Tools and approaches for teaching computation and modeling: geodynamics and beyond
Max Rudolph, University of California, Davis
I will share experiences teaching computation and modeling using a variety of tools and techniques. First, I will present my philosophy and approach to teaching modeling at the undergraduate level using jupyter notebooks and python. I will describe a set of exercises designed to familiarize students with the conservation laws and the properties of partial differential equations relevant to modeling geologic processes as well as simple numerical approaches based on low-order finite differences. I will my share experiences and provide a brief demonstration of the functionality of the jupyterhub environment with nbgrader, which provides an integrated environment for assignment creation, distribution, and automated grading of computer laboratory assignments. Second, I will discuss approaches used in a graduate level geodynamic modeling class. I will provide examples of curricular materials and student projects that use the ASPECT mantle convection code. I will demonstrate the integration of ASPECT with jupyter notebooks to reproduce classic results associated with the onset of convection and mantle mixing processes.