HC441H - Listening to the Earth – interpreting patterns and extreme events in natural data

Professor: Leif Karlstrom

4.00 credits

CRN 12298: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:00-1:50pm @ TYKE 240

Earth Science is undergoing a data revolution that stands to transform the way we observe and understand the natural world. But along with exciting new discoveries come challenges associated with an onslaught of information – What constitutes good data? How do we distinguish signals from noise? How do we effectively convey information to each other? Can data be used subjectively to express the human condition through art? This course will examine the field of data science, loosely interpreted, through applications to current research topics in Earth Science. We will focus on nontraditional methods, in particular the techniques of ‘sonification’ – representation of data through sound – and visual data representation that facilitate hands-on exploration. In taking this approach we will interface with the subjective side of science, discussing and experimenting with data representation techniques for communication and discovery, as well as visual art and music that helps bridge humanities and natural science. This course will be project based, introducing data analysis and computational tools early on then applying them throughout the term towards group projects. The course is intended for students interested in any aspect of Earth Science as well as music and visual art.