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 11c/103. Introduction to the Solar System. Spring Quarter

    This course will introduce the solar system and planetary systems and the physics, chemistry, and geology used to study them. Class lectures will be online using the Coursera platform, and weekly in class time will be spent on more in depth problem solving and discussion.

    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 (internal access only)

      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) and in the astronomy and physics departments (part of the Physics, Math and Astronomy 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.