GENS 212 | Course Introduction and Application Information

Course Name
History and Philosophy of Astronomy
Code
Semester
Theory
(hour/week)
Application/Lab
(hour/week)
Local Credits
ECTS
GENS 212
Fall/Spring
3
0
3
5

Prerequisites
None
Course Language
English
Course Type
Service Course
Course Level
First Cycle
Course Coordinator
Course Lecturer(s)
Assistant(s) -
Course Objectives This course will examine the history and philosophy of astronomy in a way accessible to students of all majors and levels. Commencing from prehistory, emphasis will be placed both on lessons learned from past scientific developments and on open issues to stress the dynamics of discovery, including dark matter and cosmological questions about the Big Bang and the “multiverse.” Analysis of the impact of astronomical research will consider industrial benefits, mention of the novel phenomenon of commercial space and societal change from the artistic, literary, and philosophical standpoints, including also science straying into metaphysics. The contribution given by women throughout history will be explicitly showcased to provide a balanced view. Finally we shall consider the colonization of Mars, the dream of interstellar exploration, and the history and philosophical implications of the possible discovery of alien life in the universe, including intelligent civilizations.
Course Description The students who succeeded in this course;
  • Will be able to analyze historical astronomy issues at the elementary quantitative level (arithmetic and basic geometry);
  • Will be able to draw conclusions about the challenges of scientific discovery and astronomy in particular by using basic knowledge;
  • Will be able to discuss critically the interaction of economic, social and cultural factors determining scientific progress;
  • Will be able to perform a literature review on historical astronomy.
  • Will be able to define the general characteristics of unfolding scientific developments.
Course Content

 



Course Category

Core Courses
Major Area Courses
Supportive Courses
Media and Management Skills Courses
Transferable Skill Courses

 

WEEKLY SUBJECTS AND RELATED PREPARATION STUDIES

Week Subjects Related Preparation
1 Introduction, the Solar System, our Universe No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: NASAS: Planets, Moons, Asteroids, Comets and Meteors. BSF: Part I; BSFWB: Ch. 1; PINLN
2 Prehistory, archeoastronomy, ancient Egypt No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: RMPI: pp 3-47; TESA: Ch. 4 PINLN
3 Basic naked-eye astronomy, observing the sky No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: PINLN
4 Babylonian mathematics and astronomy No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: TESA: Ch. 1-3, 5 PINLN
5 Greek philosophy and astronomy I No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: TESA: Ch. 6 HWP: Part I–The Presocratics PSC: Prologue PINLN
6 Greek philosophy and astronomy II No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: HWP: Part II–Socrates, Plato, Aristotle GINPTO PINLN
7 Midterm Review PINLN
8 The Middle Ages and Astronomy in Islam No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: PSC: Ch. 2 (Historical Perspectives) PINLN
9 The Copernican Revolution, Tycho, and Kepler No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: HWP: Bk 3, Pt. VI–The Rise of Science PINLN
10 Galileo, the telescope, Newton, and mechanics No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: PINGT; PSC: Ch. 3, 5 (gravitation) PINLN
11 Triumphs and failures. Einstein and relativity No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: PSC: Ch. 8, 9, 26 SGT: Part II PINLN
12 Current challenges, dark matter, cosmology, quantum gravity No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: SOSR: Ch. 9; LOSD: Ch. 1; FEYDS; PINEFBA; PINLN
13 Space exploration. The race to the Moon No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: NASARS: 1-26; BSFWB: Ch. 4; BSF: Ch. 9 PINLN
14 Exploring Mars. Interstellar space. