View a list of courses offered by the division.
View courses offered this school year, listed by option and term offered. Check here for last-minute changes, additions or dropped courses.
Course Additions/Changes 2012 - 13
COMING WINTER TERM
Ay 117. Statistics and Data Analysis in Astronomy. 9 units (3-0-6); second term. Prerequisites: CS 1 and instructors permission. In modern astronomy, vast quantities of data are often available to researchers. The challenge is converting this information into meaningful knowledge about the universe. The primary focus of this course is the development of a broad and general tool set that can be applied to the student’s own research. We will use case studies from the astrophysical literature as our guide as we learn about common pitfalls, explore strategies for data analysis, understand how to select the best model for the task at hand, and learn the importance of properly quantifying and reporting the level of confidence in one’s conclusions. We will have weekly homework assignments, much of which will be done in class in a collaborative work environment. Instructor: Johnson
Ge 193. Special Topics in Geophysics: Introduction to subglacial mechanics. 3 units (1-0-2). Topics will include glacial hydrology, glacier erosion, and basal icequakes, but will be supplemented according to student interest. Emphasis will be placed on quantitatively understanding the physical mechanisms responsible for various glacial processes. The course will make use of readings of both seminal papers and textbook chapters.
Instructors: Tsai and Lamb
Ge 197. Special Topics in Geobiology: Origins and Evolution of the Eukaryotes. 6 units (1-0-5). This course is a reading-based seminar that covers the origin and early evolution of eukaryotes. We will read and discuss papers using both biological and geological lines of evidence to support various eukaryotic evolutionary hypotheses. Each week, small groups of students will present on a topic related to the weekly reading. This course will be taught by visiting professor Scott Dawson, Associate Professor of Microbiology at UC Davis.
Ge136. Section 2. 3 units (1-0-2). Cenozoic tectonics and sedimentation in the western Mojave Desert. We will study geological events of the western Mojave Desert before and during the start of Pacific-North America plate interactions in early Miocene time. Course involves a required 3 day field trip early in the term as well as a weekly 1 hour class discussion of assigned reading. Instructor: Stock
Ge/EE/ESE 157c. Remote Sensing for Environmental & Geological Applications. 9 units (3-3-3); third term. Instructor: B. Ehlmann Use of different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum (visible, ultraviolet, infrared, and radio wavelengths) for interpretation of physical and chemical characteristics of the surfaces of Earth and other planets. Topics: interaction of light with materials, spectroscopy of minerals and vegetation, atmospheric removal, image analysis, classification, and multi-temporal studies. This course is complementary to EE 157ab with additional emphasis on applications for geological and environmental problems, using data acquired from airborne and orbiting remote sensing platforms. Students will work with digital remote sensing datasets in the laboratory and there will be one field trip.
Ge 191. Special Topics in Geochemistry: Radiogenic isotopes seminar6 units (3-0-3) third term. This course deals with advanced topics in radiogenic isotope geochemistry. It will build on Ge 140, addressing unconventional applications of radiogenic isotopes as well as treating several conventional radiogenic systems in more detail. Each unit will begin with a lecture on the history of the system followed by guided discussion of current developments. Special topics will include the history of radiogenic isotope geochemistry at Caltech, U-series dating of sediments, high precision U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, and heavy noble gases. Instructor: Farley
CE/Ge/ME 222.Earthquake Source Processes, Debris Flows, and Soil Liquefaction: Physics-based Modeling of Failure in Granular Media. 6 units (2-0-4); third term. A seminar-style course focusing on granular dynamics and instabilities as they relate to geophysical hazards such as fault mechanics, debris flows, and liquefaction. The course will consist of student-led presentations of active research at Caltech and discussions of recent literature. Instructors: Ampuero, Andrade, Lamb, Lapusta.
FS/Ge 15. Freshman Seminar: San Gabriel Mountains. 6 (2-0-4); second term. The San Gabriel Mountains form an impresive backdrop for the Caltech campus. This seminar will explore the natural and cultural history of these nearby yet not widely known mountains. Some of the topics to be considered include: geology and origin of the range; native Americans and the settlement history of our region; water resources, floods and debris flows; the Mt. Wilson telescope and its construction; the cycle of fire in chaparral country, and the diverse habitats of the range. One or more partial-day field trips are planned. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor: Farley.
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