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Online Class

  • The Science of the Solar System is a completely free online class hosted by Coursera. It is used for the lecture portion of Ge 11c/103, but it is a highly-rated in-depth exploration of the solar system suitable for anyone with a interest in learning more about how we use science to understand the planets around us. More than 80,000 people from around the world have participated. It has been declared one of the top 50 online classes of all time.
If you don't want to use the Coursera version, you can access much of the content, including all of the lectures and ideas for how to use them, here.

Current Classes

  • Ge 108. Applications of Physics to the Earth Sciences. Fall Quarter A course in the application of the basic principles of classical physics and differential equations to topics in the earth sciences. Topics will be selected from: radioactivity and the population equation, heat diffusion, advection/diffusion problems in the earth sciences, oscillations and normal modes, and the propagation and interactions of waves.
  • Ge 194: Special Topic in Planet Science: The Ocean of Europa. Fall 2020 (9 units). An online seminar exploring Europa, its ocean, and how observations of the surface give constraints on the internal ocean physical state and chemistry.

Previous Classes

  • Ge 11c/103. Introduction to the Solar System. Spring 2001-2002.
  • Ge/Ay 226. Observational Planetary Astronomy. Winter 1997, 1999.
  • Ge/Ay 133. The Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems. Fall 1999-2002.
  • Ge 1. Earth and its Environment. Spring Quarter: An introduction to the ideas and approaches of earth and environmental sciences, including both the special challenges and viewpoints of this kind of science as well as the ways in which basic physics, chemistry, and biology relate to these sciences. In addition to a wide-ranging lecture-oriented component, there will be a required field trip component (two weekend days), and a special research topic (often lab-oriented) chosen from many alternatives and to be carried out in small groups each led by a professor. The lectures and topics cover such issues as solid earth structure and evolution, plate tectonics, oceans and atmospheres, climate change, and the relationship between geological and biological evolution.

Applying to Caltech

  • Undergraduate studies. Caltech undergraduates are often heavily involved in research during their time here. Undergraduates who have worked in my group have been studying planetary science, astronomy, physics, and computer science. I would definitely not recommend making a decision about where to do your undergraduate studies based on the presence of any individual faculty member, but if you are interested in the possibility of a wide range of different types of research as an undergraduate Caltech could be the right place for you!
  • Graduate studies. Graduate students in my group have been in the planetary science department (part of the Geological and Planetary Science Division) , in the astronomy and physics departments (part of the Physics, Math and Astronomy Division) and in the chemistry department (part of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division). If you're interested in applying to Caltech and working in my group I would be happy to talk about which option is the best for you.