Qualitative and Quantitative Skills
There is a growing recognition that quantitative and predictive methods employing numerical models of structural processes are crucial to solving the problems faced by society.
This book marks a departure from traditional teaching methods of structural geology by making numerical exercises and personal computers important partners in the learning experience. William Fisher has discussed the employment opportunities and the training that companies are looking for as follows:
"... Most of the geological scientists hired over the past 50 years in the United States have practiced basically qualitative skills, with quantitative abilities adjunct. This is one positive attribute of geological scientists. However, employers who needed rigorous quantitative skills generally hired people from other disciplines. Tomorrow's geoscientist will need more quantitative skills in addition to, not in place of, qualitative skills..." (Fisher, 1989).
It is our intention that this book will provide students with many useful quantitative skills, while not neglecting the essential qualitative ones. To this end we integrate the computational and graphical engine MATLAB into the solution of student exercises and the preparation of dynamic figures for the textbook. Many of these figures can be recreated in MATLAB and then altered to study different boundary conditions.