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Department of Geology
Bryn Mawr College
101 North Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: (610) 526-7392
Fax: (610) 526-5086

Geology Courses
and the Geology Major

Read the Geology Major/Minor Requirements online, or download a printable .pdf file of Geology info from the 2009-10 College catalog, including information on the Geoarchaeology and Geochemistry concentrations in Geology.

For information on the Environmental Studies curriculum c onnect to Environmental Studies @ Bryn Mawr online, or download a printable .pdf copy of the ES concentration guidelines.

This page displays the schedule of Bryn Mawr courses in this department for this academic year. It also displays descriptions of courses offered by the department during the last four academic years.

For information about courses offered by other Bryn Mawr departments and programs or about courses offered by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, please consult the Course Guides page.

For information about the Academic Calendar, including the dates of first and second quarter courses, please visit the College's master calendar.

Spring 2016

COURSE TITLE SCHEDULE/
UNITS
MEETING TYPE TIMES/DAYS LOCATION INSTR(S)
GEOL B102-001 Earth: Life of a Planet Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Park 25 Marenco,K.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM T Park 100
GEOL B102-002 Earth: Life of a Planet Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Park 25 Marenco,K.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W Park 100
GEOL B102-003 Earth: Life of a Planet Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Park 25 Marenco,K.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM TH Park 100
GEOL B202-001 Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:10 AM-12:00 PM MWF Park 200 Cull-Hearth,S.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM M Park 200
GEOL B205-001 Sedimentary Materials and Environments Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-10:00 AM MWF Park 259 Barber,D.
Laboratory: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM T Park 259
GEOL B299-001 Geology Field Short Course Semester / 0.5
GEOL B310-001 Introduction to Geophysics Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 259 Weil,A.
GEOL B350-001 Advanced Topics in Geology: Planetary Geology Semester / 1 Lecture: 2:25 PM- 3:45 PM TTH Park 300 Cull-Hearth,S.
GEOL B399-001 Senior Capstone Seminar Semester / 0.5 Lecture: 2:10 PM- 4:00 PM F Park 200 Dept. staff, TBA
GEOL B403-001 Supervised Research Semester / 0.5,1 Dept. staff, TBA
GEOL B425-001 Praxis III Semester / 1 Dept. staff, TBA
BIOL B236-001 Evolution Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 25 Davis,G.
ENVS B397-001 Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM- 1:00 PM F Park 10 Goldsmith,J.

Fall 2016

COURSE TITLE SCHEDULE/
UNITS
MEETING TYPE TIMES/DAYS LOCATION INSTR(S)
GEOL B101-001 How the Earth Works Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-10:00 AM MWF Park 180 Cull-Hearth,S., Marenco,K.
Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM T Park 100
GEOL B101-002 How the Earth Works Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-10:00 AM MWF Park 180 Cull-Hearth,S., Marenco,K.
Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W Park 100
GEOL B101-003 How the Earth Works Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-10:00 AM MWF Park 180 Cull-Hearth,S., Marenco,K.
Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM TH Park 100
GEOL B202-001 Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Park 200 Cull-Hearth,S.
Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM M Park 200
GEOL B203-001 Invertebrate Paleobiology Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM TTH Park 300 Marenco,P.
GEOL B206-001 Energy Resources and Sustainability Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 278 Barber,D.
GEOL B260-001 Origin Stories: From the Big Bang to Mother Earth Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:55 PM- 2:15 PM TTH Park 337 Schulz,M., Weil,A.
GEOL B304-001 Tectonics Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Park 259 Weil,A.
GEOL B350-001 Advanced Topics in Geology: Seminal Ideas in Earth Science Semester / 1 LEC: 1:10 PM- 2:30 PM MW Park 259 Barber,D., Weil,A.
GEOL B399-001 Senior Capstone Seminar Semester / 0.5 Lecture: 2:10 PM- 4:00 PM F Park 259 Dept. staff, TBA
GEOL B403-001 Supervised Research Semester / 0.5,1 Dept. staff, TBA
ENVS B397-001 Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-12:00 PM TH Park 127 Goldsmith,J.

