Citizen Science Musings: Take A Class!

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By Sheldon Greaves

9780465028115One of our CSL fellows, Theoretical Physicist at Large George Hrabovsky has co-authored a new book, The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics that recently rockets to No. 2 on within weeks of its release. We want to congratulate George for this remarkable achievement. Now George is preparing to offer an online course in the mathematical essentials for anyone who wants to do science. One update item; George needed a minimum of ten to get started, but there are enough signups that this course will happen. Here is the announcement from his blog:

Elementary Mathematical Methods

If I can get a total of 10 people interested I will teach a course on Elementary Mathematical Methods for Science. This will consist of units on algebra, estimation and dimensions, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, calculus, linear algebra, multivariable calculus, differential equations, and probability and statistics. Possibly other topics as well.

I have 4 people interested already.

Here is how the course will be conducted:

1) Each Friday I will place material on a web site for the course. This will be in the form of a cdf file, a format created by Wolfram Research. Many of these documents will contain interactive material for you to play with. There will be a number of challenges: 2-3 will be done in complete detail, 1-2 will be done in less detail, 1-2 will be done in little detail, and 1-2 will have no detail.

2) Discussions of the work will continue on the blog until the students are done with them. If this takes 2 months, then I know that I have done something wrong.

3) Throughout the week I will monitor the blog to see what responses I get. This will determine the new material I put up on Friday of that week. I will also put up a record of the discussion formatted for the mathematics

4) Upon completion of an assignment by all participants I will post a transcription of the discussion formatted in Mathematica and converted into a cdf.

5) If people are interested, I will have a live session on Saturday evenings beginning at 8PM central time and going until 10 PM central time. This will be via Skype and will use TeamViewer as the desktop sharing software so that I can answer questions directly.

6) If I can figure out a way to do it efficiently I will produce audio lectures keyed to the material, so you can follow along.

Interested parties can write to George directly at george[at]

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