2010-11 Catalog

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2010-11 Undergraduate Index A-Z

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Astronomy [clear]

Title   Offering Standing Credits Credits When F W S Su Description Preparatory Faculty Days of Week Multiple Standings Start Quarters
Astronomy and Cosmology: Stars and Stories

Rebecca Chamberlain

astronomy literature philosophy 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 4, 8, 12 04 08 12 Day, Evening and Weekend SuSummer From sacred stories to fundamentals of astronomy, this intensive course will explore a variety of cosmological concepts from mythology, literature, philosophy, and history, to an introduction to astronomy, archeo-astronomy, and theories about the origins of the universe. We will employ scientific methods of observation, investigation, hands-on activities, and strategies that foster inquiry-based learning and engage the imagination. Activities are designed for amateur astronomers and those interested in inquiry based science education as well as those interested in doing observation-based research or in exploring literary, philosophical, cultural, and historical cosmological traditions. Students will participate in a variety of activities from telling star-stories under the night sky, to working in a computer lab to create planetarium programs. Through readings, lectures, films, workshops, and discussions, participants will deepen their understanding of the principles of astronomy and refine their understanding of the role that cosmology plays in our lives through the stories we tell, the observations we make, and the questions we ask. Students will develop skills and appreciation for the ways we uncover our place in the Universe through scientific theories and cultural stories, imagination and intellect, qualitative and quantitative processes. Field studies include visits to an observatory and The Oregon Star Party. We will use a variety of techniques to enhance our observation skills including the use of star-maps and navigation guides to identify objects in the night sky, use of 8” and 10” Dobsonian telescopes to find deep space objects, and the use of binoculars and other tools. Students registering for 12 credits will participate in binary star research at an invitational gathering at Pine Mountain Observatory. This is strongly recommended for those who want do scientific analysis, writing, and research.  It is a wonderful opportunity to connect with an active community of amateur and professional astronomers engaged in citizen science. inquiry-based science education, scientific research, writing, journalism, literature, philosophy, cultural studies, storytelling Rebecca Chamberlain Wed Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer
Methods of Mathematical Physics

EJ Zita

astronomy mathematics philosophy of science physics 

Signature Required: Winter Spring 

  Program SO - SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day FFall WWinter SSpring A close examination of the complex and varied world around us reveals a high degree of underlying order. Our goal as scientists is to understand and explain this order. Mathematics is the language created (or discovered) to describe the order observed in physics. The goal of this advanced program is to introduce the mathematical language we use to describe and create physical models of our natural world, and to better understand both. To that end, we will study a number of key physical theories and systematically develop the mathematical tools that we need to understand them. We plan to begin, in fall quarter, with a review of series, complex numbers and linear equations, including matrixes, concentrating on their applications to physics, such as rotations, circuits and the simultaneous solution of linear equations. We will continue with ordinary and partial differential equations, with applications to classical mechanics, including oscillators, waves, Laplace's equation, Poisson's equation, and other fundamental examples in physics. Students will plan research projects in teams. In winter, we plan to connect differentiation with integration via vector analysis (applications in electromagnetism), Fourier Series (applications to waves, e.g. acoustic oscillations on the Sun and at the Big Bang), and variational calculus. We will go deeper into areas begun in fall. For example, we would like to take vector analysis deeper into tensor analysis, with applications such as general relativity. Students will carry out their research projects in teams. In spring, students may continue with a full-time study of electromagnetism and vector calculus, or may continue independent contract work on their research projects in teams. Students might also have the option to begin a study of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Students will be encouraged to present their research at a regional professional physics meeting. Our program work will consist of lectures, tutorials, group workshops, student presentations, computer labs, seminars on the philosophy and history of physics and mathematics, essays and responses to essays. Teamwork within an integrated learning community will be emphasized, 1) for best learning practices, and 2) to model work within mature scientific communities. chemistry, education, engineering, history, mathematics, philosophy, and physics. EJ Zita Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall
Science for Elementary Educators

Andrew Gilbert and Carolyn Prouty

astronomy biology chemistry environmental studies physics 

  Course FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 6 06 Day SuSummer This is a general science course designed to meet the science content needs of both current and future elementary school teachers. The course will provide a broad array of science content geared toward the Washington State Academic Standards for science teachers (grades K-6). Topics will include: Earth/Space Science, Physical Science, Life Science and the Nature of Science with special attention paid to systems and sustainability. Open to pre-service and in-service teachers, and other interested education professionals.  elementary science education Andrew Gilbert Carolyn Prouty Tue Wed Thu Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer
Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry with E. Zita

EJ Zita

astronomy physics 

Signature Required: Fall Winter Spring 

  Research SO - SRSophomore - Senior V V Day FFall WWinter SSpring Rigorous quantitative and qualitative research is an important component of academic learning in Scientific Inquiry. This independent learning opportunity allows advanced students to delve into real-world research with faculty who are currently engaged in specific projects. Students typically begin by working in apprenticeship with faculty or laboratory staff and gradually take on more independent projects within the context of the specific research program as they gain experience. Students can develop vital skills in research design, data acquisition and interpretation, written and oral communication, collaboration, and critical thinking that are valuable for students pursuing a graduate degree or entering the job market. (physics) studies the Sun and other magnetized plasmas. Do solar changes affect Earth over decades (e.g. Solar Max) to millennia (e.g. climate changes)? Why does the Sun shine a bit more brightly when it is more magnetically active, even though sunspots are dark? Why does the Sun's magnetic field flip every 11 years? Why is the temperature of the Sun’s outer atmosphere millions of degrees higher than that of its surface? We investigate such solar mysteries by analyzing data from solar observatories, and with theory and computer modeling. Students can study solar physics and plasma physics, use simple optical and radio telescopes to observe the Sun from Olympia, and analyze new solar data from telescopes on satellites. Strong research students may be invited to join our summer research team in Olympia and/or Palo Alto, Calif. astronomy, physics, climate studies. EJ Zita Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall