SDU Colloquium CPSP 119D-101: Intersection of Astronomy and Cultures

(for Section 102: Dr. Peel's class, click here)

Photo from SDU's 2009 Green Bank Trip

from Aztec Calendar Stone: Color is added simply for legibility (roll over for actual calendar). Note: NOT a Mayan calendar.

Syllabus and Class Schedule (subject to change)

SDU's "big question" is, "What happens at the intersection of astronomy and culture: what are the roles of science, exploration and communication in the process of discovery?" My take on this is then the theme for this term, "What do cultures ask from their astronomers?" We will look at different cultures (location and time) and see what astronomy problems they thought were important, why they thought they were important, and how the astronomers solved the problems. Where this is all leading to is that I will ask from you what question you think our culture should be asking from its astronomers. Or to be practical, why should people like you (a.k.a. the taxpayers) pay people like me a salary? Or to be specific, you will work on group projects along this line and present them in class for our last two meetings. After all the presentations are done we will see if we can come to a class consensus on what is (are) the most important question(s) for NASA to be addressing.

Content Area

Some reading and perusing for before and after class:

30 Jan
  1. Career Center presentation in pdf format from last year (will be updated later this semester)

Reading for 6 February colloquium (please read before coming to class):
  1. National Space Policy of the USA
  2. NASA What Now?

Reading for 27 February colloquium (please read before coming to class):
  1. A Black Widow's Best Friend, article about a planet around a pulsar!

Last Modified: January 2014 subject to change