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set1 - Introduction to Programming Fortran 90 Handout One...

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Introduction to Programming Fortran 90 Handout One September 26, 2011 Part I Course Outline 1 Preliminaries The aim of this course is to teach you how to write mathematical computer programs in FORTRAN 90. This will enable you to take a mathematical problem, implement a (computational) algorithm to solve the problem and translate your algorithm in to a well written Fortran 90 program. To achieve this you must not only learn how to program in Fortran 90 but also the basics of good programming practice and structure, these will become clear as the course progresses. Fortran 90 is a high level numerical programming language. What does this mean? Programming language : A method of communication that allows a programmer to provide a set of code that instructs a computer to perform a given task or collection of tasks. Numerical : Specifically designed and optimised to efficiently execute numerical algorithms and approximation techniques. High level : A high-level programming language provides a significant level of abstraction from the complicated inner workings of a computer. As opposed to a low level language it is far easier for humans to work with and learn. It uses terminology closer to our own spoken language than the complex assembly and binary code typically used to communicate with a computers architecture. 1.1 Course Structure The nature of teaching computer programming means that traditional lectures are inappropriate. As a result this course will be mostly practical. This will involve you typing, compiling and testing codes for most of each session and all classes will be held in the microlab. 1.2 Course Handouts Course notes will be handed out incrementally during the course introducing new material as it is required. Also there will be a few copies of ‘Fortran 90 Course Notes’ from a more advanced course held at Liverpool University, these are there for reference only and contain far more information than you need to pass this course. 1.3 Your Approach to the Course There are a number of points arising from the structure of this course which you try to stay aware of for the duration of the semester. There will be a lot of information in the course notes. Please make sure you read through all the notes carefully. 1
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This course has been designed so that a student with ‘no’ previous programming experience at all will be able to cope with the course content. During the course if it becomes clear that you are falling behind or struggling you must let me know. Unlike other lecture courses, this course will not be easy to revise at the last minute. The practical experience in this course is vital, so do attempt all the exercises and ‘class projects’ you encounter in the notes. Also, bear in mind that at first programming can seem a daunting and unforgiving task, however, it is often the case that with effort and determination to overcome a few hurdles it can actually be fun and a good challenge.
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