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Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice: Astronomical Instruments

Author(s): 
Toke Knudsen (State University of New York at Oneonta)

Overview

The Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics at the State University of New York at Oneonta (SUNY Oneonta) has a course called Ancient Mathematical Astronomy. The course was developed in Fall 2009 and was offered for the first time in Fall 2010. In addition to providing an introduction to the history of the astral sciences from ancient times up to Copernicus, a main focus of the course is to engage the students with the study, design, and construction of astronomical instruments. Such practical involvement not only increases the students’ understanding of the difficult material of the course, but also heightens their appreciation of it. This article details the design of the course, as well as the experience gained the two times that the course was offered at SUNY Oneonta, with a focus on the students' construction of astronomical instruments.

Toke Knudsen (State University of New York at Oneonta), "Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice: Astronomical Instruments," Convergence (May 2015)

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