Hitting the ground running: How should computation in the curriculum prepare students for computational physics research?
PICUP has given the physics community both confidence and concrete tools to integrate computation into the undergraduate curriculum. One of many benefits of this integration is preparation for an undergraduate research experience in computational physics. We pose the question of which skills might be best learned in the curriculum versus during the course of research. Based on a survey of computational physicists who do research with undergraduates, we present preliminary evidence that many relevant skills are developed naturally in a research context, while others stand out as best learned in advance. We invite our community to support further conversations between teachers and researchers, to ready students for computational research.
Acknowledgement of funding:
Michener Faculty Sabbatical Fellowship of Swarthmore College.