Short Course: Inverse problems in geophysics

April 11th, 2018

CSIRO’s Deep Earth Imaging is sponsoring a 4-day short course on inverse problems led by Prof Malcolm Sambridge and Dr Andrew Valentine from the Australian National University

28-31 May 2018 at ARRC in Kensington WA


Over the past 50 years, a wide variety of techniques have been developed to infer models of the subsurface from geophysical data and these models are often used to guide exploration activities. An understanding of the numerical methods employed to derive such models is central to understanding their limitations and thus to employing these methods correctly. This 4-day short course provides the necessary background knowledge, through a combination of practical exercises and lectures, on the following topics:

  • Brief review of linear algebra, probability and statistics, vector calculus and linear regression;
  • Linear inverse problems:
    • Rank deficiency, ill-conditioning and regularisation;
  • Non-linear inverse problems:
    • Iterative non-linear methods (e.g. steepest descent and conjugate gradient);
    • Direct search methods (e.g. simulated annealing and neighbourhood algorithm);
  • Bayesian approaches (such as Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques, ongoing research at the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences.

About Prof Malcolm Sambridge

Malcolm Sambridge is currently a Professor and in the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University. His research contributions have been in geophysical inverse problems across the Earth Sciences and in particular seismology. In addition to research he is

currently involved in building the Australian Seismometers in Schools network, a national outreach program installing instruments measuring the ground shaking of distant earthquakes in 40 high schools across the nation. He was awarded the Price medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2009; elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2010 and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2015.

About Dr Andrew Valentine

Andrew Valentine is an ARC DECRA Fellow within the Seismology & Mathematical Geophysics group at the Australian National University. He completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford, working on methodological aspects of global tomography, and then spent several years as a postdoctoral researcher at Utrecht University before joining ANU in 2016. He has broad research interests, with a focus on geophysical inverse theory and the applications of machine learning within geophysics.


When 28th of May 2018 to 31st of May (0830-1630)

Where ARRC, Kensington, WA

What Attendees are expected to bring their own laptop.

Cost AUD 1250 (places limited to 20 people)