Teaching Fortran 90

John Reid,
JKR Associates, 24 Oxford Road, Benson,
Wallingford, Oxon OX10 6LX

I began teaching Fortran 90 in 1993 by giving a 3-day course jointly with Mike Metcalf at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Since then, I have given the course alone many times and I have helped with a similar course at RMCS Shrivenham. It has evolved gradually over the years and I have given variants as a 1-day course (with no exercises) and as a 2-day course. Here is a list of dates and places since September 1997:

  1997 Sept 3-day RMCS Shrivenham (helped)
Dec. 1-day Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
1998 Aug. 3-day Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Aug. 3-day RMCS Shrivenham (helped)
Sept. 1-day DTU Copenhagen
Nov. 3-day RMCS Shrivenham (helped)
1999 Jan. 2-day NRPB
Jan. 3-day RMCS Shrivenham (helped)
Apr. 2-day NRPB
Aug. 2-day DNV Oslo
Dec. 3-day RMCS Shrivenham (helped)
2000 Apr. 2-day Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
+ 1-day on Fortran 77

The numbers are usually about 10, but have varied between about 6 and 18. I have found about 10 to be good - everyone can be given individual help in the exercise periods.

The motivation of the attendees is usually that they need to provide support for old codes written in Fortran 77, and perhaps modify them.

They usually know Fortran 77, but for my most recent course I had to provide a 1-day introductory course for about half the audience.

Three days is really needed to cover the language, but people are reluctant to commit this amount of time and I have been recently asked to cut it back to 2 days. This makes for an intensive course - I have cut some material and will probably cut more next time.

For exercises, I provide simple working codes and ask them to study them, run them once they have understood them, then modify them and run the modified versions.

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