Teaching time

Just a quick apology for the lack of words appearing on the page here lately. In addition to planning for the upcoming launch of the Planck Satellite, I’ve been swamped with teaching my first-ever full-length undergraduate cosmology course. It’s lots of fun, but the biggest challenge is just systematizing this whole body of knowledge that I am supposed to already know so well. Like most scientists, I don’t quite want to take the information directly from someone else’s textbook (although there are quite a few good ones at the right level, notably Rowan-Robinson’s Cosmology and Liddle’s An Introduction to Modern Cosmology) so I am trying to put it all together in a way that fits my way of thinking about it (and, I hope, my students’). But probably, this is just my version of Blake’s “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s” (of course I am purposefully ignoring his next line from Jerusalem, the very wrongheaded miscomprehension of science, “I will not reason and compare: my business is to create”).

P.S. If you’re a student, feel free to comment here (anonymously, if you’d prefer) or on our favorite e-learning system at Imperial).

2 responses to “Teaching time”

  1. Tina Mammoser avatar

    The undergrad cosmology courses I did with Open University were very well presented – but we had a 2nd year Astronomy course (galaxies, cosmology, sun/stars) and then a 3rd year (space, time and cosmology). If you’d like a brief list of the table of contents of either I’m happy to send it. 🙂 My coursebooks are OU-specific though.

  2. Jpe avatar

    The one thing I wish I had been taught at undergrad was controversies. We were taught about a few mysteries, but I never got a sense that the were debates and factions.
    It would also be good to get a flavour of the kind of work they might actually do in a cosmology phd.
    And tell them to learn to program!