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Engineering & Computer Science

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Engineering and Computer Science
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 to Friday, March 30, 2018
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Course Overview

This course covers key topics in the use of quantum mechanics in many modern applications in science and technology. It introduces core advanced concepts such as spin, identical particles, the quantum mechanics of light, the basics of quantum information, the interpretation of quantum mechanics, and the major ways in which quantum mechanics is written and used in modern practice. It follows on directly from the QMSE-01 "Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers" course, and is also accessible to others who have studied some quantum mechanics at the equivalent of a first junior or senior college-level physics quantum mechanics course.

You will learn:

●    Basics of quantum information
●    Measurement and interpretation methods
●    Modern applications of quantum mechanics

Prerequisite(s): This course is a follow-up of Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers 1, and all material from that class is provided as background online course materials.

Cost: Free.

Students who complete the course with a score of 70% or better will receive a Statement of Accomplishment. Students who complete the course with a 90% or better will receive a Statement of Accomplishment with distinction.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017 to Friday, December 15, 2017
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Course Overview

This course is designed to introduce students to advanced MATLAB features*, syntaxes, and toolboxes not traditionally found in introductory courses, using in-class examples, demos, and homework assignment involving topics from scientific computing. The MATLAB topics covered are advanced graphics (2D/3D plotting, graphics handles, publication quality graphics, animation), MATLAB tools (debugger, profiler), code optimization (vectorization, memory management), object-oriented programming, compiled MATLAB (MEX files and MATLAB coder), interfacing with external programs, toolboxes (optimization, parallel computing, symbolic math, PDEs). Scientific computing topics will include: numerical linear algebra, numerical optimization, ODEs, and PDEs.

You will learn:

  • Advanced graphics and MATLAB tools
  • Code optimization and object-oriented programming
  • MATLAB interfacing with external programs
*Participants will acquire a MATLAB license for the duration of the course, courtesy of MathWorks.
Prerequisite(s): None
Registration Fee: Free

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Sunday, January 1, 2017 to Sunday, January 1, 2023
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This is a self-paced version of the original course which ran in Fall 2016.

I have been living at the nuclear brink for all of my adult life, and throughout my career in academia, private industry, and the U.S. government, I have dealt first-hand with the evolving nuclear threat. Nuclear weapons may seem like 20th century history, but the choices we make about these weapons in the 21st century will decide your future in truly fundamental ways. Because most people do not understand just how serious these dangers are today, their governments are not taking adequate preventive actions: actions that are readily achievable. And so, we are drifting towards a nuclear catastrophe. This is why I have dedicated the balance of my life to educate the public about these dangers, and this is the reason I have created this course. I have been joined in this effort by an outstanding and uniquely qualified group of educators and public servants who share my concerns about nuclear weapons.

The key goals of this course are to warn you of the dangers you face and to give you some insight on what could be done to avoid those dangers. My challenge in this course is to make vivid to you that the dangers of nuclear weapons, far from being historical curiosities, are existential dangers today. You will have the opportunity to engage in discussions about these topics with both world experts and peers from around the globe.

You can take this course any way you wish. To earn a Statement of Accomplishment, you will view all of the lectures, participate in weekly forums, and complete quizzes on the course content. We have organized the course segments in a logical order, both chronologically and thematically. However, each segment stands alone and can be viewed independently, and still be a useful experience, even if you do not seek a Statement of Accomplishment.

The course differs from many others in a fundamental way: our goal is not just to provide facts for your education, but to inspire you to take action. You have the power to make a difference, and I believe that this course will give you the knowledge and motivation to do so. You can read more about this subject, and find ways to become involved, by visiting the website of the William J Perry Project:


There are no prerequisites for this course except for curiosity in the subject and a passion for learning.


Week 1: Introduction; What Are Nuclear Weapons and Why Were They Developed?

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Joseph Martz; Dr. Siegfried Hecker

Week 2: Nuclear Proliferation in the United States and Around the World

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Joseph Martz; Dr. Siegfried Hecker

Week 3: Under a Nuclear Cloud: Early Cold War

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. David Holloway

Week 4: Fear and Loathing and Relief: Later Cold War

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. David Holloway

Week 5: A Lack of Intelligence

Dr. William J. Perry; Philip Taubman

Week 6: Dilemmas of Nuclear Policy

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Scott Sagan; Dr. David Holloway; Dr. Andre Kokoshin

Week 7: New Nuclear Dangers: Nuclear Terrorism

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Martha Crenshaw; Dr. Siegfried Hecker

Week 8: New Nuclear Dangers: South Asia and Proliferation

Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Scott Sagan; Dr. Martha Crenshaw; Dr. Siegfried Hecker; Dr. Andre Kokoshin

Week 9: What Has Been Done, and Can Be Done, about Nuclear Dangers

Dr. William J. Perry; Amb. James Goodby; Secretary George Shultz

Week 10: What Next?

Dr. William J. Perry; Joseph Cirincione


William J. Perry

William J. Perry was the 19th Secretary of Defense for the United States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of Defense (1993-1994) and as Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (1977-1981). Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor (emeritus) at Stanford University. He is a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Hoover Institution, and he serves as Director of the Preventive Defense Project. In 2013, Perry founded the William J. Perry Project ( to engage and educate the public on the dangers of nuclear weapons in the 21st century.


Joseph Cirincione

Joseph Cirincione is the president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. He is the author Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late, Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and is the author or editor of five other books on nuclear weapons and national security policy. He has also published hundreds of articles on these topics and is widely cited in the media. Mr. Cirincione serves on the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives on the professional staff of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Government Operations.

Martha Crenshaw

Martha Crenshaw is a world-recognized expert on political terrorism and is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) and a Professor of Political Science by courtesy at Stanford. In 2011, Routledge published Explaining Terrorism, a collection of her previously published writings.

James Goodby


James Goodby has had a long and distinguished career in the United States Foreign Service. He has received five presidential appointments at ambassadorial rank, and notably, he has been intimately involved as a negotiator and policy adviser in the creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the negotiation of the limited nuclear test ban treaty, START, the Conference on Disarmament in Europe, and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.

Siegfried Hecker

Siegfried Hecker is one of the world’s experts on the Russian nuclear program, working with Russian nuclear laboratories to secure and safeguard the vast stockpile of ex-Soviet fissile materials. Dr. Hecker is a professor (research) in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford, a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute, former Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and former co-director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation.

David Holloway


David Holloway is perhaps the world’s expert on the development of the Soviet nuclear program and has published widely on this subject; his book Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 (Yale University Press, 1994) was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 11 best books of 1994. Dr. Holloway is the Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History, a Professor of Political Science, and an Freeman Spogli Institute Senior Fellow.

Andre Kokoshin

Andre Kokoshin has held many positions in the Russian government, including Deputy Minister of Defense from 1992 to 1997, when he played a key role in the implementation of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. He is currently a member of the Russian Duma; he holds a Ph.D. in History and is an associate member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Joseph Martz


Joseph Martz is a physicist and employee Los Alamos National Laboratory with a 25+ year career focused on issues surrounding nuclear security, nuclear weapons, and stockpile stewardship. In addition to his research at Los Alamos, he has led national project teams including the recent reliable-replacement warhead design competition and several complex nuclear material experiments.

Scott D. Sagan

Scott D. Sagan is widely-recognized expert on nuclear security issues; his books in this area include The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons (Princeton University Press, 1993), and with co-author Kenneth N. Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: An Enduring Debate(W.W. Norton, 2012). Dr. Sagan is the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science, the Mimi and Peter Haas University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University.

George Shultz

George Shultz has had a highly distinguished career in government, academia, and the world of business: he has held four different federal cabinet posts; he has taught at three of this country’s great universities; and for eight years he was President of Bechtel, a major engineering and construction company. He is current Professor of International Economics at the Graduate School of Business and a Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford.

Philip Taubman


Philip Taubman was a reporter and editor at the New York Times for nearly 30 years, specializing in national security issues; he published Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage in 2004, and The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb in 2012. He is currently a Consulting Professor at CISAC, and also serves as Stanford Associate Vice President for University Affairs, working on special projects for Stanford's president, John Hennessy.


The course already started! Is it too late to join?

No worries! You can start whenever you join the course, since it is self-paced.

How do I earn a Statement of Accomplishment?

If you are interested in receiving a Statement of Accomplishment from Stanford University at the end of this course, please note that you must complete the following:

Short Quizzes: After each unit, there will be quiz question to help you gauge your learning. You will have two attempts to answer the question correctly and unlimited time.

Gaining a score of at least 75% allows you to receive the Statement of Accomplishment.

Please note that a Statement of Accomplishment is optional. We welcome all participants to this course, whether you seek a Statement of Accomplishment or not. (NOTE: It will soon be possible to request a Statement of Accomplishment. Please check back in mid-March of 2017.)

Is there a textbook for the class?

