Monday, 17 January 2011

SD329: Signals and perception: the science of the senses - Once more unto the breach

Another year another course. I'm addicted!

As I've now got my degree, this is a just for fun. So of course I'll take it easy and not really try .... as if. There is something about a piece of coursework that these days stirs my competitive spirit. I recall in school doing more or less just enough to get me through,

The web site has opened - I have PDFs of the materials, and even the first bit of coursework (oh no - it has an essay question in it!!). However we're all still waiting for our books to be despatched. The course doesn't officially start until February though, but its good to get ahead. Its easy to waste time if you get ahead, less easy to catch up!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

SXR208: Observing the Universe

Its the last year for many residential courses in the science faculty. Something we'll all miss badly.
So I've always wanted to go on this course, and this year I'm not doing too many other courses, so as it is the last year, I'm grabbing it.

It's a week in Majorca, at an observatory, sleeping by day, doing astronomy by night. The first set of materials have arrived which includes the course book, a PT3 form, and an introductory booklet telling you what you need and advice on how to get there. You have to get your own flights, but hotel is included, as is the bus to the observatory.

The book covers lots of things, from basic telescopes, to equations used in astronomy, use of CCD sensors and how they are applied. Also things like teamwork, working out sources of errors, graphs and a few other bits and pieces.

I'm due there in March, and am quite excited about the whole thing. There is the book to read, some coursework to do beforehand, and a write up to do after. Although Majorca is more or less in the same time zone, I'm expecting jet lag from the shift in daily routine!