


Courses Earth and Planetary Sciences 131 (FQ 2023): Risk: Natural Hazards and Related Phenomena We live in an uncertain world. Hazards and risk are common. The world is a complex system. How can we understand and manage our exposure to hazards and risk? How can we recover when the worst happens? The world wide web offers many new possibilities. In this course, we will discuss a number of examples, drawn from the field of natural hazards  earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and the like  as well as hazards in other fields as time permits. We will also discuss new ideas using internet technologies to anticipate, mitigate, respond, and recover from disasters of various types. Forecasting and datadriven analyses are important, along with social networking to build resilient communities. Many of these ideas originate from discussions at the Santa Fe Institute, internationally famous for its emphasis on complex systems. During the course, we will make use of a number of web sites and apps that will allow us to examine practical aspects of risk and risk management. Primary goal for the course is for the student to gain a deeper understanding of risk in the modern world, and how it may be anticipated and mitigated, and how we can respond to and recover from these potentially catastrophic events. PhysicsEPS 30 (WQ 2024): Fractals, Chaos and Complex Systems Physics 255 (WQ 2025): Econophysics: The Statistical Physics of the Financial Markets Econophysics is the application of ideas from statistical mechanics to the financial markets. Markets are complex selfadapting systems that are observed to undergo sudden transitions such as “booms” or “bubbles” and “busts” or “crashes”. Transitions in system dynamics are associated with the nucleation and growth of fluctuations, together with a threshold in the state space of the system. Markets are also observed to obey scaling dynamics, an interesting example being the existence of the Pareto distribution of wealth among populations. In this course, we will introduce the dynamics of markets from a physics and systems perspective. We will discuss the statistical distributions of returns, the phase dynamics of prices, and models for the markets. We will discuss specific markets such as the equity stock markets (NYSE/Euronext, NASDAQ), the fixed income (bond) markets (Government and Municipals), and the commodities markets (CME and Futures). We will discuss timedependent models for equity valuations such as the BlackScholes equation that are used in options pricing. Students will be expected to contribute actively to discussions, as well as complete a project using financial data and analysis. Familiarity with some form of computer programming is mandatory. Physics 250: Nucleation and Phase Transitions  The Tipping Point Complex systems are observed to undergo sudden changes in behavior when the system "tips" from one dominant dynamical pattern to another. The transition in system dynamics is associated with the nucleation and growth of fluctuations, together with a threshold in the state space of the system. The threshold can be characterized as a "tipping point". Tipping points, or firstorder transitions, can be associated with stock market crashes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and epidemics. In this course we will examine the dynamics of nucleation and growth in complex systems. We develop the tools to understand the effects of tipping points, and how these lead to the appearance of fractals and scaling phenomena. We examine the role of fluctuations, and how these lead to selection of new dynamical states, and we will illuminate the role of the"spinodal" the classical limit of stability of the system. Students in this course will study the dynamics of a variety of complex systems that demonstrate tipping points through the development and use of analytical and numerical methods. Earth and Planetary Sciences 160: Data Analysis in the Earth Sciences Students learn to analyze geological and geophysical data from the standpoint of statistics and the theory of probability. We will consider uncertainty in measurements, common types of probability distributions, error analysis, definition of mean and variance as well as estimation of these quantities, random numbers and how to generate these, fitting models to data, maximum likelihood methods, testing goodnessofÂfit, analysis of directional data, and numerical methods. A variety of statistical packages are available. Examples of software packages include the MatLab statistics toolbox, standard routines in IDL from RSI, and Excel. We will teach the fundamentals of programming, using MatLab, IDL, Excel, or other programming languages. Students will also learn how to acquire, manipulate, and analyze geological and geophysical data using data bases currently available (primarily) on the World Wide Web. We also assume that students have little or no prior background in probability, the systematic analysis of data, or in matrix algebra


