Academic Courses

Scientific and Technical Computing (STC)

Scientific and Technical Computing (STC) is one of five formal academic courses developed and taught by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin. STC is a comprehensive introduction to computing tools and technologies beyond programming fundamentals. Neither a course in numerical methods nor one in software development, the STC focus is on informed, effective, and efficient use of tools, technologies and practices important to computational researchers across a wide spectrum of domain specialties. The course covers computer hardware and operating systems; systems software and tools; code development; numerical methods; math libraries; basic visualization; and data analysis tools.

The STC course materials package, available for download at, includes slides, homework assignments, labs, and supplemental material from the Fall 2013 offering. It does not include tests, quizzes, solution keys, and materials with intellectual property restrictions. Though the package is not intended as a stand‑alone resource for self-study, self-learners may find it helpful.



Version 1.0
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2014

The course outline below closely matches the directory structure in the download package.

  • Block A: Fundamentals
    • Git
    • Compilers and make
    • Make
    • Debugging
    • Profiling
    • Interoperability
    • Perl and Python
  • Block B: Scientific Computation
    • Sequential Architecture
    • Parallel Computing
    • Machine Numbers
    • Scientific Libraries
    • Differential Equations
    • Linear Algebra
    • Iterative Methods
    • Optimization
    • The Intel Xeon Phi
    • GPU Computing
  • Block C: Data and Visualization
    • Visualization Toolkit (VTK)
    • ParaView
    • Data Formats: HDF5 and NetCDF
    • Data Formats: XML and XDMF