Students will have an unusual opportunity to polish the computing skills they need for tackling spring-semester science challenges in January.

In response to demand, the new Institute for Applied Computational Science in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has organized workshops and seminars during Optional Winter Activities Week, Jan. 18-21, using MATLAB and Mathematica.

Students are invited to attend (free of charge) any or all of the sessions, which include morning seminars and afternoon hands-on workshops. All will take place in Maxwell Dworkin. Registration is encouraged but not required. All participants should bring their own laptops.

Seminars will be led by experts from MathWorks and Wolfram Research; workshops will be led by the Instructional and Research Computing Services staff from SEAS.

Morning seminars will be offered Jan. 18-20 by MathWorks and Jan. 21 by Wolfram Research. The afternoon workshops will be presented by SEAS Instructional and Research Computing Services.

An open house in Cruft Laboratories, the location of the new IACS headquarters, is scheduled for noon-2 pm on Jan. 18.

Tuesday, Jan. 18

• 9 a.m.-noon: Introduction to Matlab
• noon-2 p.m.: IACS Opening Celebration
• 2-4 p.m.: Hands-On Workshop: Matlab Basics

Wednesday, Jan. 19

• 9 a.m.-noon: Data Acquisition and Data Analysis with Matlab
• 1-3 p.m.: Hands-On Workshop: Data Analysis

Thursday, Jan. 20

• 9 a.m.-noon: Parallel Computing in Matlab
• 1-3 p.m.: Hands-On Workshop: Parallel Computing

Friday, Jan. 21

• 9 a.m.-noon: Using Mathematica 8 in Education and Research
• 1-3 p.m.: Hands-On Workshop: TBA