Herewith are descriptions and links to some of the courses and syllabuses that I have been associated with at Columbia.


Mathematical Methods in the Earth Sciences, W4950 (no link, but see the eight downloadable chapters, below)
This first-year graduate course resulted in an eight-chapter set of teaching notes. The software used to produce them, is very similar to that used to generate the second edition of the Aki/Richards text.
Advanced Seismology G6949 (this link goes to web pages associated with the Aki/Richards text)
I taught this advanced graduate course as a two-semester sequence for about three cycles beginning in the 1970s, and then worked for four years with Keiiti Aki, then of MIT, to write the text Methods of Quantitative Seismology --- Theory and Methods (15 chapters in two volumes, by K. Aki and P.G. Richards, published by W.H. Freeman and Co, 1980), to support the classroom presentations in this course.

Our first edition was translated into Russian and Chinese, and in about 1995 I began revising it. The revision was published in 2002 in one volume by University Science Books, and it came out (as 12 chapters) in one volume. The second edition is now available in Japanese and a translation into Chinese began in 2006. The "Aki/Richards text" link given above, includes a list of corrections.

The Advanced Seismology course at Columbia is usually taught every other year as a one-semester course. Additional material in the text is offered (for example, on Earthquake Source Theory, or Synthetic Seismograms) via the "Seismology Seminar, G9945" listing, on an ad hoc basis.
Earth's Deep Interior W4300 (this link provides a two-page summary)
This first-year graduate course reviews what we know of Earth structure below the crust, drawing on geodesy, geomagnetism, gravity, thermal studies, seismology, and some geochemistry.
Weapons of Mass Destruction EESC W3018 (this link provides a five-page summary)
In this undergraduate course, given in Barnard College in 2004 and 2005 and in Columbia College for the first time in 2006, I go into:
how these different types of weapons work,
something of their history,
what aspects of their manufacture are difficult, and what are easy; what they cost
which countries have them, openly, and in what numbers
which countries may have had them in the past, or attempted to have them, but gave them up
which countries may have them, or seek to have them, but not openly, and
what steps does a country need to take to acquire WMD
the differences between WMD in terrorist hands, and in a recognizable military program
the effects of these weapons on their environment, if/when they are used
issues of public health (for example, consequences of "fallout")
what treaties or other types of controls have been attempted, or actually negotiated (ntended to have
some impact on WMD and their distribution), and
major issues of current concern (and the background needed to follow front-page news).
So: there is a great variety of material here. The course is offered because the existence of WMD can change the course of human history. WMD issues are often in the headlines, and are often the subject of heated disputes between policymakers. This course is intended to provide students with background to enable a more informed following of current policy debates.
At Barnard about 20 students took the class in 2004, and about 32 in 2005. In Columbia College about 55 students took the class in 2006, and about 75 in 2007. In 2008 I will be on sabbatical, and the class will be given by Professor Amber Miller, who is a cosmologist in the Department of Physics. In future years we plan to teach the class together.

[back to Richards' home page]