# Why Do You Need This Course?

This a a picture of Karl Friedrich Gauss. He was perhaps the greatest mathematician of all time. Among his many other accomplishments, he predicted the motions of bodies in our solar system using meticulous calculations carried out to 21 decimal places. Can you imagine how tedious this was? How many possible mistakes he could have made? Fortunately, Gauss was very talented at this sort of thing, and enjoyed the effort.

This course, *PHYS 1660*, will give you a kit of skills and tools
that will help you do great things even if you're not a mathematical
prodigy. All you need is a little computing expertise. This course is
designed for __novice programmers:__ no programming experience is required! We'll
teach you all the basic skills you need.

We'll focus on using using computers to solve common problems you'll encounter in science and engineering. In particular we'll talk about using computers to: