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If You Have Not Programmed Before....
Boys Surface

In the course outline, we have stressed that there will be some emphasis on an algorithmic approach to the course material, and you may have surmised that this means participation in the course will require some computer programming. A few of the students registered for the course have probably already had experience in programming. But what if you are not one of them? Does that mean that this is not a course for you? After all, you may have heard that computer programming is difficult, or perhaps you have had a frustrating experience trying unsuccessfully to learn programming in the past. I would like to reassure you that, while previous experience will certainly be a help, there will be training sessions that should get you over the initial hurdles, and make the sort of programming we will do a lot more interesting and enjoyable than you might guess. Moreover, the more serious programming projects will be team efforts, so you will be working in a small group and can help each other.

The programming system that we will be using (Matlab) is very "high level" and it was designed for just the kind of problems we will be dealing with. This means that a lot of the hard work has already been done in advance. Look here for more details about getting started with Matlab programming.

Breather Surface
  One final comment. Please do not think of learning to program in Matlab as just a chore that you have to put up with in order to get on with this course. On the contrary, it is an important skill that should prove useful to you in a great many situations in the years ahead.