This is my course review for atmospheric science 559. I took the course in spring 2015 with Cecilia Bitz. This is the first (and so far only) graduate level course I have taken at UW, and—especially compared to the intro-level weed-out freshman courses I was forced to take throughout my first year—as a result, I had a very different experience from that in my other courses.
some remarks only for now:
- a “reading course”, so instead of textbooks, we mostly read actual climate modelling papers (which were especially difficult to process since I hadn’t had prior exposure)
- and had short reading questions
- i had significant interaction1 with the professor, unlike all my other under grad courses (with the possible exception of math 13X, where i went in to the TA’s office hours semi-frequently so that i got help that way, but even then it wasn’t with the instructor of the course)
- the topics were really diverse, and even though it was all about climate modelling, it was still very much a “breadth approach”
- because of this, the professor actually brought in other professors/atmospheric scientists to lecture on their specialized topics
- basically the grad lvl equivalent of atmos 380?
- no exams or quizzes, no real in-class participation required (though i did go to most of the lectures)
- final project included a presentation, and i didn’t realize how stressful this would turn out to be… although the actual presentation didn’t turn out to be that scary
- hmm, so im not sure how to articulate this correctly, but i did feel that i got to understand better “how atmospheric scientists think”, e.g. their thought processes as they look at a figure or w/e
- i got to learn the rudiments of matlab, though i really don’t understand how it works … (especially how it deals with figures, e.g. i got some extremely odd figures)
- workload isn’t much if you know what you’re doing
- interestingly, many of the other students didn’t seem to have a lot of experience with unix/commandline stuff. although some of the people definitely knew more than i did.
- i would not recommend that other first-year students or students with no prior experience in atmospheric science take this course!
basically: going in to office hours ~5 times throughout the quarter, getting help running the models, help with understanding the actual science, and so on.↩