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Unit information: Computing for Earth Scientists in 2015/16

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Unit name Computing for Earth Scientists
Unit code EASC10007
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Wookey
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit presents an overview of the use of computing in modern geosciences. It covers aspects of understanding modern computers, presentation and communication, data storage, visualisation and analysis, and an introduction to programming. The practical uses of these in a Geoscience context will be emphasised. MATLAB will be used for the implementation of practicals in the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be equipped with a familiarity with computers early on. They will have an appreciation of the tools available (and appropriate) to solve specific problems relating to communication, data analysis and presentation. This will support practicals and projects in other units in subsequent years. They will be familiar with MATLAB, which provides a flexible environment for future work.

Teaching Information

Practical aspects of computing are best taught in a practical way, though the principles are also required for which lecture format is most useful. The unit will therefore comprise three types of contact session:

  • 50 minute lectures
  • 2 hour (group) practicals
  • 2 hour problem clinics

The lectures will be predominantly in the first half of the course, and the problem clinics in the second half. The practicals will run throughout.

Assessment Information

  • 1 short assessed practical (20%)
  • 1 longer assessed practical (40%)
  • 2 hour written exam (40%)

Reading and References

A variety of online resources will be made available through Blackboard. A useful textbook to support the practical aspects of the course is MATLAB: A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving by Stormy Attaway.