No, but there will be suggested readings for each unit.

By exploring the course, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Please read them carefully.

Living at the Brink

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Monday, June 26, 2017
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This introduction to the engineering of computer applications emphasizes modern software engineering principles with a focus on the first three of the four “D’s” of development: Design, Develop, Debug, and Deploy . Using these key topics, particular focus will be on good programming style and the built-in facilities of the Java language. Learn why programming requires a much higher level of artistry than simply the science of syntax.

Students will be required to develop software applications, primarily using the Java programming language.


  • Nick Troccoli InstructorComputer Science

Topics Include

  • Object-oriented design
  • Decomposition
  • Encapsulation
  • Abstraction
  • Testing


3.0 - 5.0

Students enrolling under the non degree option are required to take the course for 5.0 units.

Software Requirements

Students will use a special version of the Eclipse development environment, written specifially for use in this class. There are PC, Macintosh and Linux versions of the software. Installation instructions are available in the Downloading Eclipse handout. Additionally, you will need the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on your computer. Further details of the software are below:

Windows Users:
  • Stanford Eclipse for Windows
  • Java 1.6 JRE installer for the PC
Mac Users:
  • Stanford Eclipse for Macintosh OSX
  • Your Mac should come with Java. However, run the "Software Update" utility (in the Apple menu) to make sure you have the most recent version.
Linux Users:
  • Stanford Eclipse for Linux
  • Download Java 1.6 from Sun's website


This is an introduction to software development. No prior programming experience required.

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About the Course

This course introduces the basics of Digital Signal Processing and computational acoustics, motivated by the vibrational physics of real-world objects and systems. We will build from a simple mass-spring and pendulum to demonstrate oscillation, learn how to simulate those systems in the computer, and also prove that these simple oscillations behave as a sine wave. From that we move to plucked strings and struck bars, showing both solutions as combined traveling waves and combined sine wave harmonics. We continue to build and simulate more complex systems containing many vibrating objects and resonators (stringed instruments, drum, plate), and also learn how to simulate echos and room reverberation. Through this process, we will learn about digital signals, filters, oscillators, harmonics, spectral analysis, linear and non-linear systems, particle models, and all the necessary building blocks to synthesize essentially any sound. The free open-source software provided will make it possible for anyone to use physical models in their art-making, game or movie sound, or any other application.

Price: Free and Subscription Option

What you need to take this course:

    • Materials:
    • Equipment:
    • Software: ChucK (also optionally STK, PeRColate for Max/MSP, Processing, GL/Glut)
    • Recommended (highly) Textbook:

    Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications (Kadenze discount available in Course Resources when course begins: Free Users=20%, Premium=50%).

    • Familiarity with ChucK programming language

    Introduction to Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists (Kadenze ChucK course)

    Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists (ChucK book, Kadenze Discount available in Course Resources when course begins)

    • Operating system: Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux (Planet CCRMA recommended)
    • Desired: familiarity with algebra. no calculus required.
    • Helpful to have: some personal sound-making things: a guitar or other stringed instrument, a drum, a kitchen pan, a prayer bowl, glasses, bowls, voice...


Perry Cook

    Perry R. Cook is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science (also Music) at Princeton University, founding advisor/consultant to social music company SMule, and consulting professor at CalArts, Stanford CCRMA. With Dan Trueman, he co-founded the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, which received a MacArthur Digital Learning Initiative Grant in 2005. With Ge Wang, Cook is co-author of the ChucK Programming Language. His newest book is “Programming for Digital Musicians and Artists,” with Ajay Kapur, Spencer Salazar, and Ge Wang. The recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship, Cook is (still) working on a new book, "La Bella Voce e La Macchina (the Beautiful Voice and the Machine), A History of Technology and the Expressive Voice." Perry is also co-founder of Kadenze.


    Julius Smith

      Julius O. Smith normally teaches a music signal-processing course sequence and supervises related research at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He is formally a professor of music and (by courtesy) electrical engineering. In 1975, he received his BS/EE degree from Rice University, where he got started in the field of digital signal processing and modeling for control. In 1983, he received the PhD/EE degree from Stanford University, specializing in techniques for digital filter design and system identification, with application to violin modeling. His work history includes the Signal Processing Department at Electromagnetic Systems Laboratories, Inc., working on systems for digital communications, the Adaptive Systems Department at Systems Control Technology, Inc., working on research problems in adaptive filtering and spectral estimation, and NeXT Computer, Inc., where he was responsible for sound, music, and signal processing software for the NeXT computer workstation. Prof. Smith is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society and the Acoustical Society of America. He is the author of four online books and numerous research publications in his field.




