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Course Information

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Course 12.805

Laboratory in Physical Oceanography

Fall, 2014


Instructor:  K.H. Brink

            508 289 2535



Meeting times:

            Tuesdays 4.00-5.30         in Clark 271                   (at MIT:  54-827 for video link)

            Thursdays 4.00-5.30       in Clark 271                   (at MIT:  54-827 for video link)

            Last class on Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Course format:


            The class will be primarily based on lectures and related readings. No final examination will be given, but there will be homework to give hands-on experience with the tools we talk about in class. During the course of the semester, every student will give an oral presentation on a recently submitted homework.


            The textbook is:

             Emery, W.J. and R.E. Thomson, 2001: Data analysis methods in physical oceanography (2nd edition), Elsevier, 654 pages.

             You will find this to be a valuable reference on a range of subjects.

             There is a new edition of this that will be released soon. I ordered one, but as of August 29, it has not yet been shipped.



             We will meet every Tuesday and Thursday except for holidays on November 11 and November 27.


             I will be out of town for a couple classes, but we are fortunate to have replacements as follows:

            Tuesday, October 14: Anthony Kirincich

            Thursday, November 6: Steve Lentz


General Outline of the Course:

            (All time estimates are very approximate, and content can be modified to fit student interests.)


1)      Introductory Concepts (1 lecture)

2)      Methods and Sensors (3 lectures)

3)      Editing and data preparation (1 lecture)

4)      Time-domain statistics (3 lectures)

5)      Collapsing data sets: functional fits and EOFs (2 lectures)

6)      Gauss/Markov theorem and interpolation (2 lectures)

7)      Spectral methods (4 lectures)

8)      Related issues (complex demodulation, filters, etc.)

9)      Inverse techniques

10)  Student talks scattered through the semester.

11)  Other topics, as time and interest allow, e.g. wavelets, inverse techniques, etc.

12)  There will also be one or two classes given by guest lecturers


Class format:

             I will hand-write visuals on an overhead during class, and then distribute the screen material (including figures) immediately after each class. I find that this approach keeps me from talking too quickly (as is the temptation when using PowerPoint).



             I will appreciate suggestions and comments of all sorts from the class.

             Please turn off your cell phone when you come to class. If you must talk, text, or email, please leave the room.



Last updated: September 2, 2014

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