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Feel the attraction of gravity!

Beyond the Mouse LAB 1: Thinking Programs

August 29, 31

Instructor: Jeff Freymueller

x7286 Elvey 413B jfreymueller@alaska.edu

TA: Shanshan Li

Last Updated: August 27, 2017

Due: Tuesday Sep 5, before class

Exercise 0: Passwords

You all should be able to log in to the computers in the lab using your UAlaska username and password. If not, then talk to Shanshan Li immediately and he will check on it.

Exercise I: Drawing flow charts

In class last week I mentioned that students taking 636 will need to do a project by the end of the semester. For this lab you will pick some project (it might not be your final choice, this is just an exercise, so do not spend a long time trying to come up with your ideal project, just pick something that seems appealing). Try to think ''big picture'': identify manageable sub-units and link them together in a meaningful way. Visualize the result in the form of a flow chart. We recommend hand drawing this as that's faster, things change a lot and it doesn't need to be pretty. Just deliver something that's legible and easy to follow (here are pre-defined flow chart symbols, give definitions for other symbols)

-- OR --

If you did not figure out a project yet, DON'T PANIC!. Try to create a flow chart for the process of writing and publishing a scientific paper. If you really don't know the process, then create a flow chart for how you think it works, or pick a similar process that you understand well. You can find inspiration on the web:

If you've already written and published a paper you will have an easier time, I suppose. You're welcome to give more details. If some branches of your flowchart explode in great detail, consider to lump these things together. Put them on a separate little flow chart and refer to this from the main chart by including a descriptive name there and on the little chart.

Exercise II: Playing with Code -- Learn to swim in the open waters.

Here, we do not care a bit about your programming experience. We want you to familiarize yourself with the MATLAB environment and get you to start playing around. During this process you will hopefully understand the setup of the environment and get a feeling for how MATLAB tries to help you in moments of distress (Hint: Read the red output!).

Hint: If you want to learn more about the MATLAB commands, type doc COMMAND or help COMMAND in the command window.

We want you to document some of your experiences in a textfile. Open notepad; save the file as deepwater_(yourname).txt and send it to sli11 <at> alaska <dot> edu. Replace ''(yourname)'' with your name. For reasons that will be more clear later in the semester, I want you to get in the habit of not using spaces in file names. Use underscores instead.

Dr. Jeffrey T. Freymueller
Professor of Geophysics
Geophysical Institute
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320

jfreymueller -at- alaska.edu
Phone 907-474-7286
Fax 907-474-7290
Office 413B Elvey