Curriculum

Overview

Students in Applied Ocean Science and Engineering (AOSE) are affiliated with the Department of Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering at WHOI and with one of these departments at MIT:

Joint Program students in other WHOI departments can also be affiliated with the MIT Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences (EAPS) department, and can have advisors in the AOSE program.

AOSE students are also affiliated with one of the four subdisciplines of the program, which are environmental fluid dynamics, acoustics, vehicles and submarines, and observing systems and sensors.

The curriculum in AOSE is not rigidly defined: instead, it is designed to a large extent by each student and advisors. The objectives of the coursework for the first three to four semesters are to provide the background required for research in the particular subdiscipline and to prepare students for the qualifying, or general, examination. The purpose of the coursework following the first three to four semesters is to provide deeper knowledge in the student's specialty and a broader background in engineering or oceanography.

The typical course load for students is three courses per semester, with the exception of students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which recommends two courses per semester for students funded by research assistantships.

For each subdiscipline, there is more than one set of courses that will satisfy the curriculum objectives. Following are representative curricula, to illustrate paths that students might take.

Vehicles and Submarines

Students in this subdiscipline are affiliated with the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at WHOI and, in most cases, either the Department of Ocean Engineering or the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT.

For students working in the subdiscipline of vehicles and submarines and affiliated with the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT, a representative curriculum for the first three semesters is:

Fall semester of year 1
Mathematics (18.085)
Dynamics (2.032)

Spring semester of year 1
Mathematics (18.086)
Signal Processing (2.161)

Fall semester of year 2
Fluid Dynamics (2.25 or 2.20)
System dynamics & control (2.151)

This curriculum prepares students to answer questions on applied mechanics, fluid mechanics, and system dynamics & control during the Mechanical Engineering qualifying examination. 

Some students in the subdiscipline of vehicles and submarines focus on imaging systems operated from vehicles, which is not well-represented by the above curricula.  These students are usually affiliated with the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT.  A representative curriculum for the first three semesters is:

Fall semester of year 1
Mathematics (18.085)
Hydrodynamics (2.20)
Computer vision (6.866)

Spring semester of year 1
Dynamics (2.032)
Numerical methods (18.355)
Signals & Systems (6.003)

Fall semester of year 2
Probability (6.431)
Discrete signals & systems (6.341)
Acoustics (2.066)

This curriculum will prepare students to answer questions on hydrodynamics, dynamics, probability, and signals & systems during the Mechanical Engineering qualifying examination. 


Acoustics

Students in the subdiscipline of acoustics are affiliated with the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering and, in most cases, either the Department of Mechanical Engineering or the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

For acoustics students affiliated with the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department, a representative curriculum for the first three semesters is:

Fall semester of year 1
Mathematics (18.085)
Acoustics (2.066)
Marine Hydrodynamics (2.20)

Spring semester of year 1
Signals & systems (6.003)
Probability (6.431)
Acoustics (2.682)

Fall semester of year 2
Acoustics (2.681)
Signal processing (2.161)
Mathematics (18.086)

This curriculum will prepare students to answer questions on hydrodynamics, probability, acoustics, and signals & systems during the Mechanical Engineering qualifying examination.

Environmental Fluid Dynamics

Students in the subdiscipline of environmental fluid dynamics are affiliated with the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at WHOI and, in some cases, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT.

For environmental fluid dynamics students affiliated with the MIT Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, a representative curriculum for the first three semesters is:

Fall semester of year 1
Mathematics (18.085)
Fluid mechanics (1.63)
Surface waves (1.69)

Spring semester of year 1
Mathematics (18.086)
Transport processes (1.77)
Turbulence (12.820 or 2.27)

Fall semester of year 2
Coastal physical oceanography (12.862)
Data analysis (1.715)

This curriculum prepares students to take the qualifying examination after the third semester, which is the normal schedule.