Weather and Climate Data Sets

Pre-Enrollment Activities

Anxious Athlete Waiting at Starting Line
Anxious athlete waiting at the starting line.
Credit: tableatny (CC-BY 2.0)

So... you're thinking about enrolling in Meteo 810.  You might be wondering what skills might you need to be successful in this course. First, know that we have tried to pare down the prerequisite skills to a bare minimum; much of what you need to know, we will teach you along the way. However, experience has taught us that you must be at least "comfortable" with computer programming before you enroll. In this course, we will use the statistical programming language "R" to retrieve, analyze, and display very large data sets (Excel just won't cut it). That being said, we strongly suggest that you have some sort of experience with computer programming. This might be a class that you took, some on-the-job experience, or even just some personal tinkering -- something that taught you the tenets and process of writing and debugging code. Note: You do not have to be familiar "R" to enroll (and be successful in this class); we will teach you the specifics of the R language. Instead, we suggest that you satisfy the competencies listed below. They are such that experience with any modern computer programming language (JavaScript, Python, MatLab, etc.) will have taught you what you need to know.

Prerequisite Competencies

To be successful in this course, you should be confident performing the following tasks in a modern computer language:

  • identifying variables, functions and operations within a short snip-its of code;
  • identifying and converting between data types;
  • manipulating arrays, including referencing cells or slices within multidimensional arrays;
  • debugging simple errors such as type-o's, missed punctuation, etc.;
  • researching the use of unfamiliar functions or procedures using the Internet or other means; and
  • altering an example code to perform a different (but related) task.

Next Steps

First, I strongly encourage you to take the readiness survey. This will give me a look at your basic coding skills and allow me to make recommendations on how to best prepare for the class. Second, regardless of your level of readiness, you should visit the Pre-enrollment Resources page in order to download and install R onto computer. You'll also find many suggestions on how you can prepare for this course.