformation Matrices: PushMatrix, PopMatrix, Rotation, Translation, and Scaling
Animation and Double Buffering
GLUT: Polygon Models, Objects, Surface Normals, and Lighting
B. Investigating Dynamical Systems, Fractals, and Chaos
- Simple Chaos:
Iteration, Logistic Equation, Bifurcation, Twist &
Flip Paradigm, Lorenz Attractor
Mandelbrot Set, Julia Sets, Newton's Method, and L-Systems
C. Supercomputer Access in a UNIX Environment
Basic UNIX Skills:
- Commands, On-line Help (man pages), File Access, Editing,
Compiling, UNIX Scripts
Web Page Skills:
Making a Web Page,
PHP and Perl, MySQL and
(PPM, PGM, Targa, Gif, Jpeg),
Graphics Manipulation using xv, the Gimp
Network and Internet Skills:
PHP and Perl
Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM),
The Linux Cluster,
D. Introduction to Ray Tracing
Using POV-Ray (Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer)
Ray Tracing and Animation
E. Introduction to Computational Science and Computer Simulation Techniques
Getting Started with
Supercomputing, Scientific Visualization Strategies
- Prototype Development, Model
Validation, Graphics Visualization, Supercomputer Assistance
Gypsy Moth Simulation:
- Biological Model, Finite State Automaton Techniques
- Discrete Limited Aggregation Model of Crystal Growth
Chaos, Fractals, and Dynamics: Computer Experiments in
Robert L. Devaney, Addison-Wesley, 1990.
Object-Oriented Programming in C++, Second Edition, Robert
Waite Group Press, 1995.
OpenGL Programming Guide, Second Edition, Mason Woo, Jackie Neider, and Tom Davis, Addison-Wesley Developers Press, 1997.
Chaos and Fractals: New Frontiers of Science, Heinz-Otto Peitgen, Harmut Jurgens, and Dietmar Saupe, Springer-Verlag, 1992.
Chaos: Making a New Science, James Gleick, Viking Press, 1987.
Donald W. Hyatt