Teaching Geoscience with MATLAB
Faculty across all levels of geoscience courses use MATLAB to help students learn and apply quantitative thinking and develop critical skills. Courses at the undergraduate and higher levels must teach computation – such as how to access, visualize, and analyze data, and the programming skills required to accomplish these tasks – in addition to making sure students learn the discipline-specific geoscience concepts and associated mathematics.
Teaching computation and domain knowledge in a single course is challenging and, thus, requires some forethought and a well-organized course framework. Also necessary are problem sets and other resources, such as videos, for students to learn required foundation material and programming skills on their own.
Reusing, sharing, and collaborating on teaching resources can be a big help to an educator engaged in teaching a class with these objectives.
It became clear to me many years ago that the most useful language for students to learn is MATLAB.Glenn Thompson, University of South Florida
Geoscience Teaching Resources
Through a series of in-person workshops, geoscience faculty have developed and published online curriculum materials for teaching with MATLAB. Although most of these materials were designed for undergraduate course settings, they are also applicable to graduate students learning computation for use in geoscience
These resources were developed by faculty in collaboration with SERC at Carleton College, sponsored by North American Geoscience Teachers (NAGT).
- Teaching Activities (Individual Modules, Code, and Assignments)
- Working with Scientific Data Sets in MATLAB: An Exploration of Ocean Color and Sea Surface Temperature (University of Tasmania, A. Fischer)
- Seismic Refraction in MATLAB (Western Washington University, J. Caplan-Auerbach)
- Course Curriculum (Full Courses and Handouts)
- Essays on Teaching with MATLAB
Pedagogical and Approaches for Teaching Computation with MATLAB
- Overview: Teaching with Data, Simulations, and Models Using MATLAB
Teaching Computation in the Sciences
Building skills in data analysis, modeling, and self-efficacy
Additional MATLAB Resources
- Earth and Ocean Sciences Textbooks
- MATLAB Onramp (Free, Interactive, Self-Paced Online Learning Resource)
- Cody Coursework (Automatically grade MATLAB code)
- Mapping Toolbox Code Examples
- MATLAB Community Code and Tools (“Ocean” Search Results on MATLAB File Exchange)
- Join the Teaching Sciences MATLAB Community