Earth System Modeling

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This class provides the students with a mathematically rigorous introduction to the field of numerical modeling in Earth sciences. Starting with very basic concepts (e.g., root finding methods, numerical integration), the class gradually familiarizes the students with the numerical tools needed to solve ordinary and partial differential equations. Fundamental numerical principles (e.g., stability, consistency, convergence) are introduced in detail. To ensure an in-depth understanding of the class materials, the students complete weekly homework assignments that cover real-world problems from all disciplines of Earth sciences (e.g., planetary motion, diffusion of heat through Earth’s mantle, predator-prey systems, wave propagation). Each week, about 45 minutes of lecture time are devoted to an in-class computer lab where the students can work on homework assignments with immediate support from the instructor. In addition, each student completes a semester-long modeling project on a subject of their choice.