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 GEOL2300, Fall 2015

GEOL 2300: Mathematical and Computational Earth Sciences

For graduate students interested in quantitative study of the Earth in geological, physical, or engineering sciences. Mathematical topics to be introduced include tensor analysis, asymptotic and per turbation analysis of differential equations, numerical integration of differential equations, basis functions and pattern recognition, fractals and multifractals, and statistics. Applications will vary by offering, but examples include: statistics of turbulence and earthquakes, advection-reaction-diffusion systems, boundary layers, development of shocks and singularities, climate change, carbon sensitivity, and dimensional reduction of geophysical data. Intensive review of introductory mathematical methods through leading discussions in a lower level class. Earth, fluid, or solid science background recommended. You can access the syllabus, class calendar, notes, and reading

Web Resources and Texts

  2. Graphical Inspiration
  3. Peer reviewing guidelines
  4. Reading assignment guidelines
  5. Math Resource Center
  6. Tutoring
  7. Science Center Advising

Main Texts

Required, but available online through Josiah:
  1. Fowler, Mathematical Geosciences
  2. Bender & Orszag, Advanced Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers

Secondary Textbooks

  1. Boas, Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences
  2. Arfken, Weber, and Harris, Mathematical Methods for Physicists, Seventh Edition: A Comprehensive Guide
  3. Cushman-Roisin and Beckers, Introduction to geophysical fluid dynamics: Physical and Numerical Aspects
  4. Marshall and Plumb, Atmosphere, ocean, and climate dynamics: an introductory text
  5. Schubert, Turcotte, and Olson, Mantle convection in the earth and planets
  6. Strogatz, Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos : With Applications to Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering
  7. Vallis, Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics : Fundamentals and Large-Scale Circulation
  8. Robert H. Stewart's Introduction to Physical Oceanography
    Web-distributed basic but comprehensive textbook.
  9. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (AR5, WGI), 2013: Physical Science Summary, and Summary for Policymakers


  1. Wolfram Alpha
  2. Mathematics of Planet Earth
  3. Cleon Teunissen's Rotation Physics

Additional Fun Reading


  1. Lamb, 1917: Lamb, On Waves in an Elastic Plate
  2. Love, 1897: Theoretical Mechanics: An Introductory Treatise on the Principles of Dynamics with Applications and Numerous Examples
  3. Taylor, 1920: Tidal Friction in the Irish Sea
  4. Hofstadter, Goedel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
  5. Paulos, Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
  6. Bowditch, 1880: The American Practical Navigator
  7. Maury, 1860: The Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology


  1. Square, Flatland
  2. Dana, Two Years Before the Mast
  3. Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  4. Homer, The Odyssey
  5. London, The Sea Wolf
  6. Stevenson, Treasure Island

Brown Specific Guidelines

  1. Disability Support Services
  2. Academic & Student Conduct Codes, *Note* Prof. Fox-Kemper regards inappropriate cellphone and laptop use as disruptive behavior.
  3. Academic Code