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FALL 2018

GG250 (INTRODUCTION TO) SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMMING [3 CR]


R FOR STATISTICS, MATLAB© FOR MODELING
Get a head start on data analysis and science by learning to program computers! The only
prerequisite for this course is Calculus I, which may be taken concurrently. Upper level undergrads
and graduate students may take the course as a 3-credit GG399 or GG699.

R is a computer language designed expressly for data analysis, at which it excels, although it can
also be used for modeling. It is completely free, and easy to install on any computer. It has an easy-
to-use integrated development environment called Rstudio, as well as easy-to use facilities for
literate programming (R-markdown, R-notebooks, S-weave) and parallel computing. Equally
important, it has an enormous user base throughout the sciences and industry. Knowledge of R will
not only make you a more powerful student; it will also make you more attractive to employers.
This course will help you apply R immediately in your coursework and throughout your
professional career.

Matlab is a wonderful computer language for scientific modeling, and for almost any computing
task when you just need to get the job done quickly. It is also beautifully simple in its grammar
because nearly every object in Matlab is a matrix. It has dazzling graphics and Formula-1 speed.
This course will give you a basic competence with Matlab, as well as introduce you to the basics of
matrix algebra, helpful in every branch of science. Matlab is available free on all machines in our
computer laboratory, and inexpensive student licenses can be purchased for personal laptops.

Instructor: Neil Frazer, neil@hawaii.edu, 808-366-6458. Credits: 3. Prereq: Instructor's consent.


Meetings: Two 50-minute meetings plus one 3-hr lab. The 50-minute meetings will include a very
short lecture, but will be mostly devoted to coding. The lab will be devoted entirely to coding.
Grading: Roughly 50% on weekly coding assignments and 50% on biweekly quizzes. Attendance
and punctuality also count. In order to put students with different backgrounds on a more equal
footing, credit is given for style in the assignments: code that is clear and well commented and easy
on the eyes. Students from all majors are welcome.

Textbooks:
Data Analysis with R, by Tony Fischetti, ($53.13 on Amazon, or $43.99 as an e-book from PACKT
Publishing. Required text.)
Matlab: An Introduction with applications, by Amos Gilat. (Second or later editions of this book are
relatively inexpensive on Amazon. Purchase is not essential, but is recommended.)

Syllabus:
R: The R language, Rstudio, R-notebooks, data types and relationships, basic probability, using
data to reason about the world, testing hypotheses, Bayesian methods, predicting continuous
variables, predicting categorical variables, messy data, big data, parallelization and
optimization.
Matlab: Mathematical operations, precedence rules, creating and manipulating vectors and matrices,
matrix addition and multiplication, plotting, script files, functions, control flow, relational and
logical operators, 3-D plotting, modeling & simulation.