Welcome - please see if your question is answered below.
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Fair on 5.March.2003
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Q: How can I get into the program?
A: Study the web
pages about the program, and sign up if you feel it's the right
program for you. CRN #30181 for 16 credits. There
is no pretest and no signature requirement.
Q: When do we meet?
A: Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Seminar in
Lib 2221 at 5:00 and Astronomy class in the CAL at 7:00. Check the Syllabus
for more details.
Q: Will we study the particular phenomenon or
idea that I'm interested in?
A: Yes, you can do a research
project on it.
Q: What texts and equipment do I need?
A: See the lists
at the bottom of our home page.
Q: Do I need a computer at home, sincemuch of
the program requires Internet use?
A: No - you can use the computers at school.
You will be expected to meet your small team of classmates several times
per week, so you might plan on using the campus computers before or
after those meetings.
Q: What telescope should I buy?
A: Don't buy a telescop!. Buy or borrow
a 10 x 50 binoculars and a tripod. They are much easier to use.
You can use the college's telescopes and try out different types;
test drive as many as you can before you decide to make a major investment
in a telescope.
Q: How much math and science do I have to know?
A: You should be comfortable with algebra and
willing to learn more. We are not assuming that you have any background
at all in physics or astronomy.
Q: How hard is the program?
A: While we are not assuming much background
knowledge, you will be expected to do a lot of work and to learn a lot.
Be prepared for up to 300 pages of reading each week, one short paper
per week, quantitative homework every week, and observing most clear
nights. You will do at least one research project, write it up
on a web page, and present your work to the class. We will help you
develop the skills you need to do all this, if you are willing to work
hard. This is a fine program for beginners, but not for flakes.
If you want a light and easy spring quarter, this is not the program
for you. If you want a fun and challenging program, this is a good candidate.
Q: What other prerequisites are there?
A: See the program
description for details. "Maturity" means you take responsibility
for your own learning and keep the commitments in the program covenant,
at a minimum.
Q: Will we take a field trip to the Southwest?
A: Not this year, as family responsibilities
prevent Zita from traveling. Students are invited to organize weekend
trips together to eastern Washington where the skies are clearer. Goldendale
observatory is a good place with nearby camping.