Spring 2017

COURSE TITLE SCHEDULE/
UNITS
MEETING TYPE TIMES/DAYS LOCATION INSTR(S)
GEOL B110-001 Focus: Exploring Topics in the Earth Sciences: Exploring Mars First Half / 0.5 LEC: 1:10 PM- 2:30 PM MW Cull-Hearth,S.
GEOL B125-001 Focus: Geology in Film Second Half / 0.5 Lecture: 1:10 PM- 2:30 PM MW Marenco,P.
GEOL B204-001 Structural Geology Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Weil,A.
Lab: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM W
GEOL B205-001 Sedimentary Materials and Environments Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:10 AM-10:00 AM MWF Barber,D.
Lab: 1:10 PM- 4:00 PM M
GEOL B299-001 Geology Field Short Course Semester / 0.5 Lecture: Date/Time TBA Weil,A.
GEOL B350-001 Advanced Topics in Geology: Acid Mine Drainage Systems Semester / 1 LEC: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Cull-Hearth,S.
GEOL B350-002 Advanced Topics in Geology: Carbonate Environments Semester / 1 LEC: 12:55 PM- 2:15 PM TTH Marenco,P.
GEOL B399-001 Senior Capstone Seminar Semester / 0.5 Lecture: 2:10 PM- 4:00 PM F Dept. staff, TBA
GEOL B403-001 Supervised Research Semester / 0.5,1 Dept. staff, TBA
BIOL B236-001 Evolution Semester / 1 Lecture: 9:55 AM-11:15 AM TTH Davis,G., Marenco,P.

2016-17 Catalog Data

GEOL B101 How the Earth Works Fall 2016 An introduction to the study of planet Earth--the materials of which it is made, the forces that shape its surface and interior, the relationship of geological processes to people, and the application of geological knowledge to the search for useful materials. Laboratory and fieldwork focus on learning the tools for geological investigations and applying them to the local area and selected areas around the world. Three lectures and one afternoon of laboratory or fieldwork a week. One required one-day field trip on a weekend. Quantitative Readiness Required (QR) Scientific Investigation (SI) Counts toward Environmental Studies

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GEOL B102 Earth: Life of a Planet Not offered 2016-17 The history of the Earth from its beginning, including its climate and tectonic history and the evolution of the living forms that have populated it. Three lectures, one afternoon of laboratory a week. A required two-day (Sat-Sun) field trip is taken in April. Scientific Investigation (SI)

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GEOL B103 Earth Systems and the Environment Not offered 2016-17 This integrated approach to studying the Earth focuses on interactions among geology, oceanography, and biology. Also discussed are the consequences of human energy consumption, industrial development, and land use. Two lectures and one afternoon of laboratory or fieldwork per week. A required field trip is taken in April. Scientific Investigation (SI) Counts toward Environmental Studies

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GEOL B109 Quantitative Problems in the Earth Science Not offered 2016-17 An introduction to quantitative methods used for solving problems in Earth science. We will examine a wide variety of geologic questions: seismicity and earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslide triggers, flooding patterns, and more. We will then practice a range of quantitative techniques to approach those questions, both from a broad, global perspective and by examining current, relevant case studies. Prerequisite: Quantitative Readiness Required. Quantitative Methods (QM) Quantitative Readiness Required (QR) Scientific Investigation (SI)

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GEOL B110 Focus: Exploring Topics in the Earth Sciences
Section 001 (Spring 2017): Exploring Mars Spring 2017 This is a half -semester focus course.
Current topic description: In this half-semester class, we'll examine the latest data from the two Mars rovers currently operating on the surface, as well as satellite data from the many NASA and international missions in orbit around Mars right now. We'll explore what we know about the geologic history of Mars, including the presence of past water, and the potential for past life.
Current topic description: In this half-semester class, we'll examine the latest data from the two Mars rovers currently operating on the surface, as well as satellite data from the many NASA and international missions in orbit around Mars right now. We'll explore what we know about the geologic history of Mars, including the presence of past water, and the potential for past life.
Scientific Investigation (SI)

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GEOL B125 Focus: Geology in Film Spring 2017 This is a half semester Focus course. Geologic processes make for great film storylines, but filmmakers take great liberty with how they depict scientific "facts" and scientists. We will explore how and why filmmakers choose to deviate from science reality. We will study and view one film per week and discuss its issues from a geologist's perspective. Course does not meet an Approach Counts toward Film Studies

