At the beginning of this month, I conducted a two day workshop on phase field modelling at IIT Kanpur. Here are some photos — one of the photos is there because of what is there on the board🙂 This is the third time I am conducting such a workshop and it was great fun and learning experience as always.
In these workshops, we typically do hands on sessions (scripts to do computations and plotting) interspersed with lectures. At the end of the sessions, I asked for feedback. I got two comments; one of the participants said that he would have preferred if I jumped into phase field directly; the other felt that starting with sessions on octave and regular solution model was good because that made him comfortable. Both are valid points. For students who are already exposed to GNU Octave, another session on Octave could be quite boring. However, for students who are getting exposed to Octave for the first time, a three hour session is a very good starting point.
Without software such as Octave, the process can be quite painful. Recently, on my coming back from Kanpur, I learnt about Julia. May be the next one I should try with Julia!