MAGIC099: Numerical methods in Python

Course details

A core MAGIC course


Spring 2021
Monday, January 25th to Friday, March 19th; Monday, April 26th to Friday, May 7th


Live lecture hours
Recorded lecture hours
Total advised study hours


14:05 - 14:55 (UK)


The aim of the course is to present several numerical methods that can be used in different scientific areas and implement them using Python.

The course starts from the basic idea of an algorithm and evolves discussing, for instance, numerical methods to compute derivatives and integrals of functions, to solve linear systems, and to integrate ordinary and partial differential equations.

Each lecture will have an initial part of theory and a final part of Python demo. 


Calculus, linear algebra, ordinary and partial differential equations.

Some basic concepts of probability, mechanics and fluid mechanics might be used during the examples. 


  • how to install Python and basic commands, definition of an algorithm, evaluation of the square root 
  • root finding algorithms: bisection and more advanced methods 
  • solutions of linear systems, direct and indirect methods 
  • derivatives of a function using finite differences, methods of finding the function extremes 
  • Lagrange polynomials and splines 
  • integration of single variable functions with rectangles and other methods 
  • Monte Carlo method to compute multivariable integrals 
  • solutions of ODEs using Euler and Runge-Kutta methods 
  • integration of PDEs using finite difference algorithms 
  • fast Fourier transforms (FFTs) and their use in solving PDEs with periodic boundary conditions 


  • DP

    Dr Davide Proment

    University of East Anglia


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The assessment for this course will be released on Monday 10th May 2021 at 00:00 and is due in before Monday 24th May 2021 at 11:00.

The assessment for this course will be via a single take-home paper at the end of the Spring semester with 2 weeks (10th - 23rd May 2021) to complete and submit online. There will be 3 questions and you will need the equivalent of 50% to pass.

Please note that you are not registered for assessment on this course.


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