University of Edinburgh - Welcome Week
  Introduction to Computing in GeoSciences for New Postgraduate Students


The GeoSciences Computing Induction aims to familiarise new postgradate students (taught Masters and research students) with the computer systems you will use during your time in Edinburgh. Given the current pandemic, this will be taught online, and tools will be introduced that students who studied here as an undergraduate may not find familiar. The course takes place on Wednesday and Thursday of Welcome Week. It is modular, and many students will just have to attend a half-day on either Wednesday morning or afternoon (see timetable below). The purpose of the later sessions will be discussed in the first session to allow you to make decisions as to whether these are required. All lecture and practical materials will be linked below, and sessions recorded for future playback.

Before the Computing Induction

The induction session will be carried out via Zoom so you will need to know the following information to make the most of the session. Please read all of the information on this page carefully.

Installing Zoom (if you haven't already got it)

Starting Zoom and Signing In

Important: To make sure that you can use all the features of zoom we need you to sign in to meetings using your University of Edinburgh Zoom account.

  1. After starting the zoom application you will need to click sign-in. If you have already been using Zoom with another account then click on the Initials or Picture for that account in the top right corner and select Switch Account.
  2. To sign in with your University account you will need to select Sign in with SSO (Windows users only), add ed-ac-uk infront of the and press Go (Continue then Allow for Mac users).
  3. After a short pause, log in with Your University Login details when prompted and you will be taken into the App.
  4. Once signed in you can access meetings by clicking on the Join button and entering the meeting ID and password. All official university Zoom meetings should have a password.
  5. When the meeting starts open the 'Participants Panel' by clicking on the button at the bottom. This allows you to see who else is in the meeting and to do things like raise your hand.

Screen Sharing in Zoom

It is possible to share your screen and let a lecturer or demonstrator take control of your computer. This is very useful during practical exercises when someone might need to show you how something is done. If you are sharing your screen a host or co-host of the zoom meeting can request to take control. You will be asked if you give your permission for this to take place. On a Mac you will need to change your preferences to allow this to happen. A Security and Privacy settings window should pop up where you can enable 'Accessibility' for the Zoom app.

Setting up your Environment

  1. Make sure you have a comfortable and quiet workspace, an open area with a view is better than an enclosed cupboard or box-room. Make sure your chair is comfortable and at the right height for spending lengthy periods of time.
  2. Test your broadband connection with the various tools you will be told you are using and ensure speed is adequate and there are no firewall problems. Effective broadband should have good speed (8-10Mb/sec) but also low latency (to ensure there are not delays after each character typed or following moving a mouse on a remote desktop). Try:
    Good figures are: Latency less than 30ms, download higher than 10 Mbs and upload higher than 1.5 Mbs. Remember to test at a realistic time of day (morning or afternoon).
    If you are reliant on Wi-Fi in a shared flat, make sure you are close to the router and your flatmates are not watching Netflix while you are trying to listen to a lecture. A physical cable connection to your broadband router might improve reliability and speed.
  3. Make sure you have good headphones, webcam and microphone, and that you can be heard and seen clearly.
  4. We have seen significant problems due to firewalls preventing a small number of students accessing resources and apps.ed. These problems relate to individual circumstances (or students in China). Using the university's Virtual Private Network (VPN) might help, or it.geos may offer advice.

Zoom Etiquette

  1. Timing: It’s really important that you are ready at the start of any session, time is limited and we therefore need to start promptly. Please log in 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start of the session in case there are any technical issues.
  2. Be prepared: Check your microphone, camera and speakers are working. Most collaboration software allows you to check this before you join a meeting. Have any required documents open and think in advance about the main questions or comments you want to make.
  3. Help your lecturer – let them know if their mic is muted, or if they have not turned on recording of the session! In the online environment we feel its important that all sessions are recorded for your benefit – so please help us to help you!
  4. Keep your video on and prepare to take a full part in any discussion. If you are going to learn effectively in online sessions it is particularly important to engage with the lecturer and are prepared to ask and answer questions. In the UK it is normal for the lecturer to ask questions and debate issues with you.
  5. Listen carefully for any specific instructions – These are often announced at the start of the session – so don’t be late! At some point you might need to move into ‘break-out’ groups, or participate in a group discussion as part of the session. Given the limited time, we need your help to do these things quickly and efficiently.
  6. ‘Mute’ yourself when you’re not talking! Nobody wants to hear somebody coughing or their noisy keyboard. So if you are not talking, mute your mic.
  7. Allow for delays in the conversation: There might be a delay, the connection might ‘freeze’ or drop, and we all need to avoid interrupting each other. So speak a bit slower than you would normally. Make it clear when you have finished speaking (e.g. “so that was my question, I have finished now”). Be prepared to repeat yourself if necessary.
  8. If you have a question, put your ‘virtual’ hand up. It is sometimes difficult for lecturers to notice questions when they are speaking, so you can interrupt if your question isn’t noticed. A lecturer sometimes won’t notice if you type a question in the chat. After your question has been asked, remember to lower your hand!
  9. Don’t have other apps or websites open which will make a noise: we don’t need to hear when you’ve received an email or text!
  10. Don’t worry if you get disconnected! Just re-join as soon as you can! If you really can’t reconnect, come back later and watch / listen to the recording.


Zoom Meeting Connection Details

Please do not share this information on social media or pass these details on to others.


The slides for the lectures and practical handouts will be available here soon, together with other resources.

The slides for the lectures and practical handouts are available here:


The recordings for the lectures and practicals are here:


The tutors for these sessions will be: