MAMCPROJ-MRes Project for CDT

Module Provider: Mathematics and Statistics
Number of credits: 96 [48 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: MAMCDTU Data & Uncertainty MAMCDTN Numerical Methods MAMCDTS Dynamical Systems MAMCDTE Partial Differential Equations
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Jochen Broecker


Summary module description:

The project module for the MRes Mathematics of Planet Earth.


To teach students in depth about a particular Mathematical or Statistical topic, and then for them to write about this topic clearly and concisely, submitting an initial survey of the problem in March, and a dissertation on their work in September. The aim is for students to learn the methods of research, to familiarise themselves with the literature and key ideas of an area of Mathematics, and to carry out some original work in this area. It is expected that students should be able to derive new results in some of these problems. The dissertation should be a substantial piece of work of publishable standard. A list of available projects will be handed out to the students during the Kick-Off Camp. Some examples of projects we might offer:

• Wave -- mean flow interaction: flows caused by modulation of wave action, pseudomomentum, generalised Lagrangian means, possible harnessing of waves to produce energy;

• Emission of waves by flows: Gravity wave radiation from vortex trains in rotating shallow water;

• Nonlinear stability of rotating, stratified fluid equilibria;

• Hamiltonian formulations of GFD models;

• The geometric meaning of Kelvin's circulation theorem;

• Vortex interactions in a rotating frame;

• Using stochastic collocation method to quantify sensitivity of climate models to changes in parameters;

• Monte Carlo Markov Chain methods for tracing CO2 release;

• Finite element advection schemes for massively parallel climate dynamical cores;

• Numerical investigation of linear response theory in climate models with stochastic parameterisations;

• Derivation of error statistics for novel meteorological observation techniques, examples being wind profilers and cloud observations from radars;

• Aspects of background error covariance modelling;

• Assimilation of novel observations such as tide gauges and radio occultations.

Assessable learning outcomes:

The student will acquire the ability to:

• Develop novel research under directed supervision, and place it in context of the existing literature;

• Describe novel research formally, making clear the distinction between background literature and novel contribution;

• Produce a document of publication standard;

• The final assessment (final report, viva, talk) tests whether the student has acquired the full range of skills required to embark successfully on the PhD programme.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A major component is the MPE Wednesdays, a day-long weekly meeting of the full MRes cohort in term time, alternating between Reading and Imperial. The CDT seminar will take place on this day. The aim is support peer learning, to develop the cohort and their transferable skills, and to train the students to become professional scientists. The morning will begin with a two hour tutorial, in which students will work together on open-ended tasks arising from the material of the core courses, often with an applications focus. In the second term, this will be replaced by a two hour journal club, training students how to read journal papers and build up a bibliography. In the third term this time will also be used for students to present progress from their MRes projects, and throughout the year one slot a month will be used for bespoke transferable skills training in collaboration with our Graduate Schools. These two hours will also allow for discussing any problems or issues about the MRes programme with the Cohort Mentors.

The MRes students will then have lunch with the seminar speaker (either internal or external). After lunch, the students will spend an hour preparing for the seminar, with guided discussion on background material needed to understand the seminar. After the seminar, discussion will continue with the speaker. It is very important that students engage with a broad range of research topics presented as seminars throughout their PhD.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 10 10
Guided independent study 310 630
Total hours by term 320.00 640.00
Total hours for module 960.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 78
Oral assessment and presentation 22

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
An average of 50% across the whole module.

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of the dissertation.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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