CIG Webinar Series 

The CIG Webinar Series draws from a pool of experts from mathematicians, to computer scientists, and to geoscientists, among others to bring together a cross-cutting community of faculty, students and researchers to both inform and disseminate knowledge on the tools and methodologies employed to further the study of problems in geodynamics.

Speakers in the 2017-18 webinar series Geodynamics in the Classroom share their approaches in teaching geodynamical modeling using a variety of tools including Python, MatLab, and Jupyter notebooks.

The one hour webinars will be held the 2nd Thursday of each month October through May. Webinars will be recorded for later viewing. Reminders and details will be sent out through the cig-all mailing list.

Running Zoom

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+1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)
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Meeting ID: 384 711 375
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2017- 2018 Webinar Schedule

October 12 - Taras Gerya, ETH Zurich, Geodynamic modeling with staggered finite differences and marker in cell: theory, teaching and examples
November 16 – Max Rudolph, University of California, Davis, Tools and approaches for teaching computation and modeling: geodynamics and beyond  *** NEW DATE
February 8 – Gabriele Morra, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Pythonic Geodynamics
March 8 – Eric Mittelstaedt, University of Idaho
April 12 – TBD
May 10  - John Nalliboff, UC Davis

Do you have a suggestion for or have heard a talk recently you think may interest the CIG community? Let us know by contacting  


Thursday, February 8 @2PM PT

Pythonic Geodynamics

Gabriele Morra, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Students and young researchers who want to learn to use computational tools for geodynamic modeling have the option to choose among a wide range of numerical tools. I will show how Python and its libraries represent an easy-to-use platform for self-learning, with performance close to compiled codes. I will present (1) how to  visualize and run vectorial calculations, (2) examples from classical Mechanics like particles trajectories in 2D-3D, (3) a detailed description of how to write Lagrangian, Eulerian and Particles in Cell codes for solving linear and non-linear continuum mechanics problems and (4) advanced techniques like tree-codes, Boundary Elements, Lattice Boltzmann Method, as well as use Jupyter Notebooks for creating and distributing content. The goal is to encourage professional and students to learn by experimenting and experiencing, like children who learn by playing.


Past Webinars

Thursday, October 12 @12PM PT   

Geodynamic modeling with staggered finite differences and marker in cell: theory, teaching and examples

Taras Gerya, ETH Zurich

Numerical modeling of geodynamic processes is an essential approach in both science and industry with ever- growing demand and high efficiency/cost ratio. Current trend in geodynamic modeling is to develop universal approaches with potentially unlimited number of applications. 

One simple and flexible method is based on staggered finite differences and marker in cell techniques (SFD-MIC), which demonstrated superior performance in several branches of modern quantitative Earth sciences. It is suitable for modeling various long-term and short-term thermomechanical processes involving large 3D deformation of rheologically complex materials. Recently, potential applicability of this method to technological processes (material science) and natural processes of industrial significance (geo-hydro-mechanics, waste deposits) has also been demonstrated. 

This webinar gives a short theory of the SFD-MIC method, discuses Matlab-based teaching approach and presents modeling examples of natural and technological significance. [slides


Thursday, November 16 @2PM PT

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.

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