The main course material is located separately
Hands-on scientific computing is guide to practical computing skills
you need for other courses or research, but usually are left to
learn yourselves. Basic skills such as version control or shell
scripting are usually not taught, which makes big differences between
how prepared people are.
Actually, this isn’t a traditional course. It’s more of a map of
practical tools you can browse at your own pace. You can find this map at the main page, which is completely usable without the exercises you find
This course started for researchers who need a broader computing
background than they get during their academic training.
This course is also usable for undergraduate students, who are
studying things like data science and also need a broader computing
background than they get (not studying software or computing directly).
This is an “always open” course, you can go through the material at
your own pace, in the order that suits you, and whenever suits you.
We expect that for many people, referring to the material is all they need.
When you complete the material and exercises of the A, B, and C levels
(Basic Linux and command line stuff, related science skills),
you can get one credit. When you complete the HPC and advanced
programming related parts, you can get one credit (levels D and E).
We expect that many people will find the material useful,
many fewer will find the need to work on exercises here
The second part of “not a normal course” is that there aren’t lessons!
At least not in the traditional sense…
For these practical skills, almost everything you may need to know is
already available online. The problem is that there is too much out
there, so where do you start? We point you to the best material that
you can find online, which you’ll have to read and understand
yourself. This is a bit harder than reading things in one consistent
format, but… that’s part of what we want to teach. We want you to
be able to find and read new things yourself, whatever format it may
There is no deadline for completing exercises and you can come back to
them when you want. But, the course will evolve over time, and if
you don’t finish it soon enough, the work you did may no longer
apply to the grade…
Exercises consist of multiple choice, drag and drop and text
questionnaire types. You may submit exercises 1-2 times depending on
exercise. Please note that some of the exercises may not display
correctly depending on your browser. If you still have problems,
deactivating some extensions may help.
Awarding credits for modules D and E are on hold since they are missing exercises.
You can start doing the existing exercises but credits will be given when the modules are complete.
To earn credits from this course you need to complete at least 90% of exercises and have at least 50% correct.
Course evaluation is divided into modules A-C and D-E and you can earn 1 credit from each modules (overall 2 credits).
Instead of credits external users may request a certificate after approved completion of course.
The course is evaluated on a pass/fail grading scale.
We can only register credits for people with Aalto student number or people with flexible study rights (JOO -rights) to study
at Aalto. Obtaining JOO -rights can take a while but once you have it, we can award your credits afterwards.
Otherwise, you can request a course certificate for a successfully completed course (no official ECTS).
Since this is an “always open” course, you need to reach out to us
once you have completed enough to get the certificate.
Contact us at email@example.com once you would like your results checked and
work assigned, or any other questions you may have.
Please include in your e-mail the following information: Subject: Hands-on scientific computing, your first name, last name, Aalto student number /
temporary Aalto student number (you should have it if you have flexible study rights to study at Aalto) and that you would like your performance to
If you are not an Aalto student nor have the rights to study at Aalto but would like to receive a certificate, please
include this information to your request.
This course is run by Aalto Scientific Computing.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.