Make a comment First Heatwave Expected Next Week Caltech planetary science professor Mike Brown. Credit: Lance Hayashida/Caltech Office of Strategic CommunicationsFeynman Teaching Award winner Mike Brown has ventured into new fields of instruction: the Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, and the “flipped” classroom, which inverts the traditional arrangement of listening to lectures in class and doing assignments at home.Mike Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor and Professor of Planetary Astronomy, is teaching a nine-week course to 20 Caltech undergraduates—and some 2,000 Internet users. Geology/Astronomy 11c, “Introduction to Earth and Planetary Sciences: Planetary Sciences,” is also available on line at Coursera.org as “The Science of the Solar System.”“It’s pretty amazing,” says Brown. In one sitting, I teach more students than I would in my entire career at Caltech.”The course’s videos are grouped into four multiweek units that cover the history of water on Mars, the interiors of the giant planets, the formation of the solar system as recorded in the rubble of small bodies left behind, and the search for life beyond Earth. Every lecture demonstrates how planetary science draws on techniques from an assortment of disciplines to attack a problem. For example, he describes how in 1966 Caltech physics professor Robert Leighton (BS ’41, MS ’44, PhD ’47) and planetary science professor Bruce Murray used basic physics to conclude that Mars’s polar caps could not be ordinary ice, as had generally been assumed, but must instead be dry ice—frozen carbon dioxide. The unit as a whole traces the history of both the planet and our quest to understand it, from our first telescopic observations to our current fleet of spacecraft. The lectures are sprinkled with personal asides, such as the fact that the very first front-page color photograph to run in Brown’s hometown newspaper was of the rusty, rock-strewn desert of Mars’s Chryse Planitia, beamed back from the Viking One lander on July 21, 1976.The for-credit version taken by Caltech undergraduates is a “flipped” class. Students watch the lectures on their own time, and the instructional sessions are devoted to personal interactions with one another and with Brown. After he fields questions on the week’s lectures, the students break up into small groups. For the Mars unit, each group was provided the location of one of the backup landing sites selected for Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, and told to write a report on the site’s geologic history based on the wealth of data and images available online. The reports were to pay special attention to the times and forms in which water might have been present at the sites. Each group then had to make the case for its site as the best choice in a presentation to the entire class.“The goal is to have them synthesize the individual things they learned from the lectures and apply it to spots that we didn’t necessarily talk about,” Brown says. “I told them to organize their thinking by just looking at the lectures’ titles. There’s photogeology, where you compare pictures to landforms on Earth to see what’s going on. There are outflow channels, dendritic channels, valley networks. There’s the altimetry, which tells you about slopes and drainages. You can look at the gamma-ray data to see if there’s subsurface water. And the infrared spectroscopy tells you about the mineralogy, which tells you whether water was present when that rock was laid down. You can apply almost everything that was in the lectures to each of these sites.”After the groups have split up, Brown works the room, listening to the students’ discussions and occasionally asking a question. As one group begins pooling what they’ve gleaned from their individual readings about their site, a student says he doesn’t see any evidence for what one paper claims to be an ancient shoreline. Brown remarks, “Just because a paper’s been published doesn’t mean it’s right. How do you decide if a conclusion is credible?” Another student replies, “By how often it’s cited?” “That’s a good way,” Brown agrees. “And it’s very easy to do that these days. When I was a student, we had to haul out all these big, thick books. Of course, if all the citations say, ‘This is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read,’ that would be bad.” As the period proceeds, the discussion gets more detailed, and Brown’s questions become more penetrating. “I’m going to disagree with everything you say to be sure you have the evidence for it,” he explains to them. “If I don’t ask these questions, NASA will.”This is the second year that Brown has flipped this class. “I’m still learning how it works,” he says. When he created the course last year, he recalls, “I spent a lot of time recording. It was a full-time job from January to mid-May, which is crazy for a nine-week class. But the promise was that it all pays off in the subsequent years. Some parts didn’t work so well, so I’ve had to change them, and some parts change because there are always new things happening in space. This time around, I got to put in all the stuff about landing on a comet [i.e., the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which landed a probe on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last November], which is super cool, and next year I’ll get to do the Pluto flyby stuff [NASA’s New Horizons mission, set to flyby the dwarf planet on July 14 of this year]. I think of it as a living textbook.”It took some 45 minutes to record one 15-minute lecture, of which there are about 90. Editing