Introduction

Free video lectures for anyone with curiosity and a web browser.
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RJN
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Introduction

Postby RJN » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:14 pm

Posted in this forum are the lectures of a free introductory astronomy course as taught by me, APOD co-editor and university professor Robert Nemiroff, at Michigan Technological University in the fall of 2008. Each lecture of the class is included here, one lecture per thread. Each lecture thread should contain at least one video lecture and one Powerpoint file containing the slides that I used. I was proud that I used no textbook for this class but instead relied on strong Wikipedia articles. This made the class especially Internet friendly and particularly conducive to this type of online forum. Many students saw these exact lectures in Fall 2008, took online quizzes not available here, and received college credit at Michigan Tech.

General astronomy questions, no matter how basic, can be asked in the greater Asterisk forums. Please do not send email to the address shown in the video. Unfortunately, I expect to move on to other projects and would like this project to run autonomously. I therefore ask that if someone knows the answer to an asked question, please go right ahead and answer that question. Please do not wait for me to answer. On occasion, however, I do peruse The Asterisk's forums.

Next, I expect that I have made several mistakes. I cannot correct the video, but please do point these out in The Asterisk forums so that future online students get the best information possible. Past that, the general rules for posting on The Asterisk bulletin board still apply as much as reasonably possible. These rules can be summed up as "be polite."

Over the first few months of 2010, this thread and this very post may be edited without notice for clarity and technology upgrades. If you yourself have suggestions as to how to make this free online course better or more accessible, please post that on the general discussion (Open Space) forum of The Asterisk.

- Robert Nemiroff (RJN)

Introductory Astronomy - YouTube Playlist

drjimy
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Intro: PPT error in Lectures 18 and 19

Postby drjimy » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:52 pm

Tecnical question:

Is the power point slides link broken on this two lectures? (18 and 19)

Thanks

Dr Jimy. (Mexico)

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RJN
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Re: Lectures 18 and 19

Postby RJN » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:01 pm

Yes, you were right. My bad. I just fixed it though. - RJN

drjimy
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Re: Lectures 18 and 19

Postby drjimy » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:29 pm

Thx for the fix, its working now :)....man, I can´t hardly express my happiness and gratitude to you for publishing this material, I think knowledge is like water, its almost free cause is priceless.

Major Tom
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Intro: Why are all lectures locked?

Postby Major Tom » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:22 pm

Hello,
I'm new to the forum (this is my first post). The online courses look very interesting but are all locked. Will they be made available again?

Thank you......................Tom

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geckzilla
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Re: Why are all lectures locked?

Postby geckzilla » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:25 pm

Tom, the lock merely prevents you from replying to them because we want you to discuss them in here instead of directly in the topic thread. They are available right now.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

RStabb
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Intro: Thank You RJN

Postby RStabb » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:15 am

I'm on lesson #3.

Great stuff and thanks for APOD.

RS

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neufer
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Re: Thank You RJN

Postby neufer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:51 pm

RStabb wrote:I'm on lesson #3. Great stuff and thanks for APOD.

You RJN us :!:
Art Neuendorffer

JLewis98856
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Thank you, RJN

Postby JLewis98856 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:35 am

Dear Sir:
Thank you for doing the free course. I'm a high school science teacher and been retired since 2000. I check APOD each and every day. Thank you for it also. I am on lecture 8. I am scrambling to keep up with the Wikipedia entries. I explore the math in detail since I am a math major. I found the brightness calculations and the frequency and quantum mechanics very interesting. I remember some of the elementary quantum mechanics from my physics courses at the Univ. of Wash. It is hard but fun for a 67 year old to do courses again.
Thanks,
John M Lewis

Smallfish
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Open Thanks

Postby Smallfish » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:41 am

Dear RJN,
A theologian would say thank you for all the interesting information and visual experience you provided. Well done - I would say if I would be some big fish. I saw that the downoads are dropping by the end of the course, so I encourage everone to finish all the courses.

Istvan Fodor

MarkLabrecque
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Intro: Quizzes for PH1600

Postby MarkLabrecque » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:04 pm

I've watched with great interest the video recordings of your PH1600 Intro to Astronomy course on the internet. I am planning to incorporate some of the concepts that underpin your course, especially the use of APOD and Wikipedia as an up-to-date source of information in astronomy, into the course that I teach.

I wanted to ask a few questions about the quizzes that you refer to in the videos. You make the students responsible for reading the Wikipedia entries - do you base the quiz questions on the entries? Have you incorporated the questions that students submit to you into your quizzes? What form do your quizzes take - multiple choice, short answer, fill in the blank? I noticed that you give the students a week to do the on-line quizzes. Do you trust that the students will not use the Wikipedia sources to look up the answers or is this a concern? Perhaps the point of your quizzes is to get the students to read the articles in order to find the answers for the quiz questions, in which case you wouldn't be concerned if they got 100% consistently on the quizzes. Do you have an example of a quiz that you could email to me?