      Sound Synthesis

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      Tuesday, April 4, 2017
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      Computer systems security is arguably one of the most critical computer science issues today. Learn how to defend against various attack techniques and build reliable and secure code. Become an authority on privacy and digital rights management; and learn how to protect networks from harmful viruses and threats. Course projects will focus on building reliable code.


      Topics Include

      • Network attacks and defenses
      • Operating system security
      • Application security (web, apps, databases)
      • Malware, privacy, and security for mobile devices




      • Understanding of operating systems, networking protocols, and a basic understanding of programming languages. Programming projects will be done in C, JavaScript, and PHP, but other languages may be needed.
      • Principles of Computer Systems (Stanford Course: CS110)


      Working knowledge of basic Unix


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      Saturday, April 15, 2017
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      Course Description

      Today's vast amount of streaming and video conferencing on the Internet lacks one aspect of musical fun and that's what this course is about: high-quality, near-synchronous musical collaboration. Under the right conditions, the Internet can be used for ultra-low-latency, uncompressed sound transmission. The course teaches open-source (free) techniques for setting up city-to-city studio-to-studio audio links. Distributed rehearsing, production and split ensemble concerts are the goal. Setting up such links and debugging them requires knowledge of network protocols, network audio issues and some ear training.


      Session 1: Overview
      Overview of Online Jamming and Concert Technology

      Session 2: Basics And Setup
      Basics: Network protocols, audio signals + soundcards and network audio.

      Session 3: Jacktrip Application + Connection
      Things that go wrong with Jacktrip: Network & Audio. P2P Sessions and Multi-site setups.

      Session 4: Debugging
      Debug examples of typical problems.

      Session 5: Polish And Practice
      Polish techniques and spawn more practice sessions.

      Session 6: Future
      Future of the art and practice of network audio, alternative platforms for network audio.


      Chris Chafe, Professor of Music and Director of CCRMA

        Chris Chafe is a composer, improviser, and cellist, developing much of his music alongside computer-based research. He is Director of Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). At IRCAM (Paris) and The Banff Centre (Alberta), he pursued methods for digital synthesis, music performance, and real-time internet collaboration. CCRMA's SoundWIRE project involves live concertizing with musicians the world over. Online collaboration software including jacktrip and research into latency factors continue to evolve. An active performer either on the net or physically present, his music reaches audiences in dozens of countries and sometimes at novel venues. A simultaneous five-country concert was hosted at the United Nations in 2009. Chafe's works are available from Centaur Records and various online media. Gallery and museum music installations are into their second decade with "musifications" resulting from collaborations with artists, scientists and MD's. Recent work includes the Brain Stethoscope project, PolarTide for the 2013 Venice Biennale, Tomato Quintet for the transLife:media Festival at the National Art Museum of China and Sun Shot played by the horns of large ships in the port of St. Johns, Newfoundland.


        Equipment: Computer (running Linux, OS X, or Windows) with installation privileges
        Software: JackTrip (plus Jack) and Audacity
        Wired Internet: at least 5Mbps download and upload


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        About the Course

        Explore how leading audio, music, and video technology companies bring products from idea to market, and discover your career options in the industry. In five 30- to 60-minute sessions, you’ll gain insight into daily life at companies such as Adobe, Universal Audio, iZotope, and more. Learn from professionals who design, engineer, manage, and market leading creative technologies. Examine best practices and responsibilities of various industry roles. Hiring managers will share secrets in navigating the hiring process. And, get your questions answered by our mentor network of creative tech experts and entrepreneurs, who will be online to offer advice in AMA’s and one-on-one office hours.

        Continue learning about the creative technology industry in our companion course, Inside the Music and Video Technology Industry.


        This course is intended for anyone considering full-time positions or internships in the media technology industry. No prior engineering background required. Topics include: Introduction to the music and media technology industry, Product Management, Program Management, User Experience, and Software Engineering.

