Overview of Methods in Course

(Left to Right): Avalanche activity cascades in a sandpile automaton; a vortex street formed by flow past a cylinder; and Turing patterns in a reaction-diffusion model. All simulations from the course homeworks; a higher-resolution video may be viewed here

Computational Physics


Materials for UT Austin’s graduate computational physics course, taught by William Gilpin.

This course aims to provide a very broad survey of computational methods that are particularly relevant to modern physics research. We will aim to cover efficient algorithm design and performance analysis, traditional numerical recipes such as integration and matrix manipulation, and emerging methods in data analysis and machine learning. Our goal by the end of the class will be to feel comfortable approaching diverse, open-ended computational problems that arise during research, and to be ready to design and share new algorithms with the broader research community.

The class website is located here. If you are enrolled in the course at UT, the syllabus and calendar are here


Many links below direct to Google Colaboratory, and can be run-in-browser without any installation as long as you are signed into a Google account. To download the raw source files, please refer to the GitHub repository

Homework Assignments

Lecture Slides


Laboratory Exercises

Example Final Projects

Usage and improvements

If you are teaching a similar course, please feel free to use any or all of these materials. If you have any suggestions for improvements or find any errors, I would very much appreciate any feedback.

For errors or typos, please consider opening an issue or submitting corrections as pull requests on GitHub.

For students, course-related questions are best posted on GitHub as Discussions or Issues on the course repository; for other issues, I can be reached via email


We will primarily use Python 3 with the following packages

  • numpy
  • matplotlib
  • scipy
  • scikit-learn
  • jupyter

For projects and other parts of the class, you might also need

  • ipykernel
  • scikit-image
  • umap-learn
  • statsmodels
  • pytorch
  • jax
  • numba


Portions of the material in this course are adapted or inspired by other open-source classes, including: Pankaj Mehta’s Machine Learning for Physics Course, Chris Rycroft’s Numerical Recipe’s Course, Volodymyr Kuleshov’s Applied Machine Learning course, Fei-Fei Li’s Deep Learning for Computer Vision course, Lorena Barba’s CFD course and Jim Crutchfield’s Nonlinear Dynamics course