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.

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Meeting ID: 384 711 375
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2016- 2017 Webinar Schedule

October 12 - Taras Gerya, ETH Zurich, Geodynamic modeling with staggered finite differences and marker in cell: theory, teaching and examples
November 9 – Max Rudolph, University of California, Davis, Tools and approaches for teaching computation and modeling: geodynamics and beyond
February 8 – Gabriele Morra, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
March 8 – Eric Mittelstaedt, University of Idaho
April 12 – Sabine Stanley, Johns Hopkins University
May 10  - 

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, November 9 @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.


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]


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