Workshop Overview

At this workshop, faculty members from a variety of geoscience and allied fields will share their experiences and expertise teaching quantitative skills using MATLAB in undergraduate geoscience, geography, and environmental science courses. Additionally, participants will work together to understand how the community is currently using MATLAB in support of the broader goal of improving quantitative skills in undergraduate students, and articulate the curriculum needs that are still unmet which MATLAB could help fill. The workshop will generate a collection of teaching activities that use MATLAB in courses that support geoscience, geography, and environmental science students that will be made publicly available to anyone teaching in these fields. Read the workshop synthesis for a summary of key ideas and see the workshop outcomes for materials developed in association with the workshop.

Jump down to: Workshop Goals | Schedule | Expectations | Application & Selection | Venue | Dates | Expenses | Contacts

Workshop Goals

The goals of this workshop are to:

  • Understand how we are currently using MATLAB as a teaching tool in undergraduate Earth science education
  • Create a community that can work collaboratively on teaching materials and other projects in this area
  • Compile teaching activities, examples, and a synthesis of workshop findings for publication on the project website
  • Identify the critical needs that MATLAB can help fill
  • Synthesize best practices for using MATLAB in geoscience, geography, and environmental science courses to teach quantitative skills
More on Teaching with MATLAB »

Workshop Schedule

The workshop will include presentations, teaching activity demonstrations, group discussions, as well as working group sessions. Participants will contribute teaching activities prior to the workshop that will be shared later as a collection of digital resources for public use. Best practices, ideas, and suggestions discussed throughout the workshop will also be made available.


By applying to the workshop, participants agree to do the following if accepted:

  • Submit a teaching activity that involves MATLAB. A template will be provided for participants to enter the essential information about their teaching activities. These activities will be showcased at the workshop so they must be completed beforehand.
  • Submit an essay describing the types of quantitative skills being taught using MATLAB as well as the pedagogical techniques used.
  • Prepare in advance for workshop discussions via readings, writings, discussion, or other activities developed by workshop leaders.
  • Participate fully in the entire workshop and attend all workshop sessions. Many participants will be invited to make presentations or serve as discussion or working group leaders at the workshop.

Application Process and Selection Criteria

Applicants for this workshop must hold a faculty position at a two- or four-year college or university and have experience teaching with MATLAB in the context of regularly scheduled classes (e.g., in class, lab, homework, or project settings). The workshop is limited to 30 participants. The final list of participants will be developed with the goal of assembling a group of experienced faculty, representing a wide range of experiences, educational environments, and specialties.

The application deadline has passed. Notification of acceptance to the workshop will be made within two weeks of the deadline. Participants will then confirm their acceptance via an online Registration Form.


The workshop will be held at Carleton College located in Northfield, Minnesota . All scheduled workshop events will be on the Carleton College campus, mostly in the Weitz Center for whole group meetings. Participants will walk from the hotel to campus except for those who need assistance.

Dates: October 18-20, 2015

Participants should plan to arrive in Northfield in time for the first workshop event at 5 pm on Sunday, October 18. The workshop will be over on Tuesday, October 20th at 2 pm, and participants should plan return travel no earlier than 4:30 pm that day.


MathWorks is supporting the cost of hosting the workshop, including workshop-sponsored meals.

There are funds available for stipends for some participants from institutions unable to cover the costs of travel to the workshop. The deadline for applying for one of these stipends is August 28, 2015. Otherwise, participants or their home institutions must cover the costs of local lodging and travel to and from the workshop at Carleton College in Northfield, MN.

Stipend Application is closed

For More Information

Questions? Contact Cailin Huyck Orr at the Science Education Resource Center