EAPS Seminars and Special Offerings

Interested in cross registration and need more information? Visit our Cross-Registration page for a summary of useful links.

Spring 2017

PLEASE NOTE:  Subjects listed on this page are being taught under a Special Problems number, used for one time only classes. The title and description that you will see on the Registrar's and pre-registration sites will NOT match what you see here. They will list the general info that applies to all terms and years. Register for the right number, and you will be in the class you want.

12.092/12.S492   Astrobiology: Origins and Early Evolution of Life
Undergraduate and Graduate numbers
Units: 3-0-9
Schedule: MWF 1-2, 54-819
Provides an understanding of major areas of research into the problem of the Origin of life on the early Earth from an astrobiological perspective.  Topics include the timing, setting and conditions for the origin of life on the Hadean Earth; roles of planetary and extra-planetary processes; defining life; prebiotic chemistry; origins of nucleic acids and peptides; evolution of cellularity, replication, metabolism, and translation;  establishment of the genetic code; biogenesis vs. ecogenesis; the nature of the last common ancestor of life; conceptualizing the "tree of life"; and the early evolution of the ancestors of bacteria, archaeal, and eukaryal lineages.
Will be a permanent subject with the numbers 12.177/12.477 starting in the 2018 academic year.

12.S590 Geoinformatics for Natural Hazards Monitoring
Units: 3-0-9
Schedule: TR 2-3:30, 54-824
Algorithmic principles and machine learning for natural hazard detection and monitoring. Data processing, feature detection, computer-aided discovery in time series and images acquired from sensor networks, satellites, UAVs. Fundamentals of interferometric processing. Principles of geoscience sensor networks and fault-tolerance. Data fusion, provenance tracking, metadata models and inference tools & techniques. Lectures will be accompanied by individual and small-group projects in Python with hands-on access to data repositories at NASA, NOAA, USGS, UNAVCO, and other sources.
Herring and Pankratius

12.S592 Machine Learning Foundations with Geophysical Application-I 
Units: 12
Schedule: MWF 9:30-10:30, 54-1827
The first course of an advanced two-semester sequence in Machine Learning that enables one to design Learning-based approaches for geophysical applications. Topics from the following areas are studied, based on class interest: Non-Parametric Bayesian Inference, Graphical Models, Trees and Forests, Kernel Machines, Ensemble Learning, Manifold Learning, Transfer Learning, and Recurrent and Deep Learning. See subject website for more information.

12.098/12.S990   Planetary Atmospheres 
Undergraduate and Graduate numbers
Units: 3-0-9
Schedule: T,R 9:30-11, 54-1623
Provides a basic understanding of the physics and chemistry of planetary atmospheres. Atmospheres have now been observed both within our solar system and inferred for exoplanets. Atmospheres with different properties exist around the rocky planets and gas giants as well as Saturn’s moon Titan and the dwarf planet Pluto. Explores the formation and evolution of atmospheres, their structure and dynamics, and what is known about their chemical composition. Particular attention is paid to their energy balance. The current state of understanding of exoplanet atmospheres is also presented.
Will be a permanent subject with the numbers 12.422/12.622 starting in the 2018 academic year.

12.S992   Submesoscale Ocean Processes 
Units: 9
Schedule: R 10:30-12:30
Discussions of seminal papers that illustrate the fundamental dynamics of submesoscale turbulence in the atmosphere and ocean. In the atmosphere the submesoscale turbulence is characterized by the warm and cold fronts that develop at the edges of high and low pressure systems and are often associated with the most dramatic weather. Similarly, ocean submesoscale turbulence is characterized by density fronts at the sea surface at the edges of ocean eddies. The last third of the class will focus on papers that explore the impact of submesoscale turbulence on ocean biology, a very active area of research. The students will present the papers and work on a project of their choice that they will present toward the end of the class. Students may register using the Gradate P-D-F option.
Ferrari and Mahadevan