The goal of this tutorial is to introduce you to some basic ideas about computer simulation and visualization. This includes things from special effects for movies to detailed scientific research into Earth's atmosphere and oceans, aircraft and spacecraft design, and the dynamics of stars and galaxies.

We will focus on simple wave dynamics. Of course, to simulate this, we need to use some math. Whether you love math or fear it, you will probably enjoy experimenting with the simulations because you can explore the system at a more intuitive level than you get in traditional math classes. We think that this is a useful way to approach these topics: at one level, the math is important, but at another level, you can mostly ignore the difficult details.