Welcome to CS4, Introduction to Scientific Computing and Problem Solving. CS4 provides an introduction to using computers to solve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) data analysis, visualization, simulation, and numerical analysis problems. The course begins with an introduction to the basics of programming, accompanied by several applications of fundamental coding elements and concepts. As we do this we will explore some of the breadth of Computer Science as a discipline. The first part of the course (which runs until Spring Break) will be taught in Python. Following this, we will explore more specialized topics related to scientific computing and mathematics that will allow students to access and analyze a number of "real world" problems. The later portion of the course will be taught in MATLAB.

Requirements: No prior programming experience is required to take this course (Python and MATLAB are easy and fun to use!). A calculus course (perhaps in high school) is highly recommended.


If you have any feedback about assignments or the course in general, please fill out the Anonymous Feedback Form to let the course staff know.
If you have any academic/SEAS accommodations that we should be aware of, please fill out this form so that the course staff can best support you.

We understand that being a student can be stressful and that certain circumstances can affect your performance in the course. Please refer to the syllabus for more information about receiving academic support for CS0040 or email the HTAs or Prof. Potter for more information regarding accommodations. You can also find some resources the CS department has compiled for students here and a helpful message from your TAs here.


E-mail us at cs0040headtas@lists.brown.edu if you have administrative or private questions.

Daniel Suh (dgsuh)

Pokémon: Luxray

Hi there, I’m a junior from Texas! I am planning to concentrate in APMA and CS. In my free time, I enjoy playing squash and violin.

Justin Zhang (jzhang80)

Pokémon: Piplup

I’m a sophomore from North Carolina studying CS (and possibly applied mathematics). I enjoy basketball, reading, and dancing. Also, my favorite Pokemon of all time is (obviously) Piplup.


E-mail us at cs0040tas@lists.brown.edu or post a question (privately!) on Piazza if you have any questions about the course.

Alison Tsai (altsai)

Pokemon: Pikachu

Hey there! I'm a senior from Texas concentrating in computer science. In my free time I enjoy hiking, reading, and filling up online shopping carts with things I'll never buy.

Edwin Farley (efarley)

Pokémon: Team Rocket

I am a junior concentrating in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. I’m from Eugene, Oregon and outside of class I am involved with the Socially Responsible Investment Fund, I play golf whenever I get the chance, and I try my best to keep up on practicing the Piano. I also run Brown Data Science, a club that, much like this class, brings educational opportunities related to Data Science to undergraduates of all academic backgrounds.

Julia Gilman (jgilman1)

Pokémon: Vulpix

I’m a sophomore from D.C. concentrating in Applied Math-Economics, but I’ve also taken a fair share of CS. Outside of class, I’m a fan of finding new music, ice coffee, and travelling.

Kielan Donahue (kdonahu2)

Pokémon: Mismagius

I’m a sophomore from Pittsburgh concentrating in CS. I love reading, especially Scifi/fantasy (come talk to me about it) and play on the providence ashwinders quidditch team.

Lina Sim (lsim2)

Pokémon: Squirtle

I’m a sophomore from Malaysia concentrating in CS. I like sunny days, long train rides, and good Malaysian food.

Matthew Kohn (mkohn)

Pokémon: Poliwrath

I’m a junior from Cleveland studying CS, I enjoy math and physics as well as reading, socializing and public transportation.

Rishi Wagle (rwagle1)

Pokémon: Ditto

I’m a sophomore from Bettendorf, Iowa studying music and computer science. Outside of classes, I really enjoy being an RPL on campus and being heavily involved with Brown’s theatre community.

Wasita Mahaphanit (wmahapha)

Pokémon: Eevee

Senior from Portland, Maine studying cognitive neuroscience. I’m a lyra performer/instructor who also enjoys painting.

Wennie Zhang (yzhang46)

Pokémon: Umbreon

I’m a junior from around Toronto studying CS. In my spare time I enjoy drinking coffee, resistance training, and fake online shopping. I am also one of the co-coordinators of Women in Computer Science (WiCS).

Zachary Espiritu (zespirit)

Pokémon: Mudkip

I'm a first-year from New Jersey currently studying Japanese and CS! Talk to me about student theater on campus, print layout design, typography, and bubble tea.

Zak Wegweiser (zwegweis)

Pokémon: Lucario

I’m a Freshman from New York, probably studying Computer Science. I love playing sports and card games.