syllabus - ISP205L Visions of the Universe Laboratory...

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1 ISP205L Visions of the Universe Laboratory Spring 2006 Syllabus www.pa.msu.edu/courses/ISP205L Course Goals. Our major goal is to improve your understanding of how science actually works. This is an important topic because our modern society is based on technology that grew out of scientific understanding, and decisions made by non-scientists about how to apply scientific results have a huge effect on all of us. Many of the important early steps in the development of science emerged from the study of the night sky. We want to help you see how that occurred by retracing some of those steps. The general flow of events has been to notice patterns in nature, to carefully observe those patterns, and to continuously use that information to develop progressively more accurate descriptions of nature which allow us to make ever more useful predictions. We hope that this course will help you to improve your ability to recognize a correct and useful scientific explanation when you see it, and will then encourage you to critically apply that understanding to future problems. A secondary goal of the course will be to introduce you to the Night Sky, by using the Planetarium to teach you how to recognize the major constellations and the brightest stars. This is a bit of cultural background that many students enjoy learning and then knowing for the rest of their lives. Instructors. Supervising Professor: Jack Baldwin, baldwin@pa.msu.edu , Office: 3270 Biomedical Physical Sciences Building, phone 355-9200 x2411. Office hour: Tu 10-11. Teaching Assistants: (office hours TBD). Kim Dupczak ( dupczakk@msu.edu ) Lead TA, Section 3 (Wednesday) Charles Kuehn ( kuehncha@msu.edu ) Lead TA, Section 4 (Thursday) Thang Hun Le ( lethang@msu.edu ) Help Desk Aparajita Sengupta ( sengupta@pa.msu.edu ) Lead TA, Section 5 (Friday) Matt Steele ( steele24@ msu.edu ) Lead TA, Section 1 (Monday) Angelo Varlotta ( varlotta@pa.msu.edu ) Lead TA, Section 2 (Tuesday) Each section will have a permanently-assigned “Lead TA”, who will be the person in charge of the section (including determining your grade). There will also be a second, and as needed a third, TA during each section meeting. In addition, professional planetarium lecturers will lead the parts of the sessions in which you look at the “sky”. Planetarium Personnel: David Batch, Director John French Shane Horvatin Office Hours, and e-mail Help Desk. Each TA has a desk in room 3265 Biomedical Physical Sciences, phone 355-9200 x2445. Office hours will be announced on the course web site (www.pa.msu.edu/courses/ISP205L) and in class during the first week of classes. We also run an e-mail help desk at isp205lab@pa.msu.edu . Its hours of operation will also be announced during the first week. You can go to the help desk or to any TA if you have questions about how to do assignments, etc. But you should go to only your Lead TA if you want to talk about your grades.
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2 Required materials. Book:
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syllabus - ISP205L Visions of the Universe Laboratory...

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