Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE IT Skills for Geoscientists (Matlab)

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Geosciences

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is intended to provide the hands-on skills necessary to be able to analyse scientific data found in all fields of Geoscience. The components of a computer architecture, different data structures, search heuristics and basic algorithms will initially be covered. This is followed by practical sessions on Matlab and other software packages that are typically used to read and process scientific data.

Basic programming methods and data structures will be discussed to make sure that all students have the skills to follow the rest of the course. Variables, data types, vectors, arrays, scripts and functions as well as IO processes to read and write data files, will be covered.

In this study-unit, students will work on actual datasets recorded in recent years, model data, and near real-time satellite observations. Processing of gridded data stored in binary representation will be demonstrated and carried out. The basic mathematics behind matrix processing will also be described.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to provide students with the necessary practical skills that will allow them to process, visualise and analyse data using standard software.

Students will be introduced to different types and formats of scientific data. They will be provided with hands-on session to learn how to process and extract information from such data sources. These skills will prove useful for practical sessions of the other study units, and will also be an asset during final year projects involving data collection.

This unit also aims to help students in interpreting data and prove theories on the basis of scientific observation.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

* recognize the limitations of data sources;
* evaluate the different types and formats of scientific data;
* practice the skills acquired to examine theoretic concepts covered in the other study units;
* derive new conclusions on the basis of a dataset.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

* identify the data processes required to evaluate a scientific theory;
* compute and analyse scientific data using state-of-the-art software;
* search for data and/or other resources relevant to all fields of Geoscience;
* evaluate numerical analysis on measured and model data;
* create data sources visualisation.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Gilat, Amos (2008). MATLAB: An Introduction with Applications. Scitech Book News, Sep 2008, Vol.32(3).
- Torgo, Luis (2011). Data Mining with R: Learning with Case Studies. Chapman & Hall/CRC.
- Watson, Richard Thomas (2006). Data Management: Databases & Organizations. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley.
- Middleton, Gerard (2002). Data Analysis in the Earth Sciences Using MATLAB. Companion Software.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (20 Minutes) SEM1 Yes 10%
Project SEM1 Yes 90%

LECTURER/S Anthony Galea
Adam Gauci

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.