This course gives you an introduction to modeling methods and simulation tools for a wide range of natural phenomena. The different methodologies that will be presented here can be applied to very wide range of topics such as fluid motion, stellar dynamics, population evolution, ... This course does not intend to go deeply into any numerical method or process and does not provide any recipe for the resolution of a particular problem. It is rather a basic guideline towards different methodologies that can be applied to solve any kind of problem and help you pick the one best suited for you.
The assignments of this course will be made as practical as possible in order to allow you to actually create from scratch short programs that will solve simple problems. Although programming will be used extensively in this course we do not require any advanced programming experience in order to complete it.

From the lesson

Particles and point-like objects

A short review of classical mechanics, and of numerical methods used to integrate the equations of motions for many interacting particles is presented. The student will learn that the computational expense of resolving all interaction between particles poses a major obstacle to simulating such a system. Specific algorithms are presented to allow to cut down on computational expense, both for short-range and large-range forces. The module focuses in detail on the Barnes-Hut algorithm, a tree algorithm which is popular a popular approach to solve the N-Body problem.