By Alex Bruton, PhD, PEng, MBA

Activity schedule

If you’re learning this material in one of my university classes, then this is your teaching and learning Activity Schedule. Think of it as the definitive reference for what we’ll be doing / did every day. Refer to it for links to the online textbook materials. Collapse or expand each date range for details. Check it daily to stay current.

Tentative schedule and guidance for a typical week

This is a template schedule for a typical week. I’m sharing it for discussion on our first day, and as general guidance after that.

DateActivities and topicsThings due or required
Mon at 12 (self-paced)In a typical week we won’t be meeting during the Monday and Friday lecture periods. They are self-paced work days.

Being self-paced means that the content of the online materials is designed so that it’s always available and you can cover it at any time of day that works for you. It replaces a stereotypical lecture where you get into a room the teacher shows you stuff on PowerPoint slides while you copy things down.

You should use this time to go through the learning goals, review and learn from the course material, and work on the related self-assessment problems once they’ve been assigned.

You’re responsible for covering that content and for using it to build your own set of notes and model problem sets that you can refer to in our Wednesday sessions and, in turn, to help you ace the quizzes.

Consult the activity schedule for details about what’s been assigned and what to be working on.
Your goal on Mondays should be to cover the assigned content and complete the self-assessment problems before Wednesday’s in-person session.
Tue at 4 (Lab)Once the applied self-assessment problems have been assigned, this lab period will be led by your TA to support you in troubleshooting them. This isn’t a get-started-on-the-problems or solve-the-problems-for-me period. Rather, it’s a get-help-where-you-might-need-it-on-the-problems-you’ve-already-worked-through period.Bring any questions you have about the problems you’ve already worked on.
Wed at 12 (Lec)Discussion-based lecture: On Wednesdays we will normally meet together (online). The invitation to the video call will come via D2L.

The agenda for these sessions will vary but expect it to be something like the following: 1) Welcome back + housekeeping + check-in; 2) Instructor-led discussions, examples, and/or mini-lectures; 3) Clarifying questions; 4) Look-ahead to what’s coming.

This isn’t a stereotypical PowerPoint slide show either. It’s meant to help us bring things up a level and to reinforce the content already made available online that you should have covered before the session.
Attend class. Be fully caught up and prepared ahead of time for our discussions.
Thu at 2 (Tut)Once we begin with the conceptual self-assessment problems, this tutorial period will be led by your TA to support you in troubleshooting them. his isn’t a get-started-on-the-problems or solve-the-problems-for-me period. Rather, it’s a get-help-where-you-might-need-it-on-the-problems-you’ve-already-worked-through period.Bring any questions you have about the problems you’ve already worked on.

Self-assessment problems will be due on some Thursdays (see the schedule).
Fri at 12 (self-paced)New cycle begins: The next cycle of content will normally be made available on or before Fridays.

Fridays are self-paced work days.

Use the time to go through and learn the course materials and to work on the related self-assessment problems.
By now you should be finished everything that was published in the last cycle.

Your goal should be to make a plan for the work you’ll do before the next Wednesday.

Our quizzes also take place on some Fridays (see the activity schedule).
Self-paced work to do before next Wednesday
Areas in which you should focus each week will be summarized in this space.

Sep 8-15: Welcome and getting our feet under us

Welcome! This is our first week together. We’ll be getting to know each other a little, and you’ll learn what the course is all about and what it’s like to take a class with me. There’s nothing formally due on the first day or so but don’t miss it – we’ll be covering some pretty important stuff, you’ll have some work to do to get your feet under you, and we’ll formally begin our learning about probability, statistics, and estimation for spatial applications.

DateActivities and topicsThings due or required
Wed Sep 9 (Lec)This is our first class! We’ll spend some time to get introduced to this course, to help you get to know what it’s like to take a course from me. and to discuss how we’ll work together through a combination of remote and in-person sessions.

I’ll also want to hear from you on how best to support your learning.
Nothing’s due yet, but be sure not to miss it.
Thu Sep 10
(Tut)
No tutorial this first week
Fri Sep 11
(self-paced)
First cycle begins: By today I will release the first set of self-paced work for you to work on between now and our session next Wednesday. See below,Get started ASAP.
Mon Sep 14 (self-paced)Continue working on the self-paced work below in order to be ready for Wednesday.
Tue Sep 14 (Lab)There will be no tutorial today, since the self-assessment problems won’t have been handed out yet.
Summary of the self-paced work to tackle before next Wednesday
Review the course outline in detail.
Sign into this course website and get access to our online textbook materials. Be sure to use the directions I sent to you via D2L. You can check that you’ve done this correctly by making sure that you’re enrolled in this setup module.
Watch / listen to at least one episode of this podcast, which introduces you to some leaders in our field and the kind of work they do.
Watch the video at the bottom of the same page to get a bit of an introduction to me and our field.
Work your way through this module that provides an Introduction to using spreadsheets as a sandbox tool for spatial applications
Work your way through this module that provides an Introduction to browser-based coding as a sandbox tool for spatial applications

Sep 16-22: From intuition to some important fundamentals

Welcome back! This will bring our first full learning cycle to an end and launch the second one. Be engaged. Get the pattern down. Ask questions if you have any. Get and stay on top of things. Jump on the self-assessment questions as soon as they come out on Friday. Be focused on getting yourself ready for the first quiz which is a little over two weeks away.

