From zero to Matlab in six weeks
Tuesday 4:30pm-5:30pm Red Gym
In 2015, a Fall "Freshman Seminar" at Princeton University (http://geoweb.princeton.edu/people/simons/FRS-SESC.html) taught students to combine field observations of the natural world with quantitative modeling and interpretation, to answer questions like: "How have Earth and human histories been recorded in the geology of Princeton, the Catskills, France and Spain?" (where we took the students on a data-gathering field trip during Fall Break), and "What experiments and analysis can a first-year (possibly non-future-major) do to query such archives of the past?" In the classroom, through problem sets, and around campus, students gained practical experience collecting geological and geophysical data in a geographic context, and analyzing these data using statistical techniques such as regression, time-series and image analysis, with the programming language Matlab. In this poster I will detail how we instilled basic Matlab skills for quantitative geoscience data analysis through a 6-week progression of topics and exercises, and how in the 6 weeks after the Fall Break trip, we strengthened these competencies to make our students fully proficient for further learning, as evidenced by their end-of-term independent research work.