        SCHEDULE *

        * This course is running in Adaptive Scheduling mode. You can learn more about how Adaptive Scheduling works in this help article

        Session 1: Overview 
        This session takes you behind-the-scenes into how the media technology industry really works. We’ll provide a high-level overview of the media technology industry - focusing on the music technology space! We introduce a variety of roles in industry and explore the types of companies available for your future careers.
        Session 2: Product Management 
        We'll look at how media technology companies develop products that consumers love. How do they determine what new products to develop? Or what the new features are? Who makes those decisions? And how do I get to be that person!
        Session 3: Program Management 
        Program management is the secret to helping you deliver on time, on budget, in a scalable, repeatable manner! We'll introduce the Agile methodologies used to help companies like Adobe coordinate a product release with over 1,000 team members and millions of lines of code. Students will learn the key traits of a program manager or scrum master.
        Session 4: User Experience 
        With computing everywhere we go - smart phones, tablets, browser and cloud, desktop, and hardware - product design is everywhere we look. We explore how designers approach the layout, look and feel, and implementation of some of your favorite mobile apps and software. Our mentors provide advice on getting jobs in this competitive space!
        Session 5: Software Engineering 
        Applications like Pro Tools and iZotope RX are used by professionals all around the world - and they need to be easy to use and almost crash-proof. How do software engineers manage millions of lines of code, written over 10 years, with dozens of engineers continuously modifying, updating, and creating new functionality across Windows, OS X, about 10 plug-in formats? We conclude by offering advice for aspiring software engineers.


        Jay LeBoeuf, Stanford University

        Jay LeBoeuf is technology executive, educator, and entrepreneur in the media technology industry. Jay is the President/Executive Director of Real Industry - a nonprofit transforming how students learn about the tech industry and how products go from idea through commercialization. LeBoeuf lectures on music technology and music business at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) and is on the Board of Advisors for music startups Chromatik and Humtap. LeBoeuf led research & development, intellectual property, and technology strategy as Strategic Technology Director at iZotope. Jay founded and was CEO of intelligent audio technology company Imagine Research, which was acquired by iZotope in March 2012. While creating a "Google for Sound", Jay was recognized as a Bloomberg Businessweek Innovator, awarded $1.1M in Small Business Innovation Research grants by the U.S. National Science Foundation, and interviewed on BBC World, Science 360, and other major media outlets. Prior to founding Imagine Research, LeBoeuf was an engineer and researcher in the Advanced Technology Group at Digidesign (Avid Technology) in charge of innovations for the industry-standard Pro Tools platform.



        careers in media technology

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        Tuesday, April 4, 2017
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        Computer Vision is a dynamic and rapidly growing field with countless high-profile applications that have been developed in recent years. The potential uses are diverse, and its integration with cutting edge research has already been validated with self-driving cars, facial recognition, 3D reconstructions, photo search and augmented reality. Artificial Intelligence has become a fundamental component of everyday technology, and visual recognition is a key aspect of that.  It is a valuable tool for interpreting the wealth of visual data that surrounds us and on a scale impossible with natural vision.

        This course covers the tasks and systems at the core of visual recognition with a detailed exploration of deep learning architectures. While there will be a brief introduction to computer vision and frameworks, such as Caffe, Torch, Theano and TensorFlow, the focus will be learning end-to-end models, particularly for image classification. Students will learn to implement, train and debug their own neural networks as well as gain a detailed understanding of cutting-edge research in computer vision.

        The final assignment will include training a multi-million parameter convolutional neural network and applying it on the largest image classification dataset (ImageNet).


        • Justin Johnson Instructor, Computer Science

        Topics Include

        • End-to-end models
        • Image classification, localization and detection
        • Implementation, training and debugging
        • Learning algorithms, such as backpropagation
        • Long Short Term Memory (LSTM)
        • Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN)
        • Supervised and unsupervised learning


        3.0 - 4.0

        Students enrolling under the non degree option are required to take the course for 4.0 units.


        Proficiency in Python; familiarity with C/C++; CS131 and CS229 or equivalents; Math21 or equivalent, linear algebra.
        Convolutional Neural Networks

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        Monday, April 3, 2017 to Tuesday, June 13, 2017
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        About This Course

        This interdisciplinary course encompasses the fields of rock mechanics, structural geology, earthquake seismology and petroleum engineering to address a wide range of geomechanical problems that arise during the exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs.

        The course considers key practical issues such as prediction of pore pressure, estimation of hydrocarbon column heights and fault seal potential, determination of optimally stable well trajectories, casing set points and mud weights, changes in reservoir performance during depletion, and production-induced faulting and subsidence. The first part of the course establishes the basic principles involved in a way that allows readers from different disciplinary backgrounds to understand the key concepts.

        The course is intended for geoscientists and engineers in the petroleum and geothermal industries, and for research scientists interested in stress measurements and their application to problems of faulting and fluid flow in the crust.

