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Molecular simulation in the U of Vienna Physics curriculum

In 1975 I was a postdoc guest of Konrad Singer at Royal Holloway College. David Adams, then a postdoc himself, showed me how to do MD, and how to do it elegantly. I am still striving to learn that second part.

Back in Vienna I started to offer courses on the basics and the current applications of molecular simulation. In 1978 my textbook ``Computerexperimente an Fluessigkeitsmodellen'' (Physik Weinheim, ISBN 3-87664-041-5) appeared. Other colleagues at the Institute of Experimental Physics, notably Harald Posch and Martin Neumann, joined me in applying and teaching various aspects of molecular simulation.

The growing interest of students forced Martin and me to broaden the content of the courses we offered - the market for molecular simulators being rather limited. Thus we installed a regular study curriculum in ``Computational Physics'', covering topics that range from the basics of finite difference calculus to hydrodynamic and quantum calculations. Every other year a special course on molecular simulation is offered.

In 1993 I published the German version of a textbook on CompPhys, and the first English edition appeared in 1994; The current version of ``Computational Physics - An Introduction'' Kluwer-Plenum, ISBN 0-306-46631-7) is from 2001.

Martin Neumann and I alternate in teaching the CompPhys course which comprises 3 weekly lectures and 2 hours of workshop, spanning one full academic year. In the subsequent year students may attend an Advanced Workshop preparing them for their Master's thesis in CompPhys.

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F. J. Vesely / University of Vienna