SIOC 210: Introduction to Physical Oceanography

Math concepts

Lynne Talley, Fall, 2019

This is a list of the math concepts that you should be familiar with for literacy when it comes to reading general physical oceanographic literature. If any of this gives you pause, please come to the math tutorial sessions, listen and ask. Math concepts will be taught using examples from physical oceanography/fluid mechanics.

Math tutorials: Channing Prend (cprend at and Paul Chamberlain (pchamber at

  1. Derivative (Wolfram link)
  2. Partial derivative (Wolfram link)
  3. Integral (Wolfram link)
  4. Not necessary for this course, but for general math knowledge: Ordinary differential equations (simple ones for this tutorial)
  5. Scalar
  6. Vector
  7. Scalar ("dot") product
  8. Vector ("cross") product
  9. Gradient
  10. Divergence
  11. Curl
  12. Not necessary for this course, but general math knowledge: Partial differential equations (simple ones for this tutorial)
Recommended reading:
Chapter on vector analysis in any standard Applied Mathematics textbook (usually one year past calculus).
Calculus book
Advanced calculus book

Wolfram Mathworld: excellent notes and tutorials

Wikipedia entries on these subjects are good, although caution should always be exercised when using Wikipedia.

SIOC 210 HOME Last modified: Sept. 24 2019