Course Description

This course is an introduction to computational science, an interdisciplinary method of scientific inquiry. Students will develop a working knowledge of Java, the most important new computer language to arise in the last decade. Students will also gain experience with the fundamental ideas of calculus and its application in science and engineering. The emphasis of the course is scientific programming, and not simply learning Java. The Java language is used as a tool in building mathematical models that are of interest to scientists and engineers.

Evaluation: Each student will receive a grade on the basis of the completion of the assigned programs, the completion and quality of a few writing assignments, the completion of an experimental design project (group activity), and the completion of a final modeling project that includes an online presentation (group project).

Course Objectives

  • Learn how to apply mathematical modeling techniques to solve scientific and engineering problems
  • Develop a working knowledge of Java, including object-oriented programming and user interface design
  • Gain experience with the application of calculus
  • Develop project-construction skills

Course Dates

Connections Learning courses start every week on a Tuesday. The start and end dates for each semester are listed below:

Fall start date: 8/9/2016
Last day for fall enrollment: /6/2016
Fall semester end date: 1/9/2017

Spring semester start date: 1/10/2017
Last date for Spring enrollment: 4/4/2017
Spring semester end date: 6/9/2017

Once enrolled we will be in touch to confirm your preferred start date and advise of the next steps

Each course will run for a duration of 16 weeks*

*(this can be customized for Institutional Enrollment Partners)


  • Two years of algebra, one year of geometry, one year of a laboratory science; the class is designed as a first course in programming for science and engineering. This course is not intended for students who have completed the course “Computer Science Honors” or an Advanced Placement course in computer science.

Online text

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Java Version – A computer science textbook by Allan Downey Click HERE to see the course syllabus