Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Free Astronomy Course

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day (the link is over on the right hand side of The Thinker blog under the heading "Reasons to Wake Up Each Day") included a note with a link to a free Astronomy course produced by Michigan Tech. When you click on the note, you end up at The Asterisk forum page. On that page you will find the following:

I tried out each of the above URLs. Of course the top one is the most direct, and the one you should use. The second URL takes you to a page of all the science courses (114 of them, as I recall). The number one course listed is the free astronomy course from Michigan Tech. The third URL takes you to the LearnOutLoud home page which gives links to a zillion other courses.

So, using the first URL above, I got to the correct page. Then I needed to scroll down to the list of lectures. Today there were four available (the first 4 lectures of the course). So far, I have watched only the first lecture which was an introduction. The lecture lasts (I'm guessing) about 45 minutes. But the first fourth or third of the lecture was instructions to his real class members about tests and so on. You could skip that part by sliding the progress button over to the right about an inch or so.

Some of my grandchildren could probably watch these lectures and learn a great deal, if they were in a teachable frame of mind and equipped with a healthy curiosity about astronomy. I wouldn't let the "college course" label dissuade any of them.

The only thing that he said that caused my eyebrows to go up was when he said The Very Large Array was in Arizona. He must have misspoken. The Very Large Array is in New Mexico. I am going to check his forum pages to see if anyone else caught that. I may just email him and point out his slip of the tongue.
Postscript: This morning (9-18-08) I emailed RJN, the professor, about his gaff. Here is his reply:

From: RJN
To: plhorem
Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:29 pm
Subject: Re: VLA location

Thanks for your correction. Yes, indeed, the VLA is in New Mexico. I have even been there. Unfortunately, I can't correct the video. I can correct the PPT slide but that likely won't be used again for a number of years. - RJN


Anonymous said...

You should be an astronomy teacher, Mom. You know so much about starry things.
"Fkgkuru" A star expert.

Trillium said...

So I left a post on the Asterisk Forum topic, Free Astronomy Course, suggesting that the professor edit the first lecture and correct the location of the Very Large Array to New Mexico. Maybe I should have sent him a private email instead. OR, maybe they moved it to Arizona last week . . . LOL

Davola said...

Anyone see Men in Black? I think Mom is an alien hanging out with us. She is waiting for her ship to come back. ET2!!

pbahbhb: The sound your brain makes when someone from MIB flashes you with a Neuralizer.

Chris said...


See, college professors don't know Jack.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, they just pretend like they know something...it's kinda sad.
"dscaujlo" the sound a student makes when he discovers his teacher is a fraud.

Zaphod said...

I had a college professor that was Jack.

Zaphod said...

"plhorem"... How felicitous is that? Trillium the "florum"