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Course content

This course provides an introduction to numerical methods used in astrophysics and especially in the modeling of systems described by the partial differential equations (PDE).

Learning outcome

After completing this course:

  • you will have knowledge of discretization of simple PDE´s such as the advection equation
  • you will be able to examine the stability of difference equations using von Neumann stability analysis
  • you will have thorough knowledge of implicit and explicit numerical schemes and solution techniques for these
  • you will acquire expertise in characteristic equations and boundary conditions based on these
  • you will be able to give oral presentations of scientific articles in numerical methods, such as Godunov methods.

Admission to the course

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Bachelor’s Degree from the programme Fysikk og astronomi (bachelor) or comparable.

Master's Degree in Astronomy or comparable.

Overlapping courses


Teaching extends over one semester. 3 hours of lectures will be given every day in an intensive two-week period at the beginning of the semester. During the rest of the semester students will be working on a major project assignment that will be adapted to the Ph.D. level, where they will code, and receive individual digital supervision on a weekly basis.

During the first two weeks of teaching, students will also be given 6 compulsory exercises that will be adapted to the Ph.D. level. These assignments must be approved before students can start working on the major project assignment. At the end of the semester, students are expected to give an oral presentation of the results from the major project assignment.


During the semester, the student will work on a major project assignment that will be adapted to the Ph.D. level. Results from the project assignment will be presented orally at the end of the semester. The presentation of the project assignment will be the basis for a final oral exam, which counts 100% in the grade assesment.

This course has 6 compulsory exercises that must be approved before the final exam.

Examination support material

All support material is allowed during work with the project assignment. Only the project assignment is allowed during the oral exam.

Language of examination

The examination is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) June 30, 2022 10:11:45 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language