Web Technologies for Scientific Computing

Class Cancelled!

I ended up cancelling this class due to low enrollment. I will try offering it again next year. Please let me know if you are interested in taking it in the future.

Course Date: April 9 – May 28th, 2015
Registration Fee: $650 (Regular), $325 (Student)
Early Bird Rate: $550 (Regular), $225 (Student)
Early Bird Deadline: February 28th, 2015
20% discount to all former students!
Register Now!


Have you ever considered using a web-browser as the computational platform for your next code? Perhaps not. Yet, browser-based scientific computing is a real possibility thanks to recent adoption of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), introduction of the HTML5 <canvas> element, and general improvements in JavaScript performance. In fact, some of these technologies have been used regularly on the PIC-C blog. There are many benefits to developing browser-based simulation codes, including interactivity, data visualization, 3D rendering, and cross-platform support. In this course you will learn how to develop scientific applications that run in a web-browser, either as local files, or served from a web-site.

Course Objectives

This eight-week online class will introduce you to developing scientific codes using web technologies. We will cover the following:

Course Format

The course will consists of eight weekly sessions conducted through a mix of pre-recorded video and live “hands-on” sessions. All registered students will receive access to a student area where the course materials will be posted. These materials will include PDF slides, video lecture, and example source code. The live sessions will tentatively take place on Thursdays from 6:10 – 8:40pm US Eastern Time (GMT-5 hours) and will be conducted via Citrix® GoToMeeting. The first hour of each session will be devoted to a review of the lecture, and the rest will be used to answer your questions or to demonstrate more concepts. Recordings of these sessions will also be posted to the student area. The course will also include optional weekly homework assignments, which will need to be completed in order to receive a certificate of completion.

Course Outline


The instructor, Dr. Lubos Brieda, is the founder and president of Particle In Cell Consulting, LLC, a Virginia-based company specializing in providing tools and services for the plasma physics and rarefied gas communities. Dr. Brieda has over 10 years of experience developing scientific simulation codes in fields such as electric propulsion, spacecraft contamination, space environment interactions, surface processing, and plasma medicine. His teaching experience includes the position of a Lecturer at the George Washington University.


Since this is, after all, a programming course, all students are expected to have a working knowledge of programming concepts such as loops and if-statements, functions, and classes. The first seven lectures will utilize JavaScript and HTML. PHP will be used in the final lecture to demonstrate server-side scripting. The examples will be tested using Mozilla Firefox. Computer with internet access will be needed to access the lecture and course material. The videos will be posted as .mp4 files. The course will be conducted in English.