Waves Workshops Frequently Asked Questions
The waves summer school is an intensive workshop in wave modeling,
aimed at graduate students and professionals. The morning sessions
are lectures. We very briefly review some wave modelling basics
(action balance equation and source terms, time-stepping -
Implicit/Explicit; time splitting; limiters, GSE , etc) and wave
physics. It is not necessary to know any particular wave model,
although the course will focus on using the WAVEWATCH III model which
is written in FORTRAN and runs in a UNIX environment. We go through
from installation and compiling, to preparing the input fields,
generating the grids necessary to run it, coupling to other systems,
using unstructured grids, shallow water physics, data assimilation,
model validation, etc.
This year there is funding available to cover the registration costs
($300) for three graduate students in good standing.
To be considered for this funding, please send an email to
explaining your research goals, computer experience, and why you wish
to attend the workshop. Please tell us what University you attend,
include a copy (not official) of your transcript, and if
you can get your advisor or a professor to send us an email
recommending you for the workshop that will be an advantage for you.
All emails must be received by the end of the
day of April 15th of the current year. We will contact applicants with our decision
by the 30th of April of the current year.
Letter of Invitation
If you need a letter of invitation, please email
as soon as possible. The University of Maryland will email you a pdf of
Many of our participants are from overseas, and may require a visa to
enter the USA. The Waves Summer School is held as a workshop so that
international participants can attend with just a short-term visitor
visa. Even though the workshop is held at the University of Maryland,
you are NOT registering as a student at the university.
You do not need to apply for permission to be part of the workshop,
but you do need to register. We cannot hold
spots for anyone. Since
there are only 26 spots available, and people who are wait-listed from
previous years are given first choice at these, it is suggested that
you register as soon as registration opens. If you go to register and
find that the workshop is now full, this year we have a wait-list page
where you can enter your information (the link will be posted when we
post the link to the registration page). If someone cancels their
registration, we offer the spot to whoever is at the top of the wait-list.
The cost of the workshop is US $300. When registration opens, the
link to register will be posted on the announcement page (the one
where this document is linked).
Payment is by credit card. When filling out the registration, make
sure to fill in the box that proves you aren't a robot, don't put any
spaces in the zip code, and the state/province must be an abbreviation.
Working knowledge of UNIX shell coding, FORTRAN, and MATLAB is
required. We will have "cheat sheets" and we do tend to write out the
entire command lines in the tutorials, but we expect participants to
be comfortable moving between directories and renaming and editing
files in a UNIX environment for example. We do this a lot in the
afternoon tutorials which are hands on - each participant has access
to a workstation and personal account.
MATLAB is used for generating the grids for the model and for analyzing
the results. All of the commands are fully written out in the tutorial,
but it will help if you know what m files are and what the following
sort of commands do, for instance:
[lon,lat] = meshgrid(lon1d,lat1d);
coord = [lat_start lon_start lat_end lon_end];
m = ones(size(depth));
m(depth == 999999) = 0;
Here is a list of our most used Linux commands that you should be familiar
with and comfortable using:
- for, while, do, done
- if, then, else, elif, fi
As a first step to learning what they are and do, you can open a Linux
terminal an type 'man [command]', say:
> man ls
This will give you the short and long of what the command is and does,
as well as its options. Other than using man,
there are plenty of online resources that can help you understand
the basics of Linux shell.
Here is a cheat sheet that
contains most of the basic commands that you will need to know. (PDF)
There is no need for you to bring a laptop. The university has a
computer lab, and each person will have a workstation with their own
account. We actually do not allow people to work on their own laptops
- it's too hard to try and help everyone with a different system at
the same time.
You are responsible for your accommodations. The university
maintains a list of
relatively near off-campus accommodations.
We strongly suggest you choose an accommodation that is at most 5
miles from the college campus. Rush hour traffic is very heavy in this
area: 5 miles may take you 30
minutes by car, and 45 minutes by bus.
Use maps.google.com to find the distance from the hotel you are
considering to the building where the course will be held (4254
Stadium Dr, College Park, MD 20740). Check the route between your
hotel and the campus with "arriving by" 8:00am. Google lets you
choose if "by car", "by bus", or "walking". If you are staying near
enough to walk to the course, be warned that the weather can be very
hot and humid in July.
Because lodging is rather expensive, we do keep a list of REGISTERED
participants who inquire about sharing accommodations. If we get two
women on the list, for example, we give them each other's emails so
that they can coordinate. Once you have registered and are interested
in sharing accommodation, email to
Airports and Public Transportation
Each of the airport websites has information about these services,
and you can book online.
This airport is on the Yellow and Blue lines of the
The metro fare from the Reagan National Airport Metro
Station to the College Park Metro Station is approximately $5.
Super Shuttle: Approximately
Taxi: 15 miles / 25 kilometers. Approximately $40.
Super Shuttle: Approximately $30 one-way.
Taxi: 25 miles / 40 kilometers. Approximately $65.
The Silver line Express bus goes non-stop between the Dulles Airport and
the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station for $5. The Metro fare from the
Wiehle-Reston Metro Station to College Park Metro Station is approximately $4
Super Shuttle: Approximately $40 one-way.
Taxi: 58 miles / 67 kilometers. Washington Flyer Taxi approximately $85.
Three bus services run through College Park: MetroBus, TheBus and
ShuttleUM. Bus routes run primarily along Route 1, Rhode Island
Avenue, and Paint Branch Parkway. All three bus services have routes
that serve the College Park and Greenbelt MetroRail stations on the
“Visiting scholars, family members, or event attendees without a
University ID may request a letter of permission to ride Shuttle-UM
routes or use Shuttle-UM services that do require a UMD ID. A letter
on DOTS letterhead will serve as a temporary identification and must
be shown to the bus driver upon boarding. Visitors may contact the
DOTS Office in person or by phone at 301-405-1222 during business
hours to request a letter of permission."
We have requested letters for all participants, and will hand them
out on the first day of the course. To see which routes this service
covers, go to