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GEOL B202 Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry Fall 2016 The crystal chemistry of representative minerals as well as the relationship between the physical properties of minerals and their structures and chemical compositions. Emphasis is placed on mineral identification and interpretation. The occurrence and petrography of typical mineral associations and rocks is also covered. Lecture three hours, laboratory at least three hours a week. One required field trip on a weekend. Prerequisite: introductory course in Geology or Chemistry (both recommended, one required). Quantitative Readiness Required (QR) Scientific Investigation (SI)

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GEOL B203 Invertebrate Paleobiology Fall 2016 We will explore how the Earth-life system has evolved through time by studying the interactions between life, climate, and tectonic processes. During the lab component of the course, we will study important fossil groups to better understand their paleoecology and roles in the Earth-life system. Writing Intensive Scientific Investigation (SI) Counts toward Environmental Studies

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GEOL B204 Structural Geology Spring 2017 An introduction to the study of rock deformation in the Earth's lithosphere viewed from all scales - from the microscopic (atomic scale) to the macroscopic (continental scale). This class focuses on building a foundation of knowledge and understanding that will allow students to broaden their appreciation and understanding of the complexity of the Earth system and the links between geologic structures at all scales and plate tectonics. Three lectures and three hours of laboratory a week, plus a required three-day, weekend field trip. Prerequisite: GEOL 101 and MATH 101. Quantitative Readiness Required (QR)

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GEOL B205 Sedimentary Materials and Environments Spring 2017 An introduction to sediment transport, depositional processes, and stratigraphic analysis, with emphasis on interpretation of sedimentary sequences and the reconstruction of past environments. Three lectures and one lab a week, plus a one-day field trip. Prerequisite: GEOL 101, 102, or 103 or permission of instructor. Recommended: GEOL B202 and B203. Course does not meet an Approach

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GEOL B206 Energy Resources and Sustainability Fall 2016 An examination of issues concerning the supply of energy required by humanity. This includes an investigation of the geological framework that determines resource availability, aspects of energy production and resource development and the science of global climate change. Two 90-minute lectures a week. Suggested preparation: one year of college science. Scientific Investigation (SI) Counts toward Environmental Studies

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GEOL B209 Natural Hazards Not offered 2016-17 A quantitative approach to understanding the earth processes that impact human societies. We consider the past, current, and future hazards presented by geologic processes, including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, and hurricanes. The course includes discussion of the social, economic, and policy contexts within which natural geologic processes become hazards. Case studies are drawn from contemporary and ancient societies. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: one semester of college science or permission of instructor. Quantitative Methods (QM) Quantitative Readiness Required (QR) Counts toward Environmental Studies

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GEOL B260 Origin Stories: From the Big Bang to Mother Earth Fall 2016 This is a co-taught intermediate science course, instructed by a Geology and Physics professor, that will focus on the core scientific principals related to Cosmology, Physics and Geology that help address fundamental questions regarding the origin of the Universe, the origin of time, the origin of stars and our own solar system, and the origin of Earth, its atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The course will be a mix of fundamental scientific principles used to scaffold a deeper understanding of how scientists have come to understand and question stories of origin. Group discussions will be informed by close reading of scientific texts, and occasional problem sets. Scientific Investigation (SI)

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GEOL B299 Geology Field Short Course Spring 2017 Geology majors choosing to participate in the annual Fall- or Spring-Break Geology Department Field Trip must enroll in GEOL B299. Enrollment in this class does not guarantee a spot on the field trip. Several pre-trip class meetings help maximize student engagement on the trip by providing a forum for discussing the assigned readings. During the week-long field trip, students are exposed to geologic field methods while visiting sites that exemplify different geology from that at sites near campus. Geologic methods introduced include proper field note-taking, mapping and measuring geologic structures, and interpreting geologic history. Culminating work introduces students to geologic illustration and report writing. A passing grade requires full participation and engagement by the student before, during and after the field trip. At least one post-trip meeting is held on campus to synthesize the material covered, and to go over students' final reports. Prerequisite: GEOL B101, B102 or B103; and GEOL B202, B203, B204 or B205. Scientific Investigation (SI)

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GEOL B301 High-Temperature Geochemistry Not offered 2016-17 Principles and theory of various aspects of geochemistry in rock systems, focusing on applications of chemistry to the study of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: GEOL B202, CHEM B103 and B104 or consent of the instructor.