each segment took another two hours. “That was a surprise,” Brown says. “At first, I was doing them all myself, but I very quickly cried uncle and sent them over to Leslie [Maxfield (BS ’95), Caltech’s director of Academic Media Technologies (AMT)]. They did a much better job. This year, with the re-recordings, there’s not as much to do, so I’m doing them all myself.”Brown records all the videos in his office using the built-in camera on his computer monitor. In the middle of the room, a portable green-screen backdrop on long-term loan from AMT hangs from borrowed light stands. Hanging next to the screen is the lone blue shirt that Brown wears for continuity. He’s perpetually clean-shaven now for the same reason, and he gets the same haircut, on schedule, every eight weeks. “My wife is thrilled,” he says. “I used to say, ‘Oh, yeah. My hair is 10 feet long; I should get a haircut.’ Now she says, ‘You’re getting another haircut already?’”Caltech students get nine units of credit for completing the course; people from the outside world get a certificate of completion “good for printing out and hanging on your wall,” Brown says. “And as totally meaningless as these certificates are, people are very motivated by them. They’re enjoying the class, they’re trying to learn, and they want that certificate. I’m very excited about this class because it’s the best outreach tool I’ve ever found, in a very interesting niche where we don’t normally do outreach. This is intense—2,000 people spending nine weeks doing three or four hours a week of planetary science. That’s crazy. And they were an engaged, dedicated group by the end. They feel a big sense of allegiance to all aspects of it: to me, to Caltech, and I think to Coursera as well. It’s a pretty great tool.” faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Subscribe 4 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Science and Technology Caltech’s Feynman Teaching Award Winner Mike Brown Ventures into Leading “Massive Open Online Course” By DOUGLAS SMITH Published on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 | 4:55 pm Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. More Cool Stuff Top of the News Community News Business News Community News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Herbeauty6 Trends To Look Like A Bombshell And 6 To Forget AboutHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyIs It Bad To Give Your Boyfriend An Ultimatum?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty15 Countries Where Men Have Difficulties Finding A WifeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty11 Signs Your Perfectionism Has Gotten Out Of ControlHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeauty EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website
Top Stories[Breaking] SC Seeks UGC Response To Pleas Against Direction To Hold Final Year Exams By Sep 30; To Hear Petitions On July 31 [Read Order] Sanya Talwar27 July 2020 1:27 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Monday adjourned till Friday (July 31) the hearing on the petitions challenging the UGC guidelines, which made it mandatory for universities to conduct their final year exams by September 30.A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & BR Gavai directed the Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, to file a common reply for the University Grants Commission(UGC) to…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Monday adjourned till Friday (July 31) the hearing on the petitions challenging the UGC guidelines, which made it mandatory for universities to conduct their final year exams by September 30.A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & BR Gavai directed the Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, to file a common reply for the University Grants Commission(UGC) to the petitions by July 29.The petitioners are at liberty to file their rejoinder to the reply on July 30.Four petitions were listed before the Top Court today, seeking quashing of the notification dated July 6 by Ministry of Human Resources Development and the subsequent UGC Guidelines mandating conduct of examinations for final year students by September 30.The petitions were filed by 31 students from various Indian universities, law student Yash Dubey, Yuva Sena leader Aditya Thackeray and one student Krushna Waghmare.Petitioners like Thackeray of Yuva Sena had demanded the UGC to allow individual state governments to pass the final year students based on the candidate’s past performance.Senior Advocate Dr A M Singhvi, appearing for Dubey, submitted that the UGC guidelines are “harsh and unworkable”.Many states including West Bengal and Maharashtra have strongly objected to the conduct of examinations amid Coronavirus pandemic, he submitted.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for UGC, submitted that “out of 818 universities in India, 394 are in the process of completing exams and 209 have already finished with exams, and 35 have not reached final year.”Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, appearing in the petition collectively filed by 31 students, urged the Court to stay the guidelines, by highlighting that more than 50,000 cases of COVID-19 were reported recently on a single day.The genesis of all petitions sought cancellation of examinations for final years students amid Coronavirus.”Forcing such students to appear in the final year University Examination on 30.09.2020, is flagrantly violative of their Right to Life, as enshrined within Article 21 of Constitution of India,” they have submitted.Earlier on July 7, the UGC had said the end-term examination for all final-year students would have to be mandatorily held by the end of September 2020, in offline or online mode. The Petitioners, including a Covid positive student have pointed out that there are many final year students, who themselves or their family members are COVID positive.Other grievances raised by the Petitioners include:1) The decision to conduct final year examination was taken by the Respondents in an utterly arbitrary and whimsical manner, even without consulting other stakeholders, like Doctors, Teachers, Students, Universities and Colleges etc. and thus the entire genesis of the said Decision, is erroneous and misplaced.2) The Respondents have ignored the plight of lakhs of students belonging to Bihar, Assam and North Eastern States, which are presently facing floods.3) There is no free movement of railways and only a selected number of trains are operating. In such a situation, a student who has to travel to his/ her examination Centre through public transport will have to face immense difficulty.4) A lot of difficulties in getting rented/ PG accommodations across India, as Landlords are unwilling to give such accommodation nowadays, due to COVID-19 outbreak.5) Parents of the affected students are facing utmost financial distress due to reduced financial opportunities amid COVID-19 crisis. In such a situation, further burdening them with the cost of Transportation, Accommodation and Medical Treatment of their wards, for appearing in the captioned examination, is utterly unjust, unfair and unwarranted.Click Here To Download Order[Read Order]Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
Members of Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) spent their summer preparing for the year to come, senior Madeleine Corcoran, student body president, said in an email. “This summer we have focused on planning orientation, Big Belle Little Belle, technology and transportation,” Corcoran said. “Orientation and [Big Belle Little Belle] start right away and both required some changes for this year, so it was important for those programs to be ready before getting back to campus.” While technology and transportation do not have the urgency of the beginning of the year programming, the areas needed more time due to the magnitude of the changes, Corcoran said.“Technology and transportation are two major changes we are trying to make, so we knew it was important to start on that as soon as possible,” Corcoran said. Corcoran said she and senior Kathy Ogden, student body vice president, began preparations for this school year before the end of the previous academic year.“Change takes time, especially when so many logistics are involved,” Corcoran said. “We started planning last spring and this summer in order to be well-prepared and accomplish our goals.”The aspects of their platform that the two began working on in the spring include plans for technology, transportation, food and campus ministry. “In the spring, we started the conversation with many administrators regarding our platform,” Corcoran said. “They have all continued to help and support us throughout this summer.”In the short-term, Corcoran said she looks forward to the addition of the incoming students to the Saint Mary’s community, while her long-term sights are set on expanding the SGA presence on campus.“Right now, I am most excited to meet the new class of first-year students,” Corcoran said. “Once they arrive on campus, I feel our community will once again be filled. Throughout the year, I am most looking forward to establishing a strong role for SGA and knowledge of what resources SGA provides.”Corcoran said she and Ogden plan to do their best to complete their platform this year, to fulfill the wishes of the students that elected them. “Our goals are mostly focused on our platform for this year,” Corcoran said. “New things will come up and our goals will change, but Belles voted for us based on our platform and we don’t want to let them down. We did not want to have a lot of promises we couldn’t fulfill.”Corcoran and Ogden are eager to see the innovation spurred by the members of SGA this year, she said.“We are so excited for a great year of SGA at [Saint Mary’s],” Corcoran said. “We have some amazing Belles as SGA executives and committee chairs. I am really looking forward to seeing their fresh, new ideas come to fruition.” Tags: Corcoran-Ogden, SMC SGA, Student government
But the frontman, who scored 22 goals last term, will not rush his return if he is not quite ready for the Liberty Stadium meeting. “I am improving a lot,” Michu told Swansea’s official website. “I have started running and although I’m in a little pain, I am happy with my progress. “I want to be playing as soon as possible. I am desperate to play because I am happy when I am on the pitch. “With this injury, though, you need to be careful and see how the ankle is every day so I don’t want to say ‘I want to be back for this date or game’. “If I am going to play, I need to be 100 per cent and not just 60 per cent. I want to be fit and I want to play at my highest level, so we will wait until I am fully fit.” Swansea forward Michu could be fit for next month’s south Wales derby against Cardiff as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery. Press Association Michu has been troubled by ankle and knee problems throughout the season, and underwent an operation on his right ankle on December 28. The 27-year-old Spaniard’s rehabilitation is expected to take another three weeks, giving him a chance of facing the Bluebirds on February 8.