Scientific Computing Minor

Computers are now employed throughout our society to perform a very wide variety of tasks. All branches of science and engineering use computing technology extensively. Sophisticated laboratory apparatus is nearly always computer-controlled. Computers are used to collect, store, and analyze large amounts of data quickly, to simulate natural systems, and to control industrial processes, among other tasks.

The Scientific Computing Program at Whittier College is designed to help prepare students majoring in one of the sciences for advanced computing work in their own fields and for work in the computer industry. The minor begins with computer programming and interfacing of computers to apparatus at the introductory level, and then continues with a range of advanced courses that allow students to focus on particular topics in scientific computing and/or broaden their computing skills. Most students will complete a research project with a significant computing component as part of the minor.

To be awarded a minor in scientific computing, students must complete six (6) credits of required core courses and twelve (12) credits from the list of optional courses, for a total of at least 18 credits. At least six credits of the 18 must be at the 300-level or higher.

Core Courses

  • COSC 120, Programming I (3 credits)
  • PHYS 205*, Intro Electronics & Computer Interfacing (3 credits)

Optional Courses

  • COSC 220*, Programming II (3 credits)
  • MATH 220, Discrete Mathematics (3 credits)
  • PHYS 250*, Computational Oscillations and Waves (3 credits)
  • MATH 350*, Numerical Analysis (3 credits)
  • MATH 354*, Mathematical Modeling (3 credits)
  • Research** (1-3 credits)

Other courses with significant computing components can be considered for credit toward the scientific computing minor.

*Not offered every year.

** Projects in biology, chemistry, Earth sciences, mathematics, and physics that involve significant scientific computing. The research advisor must certify that the project involves significant computing in order for the project to count toward the minor.

For more information about the Scientific Computing minor, please contact the program director.

Program Directors

Jeffrey Lutgen
Professor of Mathematics
Science 108A
562.907.4200, ext. 4459

Seamus Lagan
Professor of Physics
Science 105C
562.907.4200, ext. 4458

Participating Mathematics Faculty

Mark Kozek
Associate Professor

Bill Kronholm
Assistant Professor

Fred Park
Assistant Professor

Participating Physics & Astronomy Faculty

Glenn Piner
Associate Professor

Serkan Zorba
Associate Professor