The course will spend a week or so on numerical simulation of heat-conduction. The simulation software to be used is MATLAB's PDEToolbox, which has a graphical-user-interface and performs finite-element analysis of two-dimensional time-dependent partial differential equations. The emphasis will be on modelling heat flow (PDF) in complex geometries or with complex boundary conditions, rather than on numerical methods per se.
The next link is to a quick orientation guide to PDETool (PDF). (Courtesy of Peter Noymer. Used with permission.)
Other useful packages include Maple, Xess, AutoCAD, and Pro/ENGINEER. You are encouraged to apply them in the solution of homework problems. In constructing any numerical solution, you should be conscious of the model you assume, the simulation steps used by the code, and the property data employed (especially when temperature-dependent properties are involved). If you prepare your homework using such software, be sure to document your calculations clearly.