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Hands-on scientific computing

Individual course

Competence in data science and scientific computing in general requires a lot more than data science skills: there are many secondary skills needed to do practical work efficiently. These skills are often not taught in courses, or they can be missed because of non-traditional career paths. This course is more of a self-study guide to these skills and tools needed in scientific computing. Rather than a single guided course, it is more of a map to browse whenever a topic is relevant to one’s work.  However, one can also systematically study the material and receive credits.

The material is divided into levels A, B, C, D, E and F. A student may choose a suitable level for them and continue from there. The course gathers existing online material and organises them to a guide, since in real work being able to find and understand the best resources is more important than taking courses.

The course aim is to provide basic tools and skills that one needs to perform data science and scientific computing, and succeed in other courses. The course mainly links example materials on the topics but students are also highly recommended to learn to search for other relevant material that suits their own needs. While self-studying, one may do exercises and answer questions in order to receive the course credits.

Learning outcomes

After modules A, B and C student will:

  • know how to set up their computer for scientific computing
  • know data management in a nutshell
  • be familiar with Jupyter Notebooks
  • have tools for making figures, creating posters and editing code
  • basics of LaTex
  • be able to write shell scripts
  • know what is Git, how to use it and why use it
  • know how to do work remotely using SSH
  • be familiar with how Make can automate repetitive stuff in projects

After modules D, E and (F) student will:

  • know how to use advanced computational resources
  • know specifically about usage of Aalto cluster Triton
  • be able to break their programs into smaller functionalities
  • be familiar with software testing and profiling
  • have tools to debug their programs
  • know how to make their project reproducible and available for others

Completion methods

Online self-studying, written material, videos, exercises (questionnaires, scripting, writing text documents)

Please note: if you take more than 6 months to complete the exercises, they might change and your contribution may not be valid anymore.


Depends on student’s competence level but from beginning until the end with exercises ~27 hours per credit.


The course is divided into 2 modules (A-C, D-E) . To earn 1 credit for 1 completed course module, the student should have completed at least 90% of the module exercises and 50% of them should be correct.

If you do not have an Aalto student number or a right to study at Aalto, apply for the credits through the FITech application after having completed the course on the course platform. If you are an Aalto student and would like to receive the credits, contact us at

You can get a digital badge after completing this course.

computer set up data management Jupyter LaTex shell scripting version control SSH High Performance computing software testing documentation reproducible research scientific computing data management

Further information about the course

Aalto University
Course contact person
Aalto University
FITech ICT contact person
Start here
Start here
ICT Studies
Data science
Course code:
1–2 ECTS
0 €
Teaching period:
Continuously on-going
Application deadline:
Continuously on-going
Host university:
Aalto University
Study is open for:
Adult learner,
Degree student
Teaching methods:
General prerequisites:
For levels D, F of the course: knowledge of Linux shell
Study suitable for:
For anyone doing scientific computing or wanting to learn good computing practices
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