DateActivities and topicsThings due or required
Wed Sep 16 (Lec)We’ll meet together today with the following goals: 1) Welcome back + housekeeping + check-in; 2) Instructor-facilitated discussion about how the self-assessment problems will work and how they will be marked; 3) Clarifying questions; 4) Look-ahead to what’s coming.By today you should be close to finished all of the self-paced work from last week and ready to move to closing out your notes before we begin our next cycle on Friday.
Thu Sep 17
(Lab)
There will be no lab today, since the self-assessment problems won’t have been handed out yet. They’re coming Friday.
Fri Sep 18
(self-paced)
Second cycle begins: By today I will release the second set of self-paced work and the self-assessment problems to be worked on before next Wednesday. See below for details.
Mon Sep 21
(self-paced)
Use today to continue working and to get yourself ready for the upcoming sessions.
Tue Sep 22
(Tut)
This will be our first tutorial session and it will be led by our TA. You can think of this one as a drop-in session where you can bring either the applied or conceptual problems you’ve been working on. Recall that this isn’t a get-started-on-the-problems or have-someone-solve-the-problems-for-me period. Rather, it’s a get-help-where-you-might-need-it-on-the-problems-you’ve-already-worked-through period. You should be on top of things and looking to fill any gaps in your understanding.Come with your worked problems in hand.
Summary of the self-paced work to tackle before next Wednesday
The focus of your self-paced work in this cycle should be on this module: Some spatial and statistical fundamentals from a first “survey”

Read the notes. Watch the accompanying videos. Do the self-assessment problems. Get to know these fundamental concepts cold and be sure you know how to apply them. Plan to come to our sessions next week with this material under your belt and with any clarifying questions you might have in hand. Your TA will be there to support you in the lab and tutorial sessions. And have fun! This is an amazing and relevant topic area.

Sep 23-29: The three key math models for probability, statistics, and estimation

This cycle we’ll close out our second learning cycle and start our third. We’ll be building on the fundamentals we saw earlier by looking in some depth at the three key math models required for probability, statistics, and estimation. As you do this work, keep in mind that your first set of self-assessments is due in our next cycle, and your first quiz takes place then too. Hustle to build your perfect set of lecture notes and your perfect set of reference solutions – think of it as helping yourself do well as well as possible on the quiz.

DateActivities and topicsThings due or required
Wed Sep 23 (Lec)We’ll meet together today with the following goals: 1) Welcome back + housekeeping + check-in; 2) Instructor-facilitated discussion to bridge between last cycle and what’s coming this cycle; 3) Clarifying questions; 4) Look-ahead to what’s coming.By today you should be close to finished all of the self-paced work from last week and ready to move to closing out your notes before we begin our next cycle on Friday.
Thu Sep 24
(Lab)
This session will be led by our TA to support you with the self-assessment problems. Recall that these aren’t a get-started-on-the-problems or have-someone-solve-the-problems-for-me period. Rather, they’re a get-help-where-you-might-need-it-on-the-problems-you’ve-already-worked-through period. You should be on top of things and looking to fill any gaps in your understanding.Come with your worked problems in hand.
Fri Sep 25
(self-paced)
Second cycle begins: By today I will release the second set of self-paced work and the self-assessment problems to be worked on before next Wednesday. See below for details.
Mon Sep 28
(self-paced)
Use today to continue working and to get yourself ready for the upcoming sessions.
Tue Sep 29
(Tut)
This will be led by our TA to help you with the self-assessment problems.Come with your worked problems in hand.
Summary of the self-paced work to tackle before next Wednesday
The focus of your self-paced work in this cycle should be on this module: The three key math models for geospatial applications

Note that the section on stochastic modeling hasn’t been posted yet. This is deliberate because it’s not going to be covered on Quiz 1 and I don’t want people to get confused about what to prepare. As it relates, the self-assessment problems marked with a * are not required to be submitted along with your first submission on Oct 1.

As I did last time, I encourage you to read the notes. Watch the accompanying videos. Do the self-assessment problems. Get to know these fundamental concepts cold and be sure you know how to apply them. Plan to come to our sessions next week with this material under your belt and with any clarifying questions you might have in hand. We’ll take up a few related examples in our discussion on Wednesday, and your TA will be there to support you in the lab and tutorial sessions.

Sep 30 – Oct 6: First set of self-assessments due + Quiz 1

This week you’ll submit your first set of self-assessment problems and write your first quiz. I’ll also share a practice quiz.

DateActivities and topicsThings due or required
Wed Sep 30 (Lec)Today we will discuss the upcoming quiz and the practice quiz. As usual, we’ll also do a check-in, handle clarifying questions, and look-ahead.Prepare for today by doing the self-paced work from last cycle
Thu Oct 1
(Lab)
This will be led by our TA to help you with the self-assessment problems.Self-assessment problems due at 11:59 pm
Fri Oct 2
(self-paced)
Quiz 1 will be handed out via D2L at the start of our regularly scheduled class period today. See the directions shared by email and on D2L.
Sat Oct 3Quiz 1 due at noon
Mon Oct 5
(self-paced)
Use today to continue working and to get yourself ready for the upcoming sessions.
Tue Oct 6
(Tut)
This will be led by our TA to help you with the new self-assessment problems.Come with your worked problems in hand.
Summary of the self-paced work to tackle before next Wednesday
The focus of your self-paced work in this cycle should remain on this module: The three key math models for geospatial applications. On Friday I will post the section on stochastic modeling.

As the semester gets underway, stay tuned right here for the rest of the schedule and for links to the rest of the online textbook materials as they are released.

Welcome!

Key dates

The table below summarizes the key dates. See the Activity Schedule for full details.

DateActivity
Sep 9First day of class!
Oct 1Self-assessments #1 due at midnight
Oct 2Quiz 1
Oct 22Self-assessments #2 due at midnight
Oct 23Quiz 2
Nov 19Self-assessments #3 due at midnight
Nov 20Quiz 3
Dec 8Self-assessments #4 due at midnight
Dec 9Quiz 4

Note: We will discuss these dates in class and any required changes will be discussed and announced ahead of time.