
Mathematical Inverse Methods in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Datadriven modeling via solving inverse problems and estimating model parameters. Application of linear algebra to the modeling of physical data. Students learn to model large amounts of imperfect data using linear algebra, optimization and regularization techniques, and common physical sense. Via lab exercises and homework, the course emphasizes application over theory. Exercises include but are not restricted to 1) locating events or objects from lineofsight signal travel times, 2) deblurring an image, 3) characterizing the subsurface from surface measurements of wave dispersion, 4) locating engineering structures from anomalous gravity data, and 5) tomography: nondestructive characterization of internal structure of materials, human bodies, or the Earth. We will emphasize linear, discrete, illposed inverse problems, but will also review time series analysis, including Fourier Transforms and matched filtering, and touch on the principles of solving nonlinear inverse problems via directed and random searches in model space.
Listed as EARTH 329 prior to 2019.
Colisted as DATA_SCI 422.
Taught by Suzan van der Lee.
Last taught in 2019
DataDriven Research in Physics, Geophysics, and Astronomy
Major facilities in earth sciences, physics, and astronomy have revolutionized research in these fields and have created major data challenges. In this course we will review the science motivation and goals and the relevant data challenges of the Earthscope, LIGO, and LSST facilities that represent largescale investments in these research communities. Although the goals for the three projects may appear to overlap only partially, there are strong intellectual bridges and shared challenges because of the datadriven science involved. The primary objective of this course is to introduce student to key domain science areas, broadening education and providing an appreciation of crossdisciplinary similarities in datadriven physical sciences.
Cotaught by Vicky Kalogera and Suzan van der Lee.
Last taught in 2018

Scientific Programming in Python
Introduction to coding, scientific computing, and visualization for analyzing data in the physical sciences. Emphasis on analysis of authentic data and coding in Python, but Unix, shell scripting, and Generic Mapping Tools are also introduced. Students learn via selfpaced, extensive, graded tutorials, called quizorials. Students also undertake a signifcant final coding project, individually or in pairs.
Listed as EARTH 322 prior to 2019.
Taught by Suzan van der Lee.
Last taught in 2018

Seismology and Earth Structure
A quantitative, physicsoriented couse in which we derive and solve the wave equation for a layered, spherical solid (a planet), learn about P, S, Love, and Rayleigh waves, how they propagate, attenuate and/or amplify, and how they can be recorded and analyzed to infer fundamental characteristics of earthquakes as well as of the structure of the planet in which they occur. We will also cover the basic theory and practice of the seismic methods used in fossil fuel exploration. Key words: elastic theory, stress, strain, wave equation, seismic waves, wave propagation, ray paths, refraction, reflection, Snell’s law, reflection coefficients, seismometers, body waves, travel times, surface waves, dispersion, normal modes, attenuation, anisotropy, crust, mantle, core, seismic tomograpy, seismograms.
Taught by Suzan van der Lee.
Last taught in 2016

USArray Data Processing for the Next Generation of Seismologists
Summer school/short course: Graduate students from around the US and the world convene for a week to learn from guest instructors and to work with their peers on data challenges related to USArray. Course was initiated and organized by Gary Pavlis and Suzan van der Lee, and later brought under auspices of IRIS.
Taught while USArray was traversing the contiguous states.
Last taught in 2016

Instrumentation and Field Methods
Our knowledge of earth systems is often based on the measurement of mass and energy flux, and of the physicochemical properties of earth materials. This course aims to provide the basic skills to use simple instruments to quantify flux and material characteristics, the ability to learn new instruments from first principals, and the structured framework necessary to the planning and execution of measurement and monitoring campaigns. The lab exercises will be founded in Problem Based Learning (PBL) techniques where students individually and in small groups are challenged with openended problems that most often have no specific solution, or multiple solutions. The PBL based lab exercises will be graded based on the effort, innovations, documentation, and approach to learning demonstrated. Cotaught by Patricia Beddows and Suzan van der Lee.
Last taught in 2014

Earth's Interior
Size, mass, & density of the earth; seismic waves; earth structure from seismology; minerals and rocks; composition of mantle and core; heat and temperature in the earth; radiometric age dating; origin of the elements, formation of the solar system; meteorites; formation of the planets; continents and oceans, paleomagnetism, continental drift; earthquake focal mechanisms, plate boundaries and kinematics, mechanics of plate tectonics. Taught by Suzan van der Lee.
Last taught in 2014
Freshman Seminar
Hundreds of earthquakes occur every day, but only one of these has the potential to cause considerable damage in poorly designed or constructed buildings. Globally, about ten earthquakes per year cause heavy to extreme ground shaking that has the potential to turn catastrophic because they have a 7+ magnitude, occur near a large city, or cause a tsunami, for example. In this seminar we will discuss and compare different earthquakes, their causes and consequences, how to prepare for earthquakes, and how to forecast earthquake hazard, among other aspects of earth shaking and seismology. Teaching method: Reading, listening, discussing assigned readings and positions, interpreting graphs, solving problems, participating in demonstrations, presenting material to the class, and writing. Students write about own experience, own research, past earthquakes, and distill published work in different ways.
Taught by Suzan van der Lee
Last taught in 2014
Introduction to the Solar System
Earth is the most studied planet of the solar system. Remote sensing and manned and robotic missions to the Moon, terrestrial planets, giant planets’ solid moons, and the outer solar system provide exciting new data from worlds we know nothing or little about. This course will explore the implications of these data, extraterrestrial worlds, and similarities and differences between Earth, other solid bodies in the solar system, and exoplanets  planets that orbit stars other than our sun. The study of a diverse range of planets, teaches us about our own planet Earth, with its unique plate tectonics, quakes, interior structure, surface, oceans, atmosphere, mountain building, and life. The course attempts to provide context and content for the formation and evolution of planet Earth and the solar system. In the process the course hopes to illustrate how mathematical and physical principles apply to and enliven our world.
Taught by Suzan van der Lee.
Last taught in 2013
Advanced Topics in Geophysics
Graduate level course: discussions, presentations, and lectures on Seismic techniques for studying North America with Earthscope (2006) and Geophysics of the Midcontinent Rift System (2011).
The latter was cotaught by Suzan van der Lee, Seth Stein, and Donna Jurdy.
Last taught in 2011

Seismic Tomography
Seismic Tomography: Teleseismic tomography, Fermat’s principle, ray tracing, local tomography, joint local tomography and earthquake relocation, waveform tomography, mode summation, partitioned waveform inversion, hypocenter and origin time corrections, station statics, hitcount, smearing, damping, error estimation, resolution tests.
Cotaught by Edi Kissling and Suzan van der Lee
Last taught in 2003

