Familiar techniques of separation of variables and Fourier series can be used to solve a variety of pde based on domains in the plane, however these techniques do not extend naturally to surface problems. Instead we look to take a computational approach. The talk will cover the basics of finite difference and finite element approximations of the one dimensional heat equation and show how to extend these ideas on to surfaces. If time allows, we will show numerical results of an optimal partition problem based on a sphere. No background knowledge of pde or computation is required.