        Recommended Background:

        Introductory Geology and Geophysics
        Familiarity with principles of drilling and petroleum production

        Course Format:

        • 20, 90 minute lectures (in ~20 minute segments). 2 lectures will be made available each week.
        • Lecture 1 is a course overview to introduce students to the topics covered in the course. Lectures 2-17 follow 12 chapters of Dr. Zoback’s textbook, Reservoir Geomechanics (Cambridge University Press, 2007) with updated examples and applications. Lectures 18 and 19 are on topics related to geomechanical issues affecting shale gas and tight oil recovery. Lecture 20 is on the topic of managing the risk of triggered and induced seismicity.
        • 8 Homework assignments (and associated video modules) are intended to give students hands-on experience with a number of the topics addressed in the course.
        • The course grade will be based solely on homework assignments. There will be no quizzes or exams.
        • Homework assignments will be graded electronically and will consist of multiple choice and numerical entry responses.
        • There will be an online discussion forum where students can discuss the content of the course and ask questions of each other and the instructors.

        Course Staff

        Dr. Mark D. Zoback

        Dr. Mark D. Zoback is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University. Dr. Zoback conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics, and reservoir geomechanics with an emphasis on shale gas, tight gas and tight oil production. He is the Director of the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative and co-Director of the Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity. He was one of the principal investigators of the SAFOD project, in which a scientific research well was successfully drilled through the San Andreas Fault at seismogenic depth. He is the author of a textbook entitled Reservoir Geomechanics, published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. He is the author/co-author of over 300 technical papers and holds five patents. He was the co-founder of GeoMechanics International in 1996, where he was Chairman of the Board until 2008. Dr. Zoback has received a number of awards and honors, including the 2006 Emil Wiechert Medal of the German Geophysical Society and the 2008 Walter H. Bucher Medal of the American Geophysical Union. In 2011, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and in 2012 elected to Honorary Membership in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He is the 2013 recipient of the Louis Néel Medal, European Geosciences Union and named an Einstein Chair Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2015, he received the Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award of the AAPG and in 2016 he received the Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences Award from AGI. He served on the National Academy of Engineering committee investigating the Deepwater Horizon accident and the Secretary of Energy’s committee on shale gas development and environmental protection.

        Gader Alalli, Graduate Teaching Assistant

        Gader is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University. Gader works with Professor Mark Zoback to investigate the relationship between pore size distribution and permeability in unconventional gas shale reservoirs. His research can shed some insight into why certain ultra-low porosity gas shales with varying mineralogical compositions can have significant permeability variations, which can therefore impact recovery factors. Gader has a Master of Science in Geophysics from Stanford, where he worked on enhancing post-stack crosswell seismic profile (XSP) reflection imaging using AVO-Analysis of separated Up/Down wavefields, with Professor Jerry Harris. Gader previously worked for Saudi Aramco as a Geophysicist for 5 years working on special projects for both exploration and development wells in Saudi Arabia. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University, where he majored in Geophysics and minored in Geology.

        Jens-Erik Lund Snee, Graduate Teaching Assistant

        Jens-Erik Lund Snee is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate at the Stanford University Department of Geophysics. Jens works with Professor Mark Zoback to study tectonic stress in Texas. His research has implications for enhancing oil and gas production, mitigating human-triggered earthquakes, and understanding the factors that control the stress field. Jens has a Master of Science in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford, where he studied the tectonic history of the Basin and Range Province, western USA, with Professor Elizabeth Miller. Jens previously worked for Statoil as a deepwater Exploration Geologist, and he studied fault zone geology with Professor Virginia Toy at the University of Otago in New Zealand as part of a Fulbright Fellowship. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whitman College, where he majored in Geology and Politics.

        Frequently Asked Questions

        Can I at least access the course materials, even if I can't take the course?

        Yes. All course material is archived and available for download for non-commercial purposes. To do so, register for the course.

        Will I receive a Statement of Accomplishment in this course?

        Yes. A Statement of Accomplishment will be given to those students who obtain more than 70% of the maximum points on the 8 homework assignments.

        When will my Statement of Accomplishment arrive?

        The Statement of Accomplishment will arrive a few weeks after successful completion of the course.

        Do I need to purchase a textbook for the course?

        While it is not required to purchase the Reservoir Geomechanics textbook for this course, it is recommended. Lectures 2-17 follow the 12 chapters of the book. The book provides significant additional detail and explanation of the course concepts. It is available through:
        Cambridge University Press:
        Amazon and Kindle:

        Res Geomechanics Course Image

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