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RJN
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Re: Quizzes for PH1600

Postby RJN » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:13 pm

Thanks, Mark, for your questions. To answer, first, some questions were based on Wikipedia entries, but they were heavily skewed toward topics directly mentioned in the lectures. The questions were usually multiple choice. I expected the students to use the lecture videos and Wikipedia to help answer the questions. I tried to pose as many questions as possible, however, as thinking questions and not just memorization questions. The idea was to question understanding, not facts, as much as possible. At the end of the course, I gave a final exam that also tried to stress understanding over memorization. Several years after the course is over, Wikipedia should still be a good source of information, and so if students have honed their Wikipedia skills to obtain raw facts, I consider that a plus. In a way, Wikipedia is to facts like computerized spell-checking is to spelling: memorizing long lists of spelling words is no longer as useful, in my opinion, as thinking about how words can be put together to convey ideas. Similarly, memorizing astronomical facts I do not consider as useful as thinking about how these facts can be put together to better understand ideas like how planets form and why Polaris is not exactly the true north star.

nguinn

Re: Quizzes for PH1600

Postby nguinn » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:32 am

Thank you very much for making these lectures publicly available, RJN!

Are the quizzes, even just some old ones, available for download anywhere?

Cheers,
NGuinn

kargakarga
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Re: Intro: Why are all lectures locked?

Postby kargakarga » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:00 pm

Hello,

I could not understand why the lectures are not available now?
How&when can I access them?

thanks,
yk

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bystander
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Re: Intro: Why are all lectures locked?

Postby bystander » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:43 pm

kargakarga wrote:I could not understand why the lectures are not available now?
How&when can I access them?

You can't view them?
The locked status should not impair your ability to view the topics or videos.
The locked status only prevents others from posting to the topic.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

Wagenaar
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Re: Introduction

Postby Wagenaar » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:33 pm

Dear Sir,

I enjoy reading and listening to your lectures. I watch all of them, watching the video file and the PowerPoint file simultaneously by switching between the two.

From 3 lectors (lecture 10, 11, and 21) links to the MP4 Video and the PowerPoint files are closed due some confusing.
Would you be so kind to repair the links so I / we can download your old files and do these wonderful lectures too. The difference in information is standing at the bottom, in the letters part, so this information can be read to and the whole lectures will have no confusing anymore.

Thanks by forehand.

R. Wagenaar,
The Netherlands.

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owlice
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Re: Introduction

Postby owlice » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:43 pm

Oh, thanks very much for pointing that out! They have been fixed.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

mariano

Broken link powerpoint lecture 10, 11, 21

Postby mariano » Mon May 23, 2011 6:37 pm

Tecnical question:

Is the power point slides link broken on this three lectures (in powerpoint slides)? (10, 11 and 21)

Thanks

Mariano in Indonesia

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owlice
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Re: Introduction

Postby owlice » Mon May 23, 2011 7:24 pm

Thanks for asking!

They are not broken; I just tested them. You might want to reload the page (shift-reload) to see if that helps. If it does not, you might need to delete your cache and try again. If THAT doesn't work, please post again to let us know. Thank you!

Owl
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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owlice
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Re: Introduction

Postby owlice » Tue May 24, 2011 10:10 am

Oooh, now I see you meant the links for the download! Okay, I've just fixed those links and they are working now. My apologies for misunderstanding what was wrong.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

mariano

Re: Introduction

Postby mariano » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:22 pm

thanks, it is very cool and help that i can download that link now

hmillstein
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Re: Introduction

Postby hmillstein » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:33 am

I'm baffled. I've registered. How do I access the lectures?

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owlice
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Re: Introduction

Postby owlice » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:57 am

Click on the thread for the lecture you want (for example, Lecture 01: A Grand Tour of the Universe) and then click the PLAY icon in the middle of the small "screen" you'll see there.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

adrianxw
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Re: Introduction

Postby adrianxw » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:06 am

I notice that some of the videos numbered 2 are earlier in the list than those numbered 1. What is the correct order for watching the items? The Distance scales topics as an example.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

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bystander
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Re: Introduction

Postby bystander » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:22 pm

adrianxw wrote:I notice that some of the videos numbered 2 are earlier in the list than those numbered 1. What is the correct order for watching the items? The Distance scales topics as an example.

I am assuming you are referring to Physics X. There is no preferential order for the lectures (see Intro). However, the numbered lectures (I, II, etc) would probably be better viewed in numbered order. The selections have now been alphabetized for easier identification (thanks, geckzilla). You can also use the topic creation dates (listed under each topic title) as a general guide as to the order in which the lectures were presented.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor


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