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GEOL B302 Low-Temperature Geochemistry Not offered 2016-17 Stable isotope geochemistry is one of the most important subfields of the Earth sciences for understanding environmental and climatic change. In this course, we will explore stable isotopic fundamentals and applications including a number of important case studies from the recent and deep time dealing with important biotic events in the fossil record and major climate changes. Prerequisites: GEOL 101 or GEOL 102, and at least one semester of chemistry or physics, or professor approval. Counts toward Environmental Studies

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GEOL B304 Tectonics Fall 2016 Plate tectonics and continental orogeny are reviewed in light of the geologic record in selected mountain ranges and certain geophysical data. Three hours of lecture and a problem session a week. Prerequisite: GEOL 204 or permission of instructor.

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GEOL B305 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology Not offered 2016-17 The study of igneous and metamorphic rocks, including their origins and modes of occurrence. The focus is on understanding how these rocks form, and on applying a combination of field methods, laboratory techniques, and theoretical understanding to interpret the origins of igneous and metamorphic rocks. The class will build on the study of mineralogy by examining assemblages of coexisting minerals, and what those assemblages reveal about the pressure, temperature, and chemical conditions under which a rock must have formed. For a culminating term project we will conduct an intensive study of local metamorphic rocks. Three lecture hours weekly and one weekly lab. One weekend field trip. Prerequisites: GEOL 202.

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GEOL B310 Introduction to Geophysics Not offered 2016-17 An overview covering how geophysical observations of the Earth's magnetic field, gravity field, heat flow, radioactivity, and seismic waves provide a means to study plate tectonics and the earth's interior. Three class hours a week with weekly problem sets. Prerequisite: one year of college physics or with permission of professor.

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GEOL B314 Marine Geology Not offered 2016-17 An introduction to oceanography, coastal processes, and the geomorphology of temperate and tropical shorelines. Includes an overview of the many parameters, including sea level change, that shape coastal environments. Meets twice weekly for a combination of lecture, discussion and hands-on exercises, including a mandatory multi-day field trip to investigate developed and pristine sections of the Mid-Atlantic US coast. Prerequisite: One 200-level GEOL course OR one GEOL course AND one BIOL course (any level), OR advanced BIOL major standing (junior or senior). Counts toward Environmental Studies

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GEOL B350 Advanced Topics in Geology
Section 001 (Spring 2017): Acid Mine Drainage Systems
Section 001 (Fall 2015): Holocene Climate and Sea Level
Section 001 (Spring 2016): Planetary Geology
Section 001 (Fall 2016): Seminal Ideas in Earth Science
Section 002 (Spring 2017): Carbonate Environments Fall 2016, Spring 2017 This is a topics course. Course content varies. Recent topics include Carbonate Petrology, Appalachian Geology, Advanced Evolution, The Snowball Controversy, and Climate Change.
Current topic description: Investigation of the seminal ideas published over the past 150 years that led modern Geology. Topics include radiogenic heat, isotopic age dating, isostasy, plate tectonics, seismic sequence stratigraphy, atmospheric CO2 & climate, evolution and mass extinctions. Students read primary literature articles chosen to explore the scientific origins of these fundamental ideas. Weekly readings are the basis for in-class discussions.
Current topic description: Acid Mine Drainage is a consequence of mining, affecting streams and ecosystems miles from the abandoned mines that cause it. In this class, we'll examine several AMD systems in Pennsylvania, visiting the mines, sampling the AMD run-off , and analyzing our samples using Bryn Mawr's geochemistry tools. We'll discuss the mineral alteration processes that lead to these deposits, and the consequences they can have for local communities and ecosystems. Prerequisite GEOL 202.
Current topic description: Students will study Earth's changing environments by using geologic indicators preserved in carbonate rocks and sediments. The course is laboratory-based, with an emphasis on making predictions, observations, and interpretations on samples collected by the class during field trips to ancient and modern carbonate environments.
Current topic description: Investigation of the seminal ideas published over the past 150 years that led modern Geology. Topics include radiogenic heat, isotopic age dating, isostasy, plate tectonics, seismic sequence stratigraphy, atmospheric CO2 & climate, evolution and mass extinctions. Students read primary literature articles chosen to explore the scientific origins of these fundamental ideas. Weekly readings are the basis for in-class discussions.
Current topic description: Acid Mine Drainage is a consequence of mining, affecting streams and ecosystems miles from the abandoned mines that cause it. In this class, we'll examine several AMD systems in Pennsylvania, visiting the mines, sampling the AMD run-off , and analyzing our samples using Bryn Mawr's geochemistry tools. We'll discuss the mineral alteration processes that lead to these deposits, and the consequences they can have for local communities and ecosystems. Prerequisite GEOL 202.
Current topic description: Students will study Earth's changing environments by using geologic indicators preserved in carbonate rocks and sediments. The course is laboratory-based, with an emphasis on making predictions, observations, and interpretations on samples collected by the class during field trips to ancient and modern carbonate environments.

