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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Mathematical and computational methods in Geophysics (EASC09054)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces and develops mathematical and computational techniques commonly used in geophysics. The mathematics and computing are taught in an integrated manner so, for example, methods for finding an analytical solution to a differential equation are followed by computing techniques for achieving the same aim.
Course description In this course, you will learn a range of core mathematical and computational methods that form the basis for future courses. The learning experience will be varied, mixing practical programming classes with traditional lectures and problem solving tutorials. Where practical, we will reinforce the ideas from the mathematical methods within the computational classes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Physics of the Earth (EASC08016) AND ( Algebra and Calculus (PHYS08041) OR Linear Algebra and Several Variable Calculus (PHYS08042))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Mathematics including partial differentiation and differential equations.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesMathematics including partial differentiation and differential equations.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 18, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 30, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 134 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 30 %, Coursework 70 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment Details
Written Exam 30 %, Coursework 70 %, Practical Exam 0 %

Coursework 70%, exam 30%. The exam covers only the mathematical section of the course. Assessed Coursework will consist of one computing exercise (50% of course) and one set of mathematics problems (20% of course) One further set of maths problems and one further computing exercises will be marked for formative purposes.

For more information regarding deadlines, please refer to the learn page.
Assessment Deadlines
¿ Formative Computation (Formative assessment) 1 ¿ Semester 1, Week 6 Wednesday, 12 noon
¿ Formative Mathematics (Formative assessment) 2 ¿ Semester 1, Week 7 Wednesday, 12 noon
¿ Assessed Mathematics: Semester 1, Week 10 Wednesday, 12 noon
¿ Assessed Computation: Semester 1, Wednesday Week 11, 12 noon
¿ Written Exam ¿ Semester 1, December Exam Diet
Feedback Mathematical problems will be set every week, discussed in the tutorial and answers provided thereafter. The computation sessions will be run as interactive coding classes which encourage discussion and exploration of individual problems. In addition to the assessed coursework, one further set of maths problems and one further computing exercises will be marked for formative purposes.
We have a Teams group for posting questions to so that they can be answered for the benefit of everyone ¿ this would be a great place to post things you are uncertain about for discussion.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)1:30
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Solve a variety of mathematical problems as applied in a geophysical context
  2. Write clear, working, well documented programs in Python
  3. Solve ordinary and partial differential equations using numerical techniques
  4. Understand the basis of Monte Carlo methods
Reading List
Sneider, R., Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences, 2004, Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 978-0-521-83492-6.
Turcotte, D.,L. and Schubert, G. Geodynamics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0-521-66624-4.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Programming in a high-level computing language (Python)
KeywordsMathematics,geophysics,heat flow,programming,python
Course organiserDr Hugh Pumphrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 6026
Course secretaryMr Johan De Klerk
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
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