Physics Majors: what computer courses/knowledge are helpful?

My son will be majoring in Physics next year and while he feels prepared from a math/science standpoint, his high school didn’t offer much in the way of computer programming or computer science.

He has taken IB Physics HL I&II, IB Math, AP Calc AB&BC, AP Stats, AP Chem&Bio.

What computer courses or knowledge would be helpful to study over the summer for one entering physics?

No need to do summer study unless he wants to. He can just take the introductory CS sequence for CS majors at his college, which should be useful if he goes into computational physics, or if he graduates and finds the physics job market worse than the computing job market.

If he really wants to self-study some CS, consider these:

@ucbalumnus Thanks. And college level intro CS classes are doable with no prior experience?

I like your thinking about having another possible job option as well. I’m trying to get him to consider a minor for just that reason. CS minor or math minor would be complimentary but widen his prospects.

My physics major/math minor collegekid / now applied physics gradschoolkid did no CS at all, until a summer internship (after 2nd year of college) where she learned computational physics on the job. She did her first actual CS course in grad school.

Meaning: he will be just fine. Intro CS classes are do-able, even w/o prep.

Many colleges will have more than one entry point for their CS courses. For example, of the three courses linked above in reply #1, CS 10 is recommended for those with no prior experience, while CS 61A may be taken by those who have had some prior experience, or who have had another course like CS 10 (see the syllabus for CS 61A).

@ucbalumnus @collegemom3717 Thanks! New to all of this and don’t want to miss anything.