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Scientific Computing and Data Modelling


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: James Hammond
  • Assessment: three programming assignments in MATLAB Grader (10% each), a one-page project proposal (10%), peer feedback assignment (10%), 1500-word project results report (30%) and MATLAB code used for the final project (20%)

Module description

The module provides integrated training in scientific computing and data modelling in geoscience, mainly through the use of the MATLAB platform. MATLAB is a relatively inexpensive, widely used and flexible computing platform, allowing both face-to-face and distance-learning students to engage with computing exercises and learning materials on their own computers or computing devices.

Numerical and statistical methods used in scientific computing, as well as complex MATLAB code design, will also be introduced in the module.

Indicative module content

  • MATLAB syntax, data input and output, and scientific functions
  • Univariate statistics
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Bivariate statistics
  • Time-series analysis and signal processing
  • Data visualisation and interpolation
  • Circular statistics
  • Design and evaluation of MATLAB data modelling codes (Project work)
  • Presentation of project work

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • understand and write MATLAB codes, including data visualisation, processing, analysis and modelling
  • apply MATLAB codes to geoscience datasets
  • interpret and critically evaluate results from data modelling
  • apply numerical and statistical methods to scientific computing and data modelling
  • evaluate geophysical models with complementary constraints
  • evaluate the characteristics, limitations and complexity of datasets and models in geoscience
  • demonstrate an integrated approach to programming and modelling
  • evaluate the limitations of scientific computer codes
  • visualise and render three-dimensional data.