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Unit information: Computing for Earth Scientists in 2020/21

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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 Dr. Byrne
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


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 details

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials and, if subsequently possible, synchronous face-to-face lectures
  • synchronous office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative activities and exercises
  • guided, structured reading
  • practical work in the laboratory

Students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Details

  • Final independent assignment (100%)

Reading and References

Recommended: MATLAB: A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving (4th edition, 2016), Attaway, S., Elsevier. Paperback ISBN: 9780128045251, eBook ISBN: 9780128045411

Further reading: A variety of online resources will be made available through Blackboard.