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GEOL B399 Senior Capstone Seminar A capstone seminar course required for all Geology majors. All Geology seniors will be required to participate in this two-semester seminar that meets weekly for 1.5 hours for a total of 1.0 credit (0.5 credits per semester). Enrollment required in two half-credit courses, one in the fall and one in the spring semester of the senior year. The focus of the seminar will be to integrate the student's major curriculum into open peer-led discussions on cutting edge research in the many diverse fields of Geology, to discuss the impact and relevance of Geology to modern society, and to work on oral and written communication skills.

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GEOL B403 Supervised Research At the discretion of the department faculty, rising seniors may undertake an independent thesis project in addition to mandatory full participation in the senior capstone seminar. This student thesis is conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor(s). The undertaking of a thesis is modeled after a Master's thesis project, which is scaled down for the different time frame (one year versus two years) and educational level of a senior undergraduate student. The thesis project plan is initially developed, and agreed upon by conference between the supervising faculty member(s) and the student. Most of the research is conducted independently by the student. The advisor serves as a source of ideas concerning scientific literature, methodologies, and financial support. The advisor may visit and inspect the research sites, laboratory or model, and offer advice on how the research should be conducted or modified.

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GEOL B425 Praxis III Independent or group projects with a significant emphasis on community outreach and service. Projects usually focus on addressing environmental issues through collaborative work with off-campus practitioners. Prerequisites: advanced standing in the environmental studies concentration or permission of the instructor. Counts toward Praxis Program

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BIOL B236 Evolution Spring 2017 A lecture/discussion course on the development of evolutionary biology. This course will cover the history of evolutionary theory, population genetics, molecular and developmental evolution, paleontology, and phylogenetic analysis. Lecture three hours a week. Scientific Investigation (SI) Counts toward Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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BIOL B250 Computational Methods in the Sciences Not offered 2016-17 A study of how and why modern computation methods are used in scientific inquiry. Students will learn basic principles of visualizing and analyzing scientific data through hands-on programming exercises. The majority of the course will use the R programming language and corresponding open source statistical software. Content will focus on data sets from across the sciences. Six hours of combined lecture/lab per week. Writing Attentive Quantitative Methods (QM) Quantitative Readiness Required (QR) Scientific Investigation (SI) Counts toward Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Counts toward Environmental Studies Counts toward Neuroscience

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ENVS B397 Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies Fall 2016 In this capstone course, senior Environmental Studies minors from across the disciplines will draw on the perspectives and skills gained from their majors and from their preparatory work in the minor to collaboratively engage high-level questions of environmental inquiry. Prerequisite: Open only to Environmental Studies minors who have completed all introductory work for the minor. Counts toward Environmental Studies

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PHYS B350 Computational Methods in the Physical Sciences Not offered 2016-17 This course provides an introduction to a variety of computational tools and programming techniques that physical science graduates might encounter in graduate work or employment in STEM-related fields. Tools explored will include both command-line and GUI programming environments, both scripting and scientific programming languages, basic programming concepts such as loops and function calls, and key scientific programming applications such as integration, finding of roots and minima/maxima, least-square fitting, solution of differential equations, boundary-value problems, finite-element analysis, Fourier analysis, matrix operations, Monte Carlo techniques, and possibly neural networks. Where possible, examples will be taken from multiple scientific disciplines, in addition to physics. This course is intended for second semester sophomores, juniors and seniors. Co-requisite: MATH B203 and three units of science (Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Geology).

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Geology help pages - includes help on library research, writing scientific papers, quantitative problem solving, and computer help
Stay informed - Join the geology and enviro-news e-mail listservers to receive important announcements about your major, notification of up-coming events, and information about summer internships and jobs.
Guidelines for seniors
Top ten reasons to major in geology at Bryn Mawr