Text Box: Materials 228
Computational Materials
Spring 2017

Monday and Wednesday 2:00-3:15 Engr II 1335.



  • TBA
  • Office Hours: TBA





Note: This page is for informational purposes only and is not updated.  The official course web page is on Gauchospace.


Textbook: Computational Modeling of Materials: An Introduction, by Richard LeSar, published by Cambridge University Press.




·        How to obtain Matlab:

Course Description:

The goal of this course is to acquaint the student with various types of methods used to model and simulate materials. We will cover a range of topics using examples from a variety of material types and phenomena. The goal is not to create experts, but rather to lay the foundation of understanding so that the student more effectively use modeling and simulation as part of their everyday scientific activities.

Tentative Outline:

·        Introduction

·        Diffusion

·        Potentials

·        Lattice sums

·        Molecular Dynamics

·        Statistical Mechanics

·        Molecular Dynamics II

·        Rate Theory

·        Monte Carlo

·        Kinetic Monte Carlo

·        Cellular Automata

·        Phase Field Methods

·        Phase Field Methods II

·        Electronic Structure I

·        Electronic Structure II


•         Assignments                                      40%

–        Practicing methodology

•         Project                                              30% 

•         Final                                                  30%

–        Aimed at testing understanding of material

»        While listening/studying/reading, ask yourself: would I be able to explain this to somebody else?

The project will involve writing code for a small research project of your own choosing, with results to be presented as a written report and an oral presentation to the class.


The goal of this class is NOT to teach programming and computing, but rather to focus on how one creates materials models and then uses them. To that end, we will use Matlab, a commonly-available commercial package that combines relative ease of use with very high capabilities. The examples and methods used in this course will thus be presented using Matlab, a symbolic programming system available on most platforms. We will not expect the student to become an expert programmer, but will expect that each student can understand and write code to solve problems.

Important Notice: All course materials (class lectures and discussions, handouts, examinations, web materials) and the intellectual content of the course itself are protected by United States Federal Copyright Law, the California Civil Code. The UC Policy 102.23 expressly prohibits students (and all other persons) from recording lectures or discussions and from distributing or selling lectures notes and all other course materials without the prior written permission of the instructor (See Students are permitted to make notes solely for their own private educational use. Exceptions to accommodate students with disabilities may be granted with appropriate documentation. To be clear, in this class students are forbidden from completing study guides and selling them to any person or organization.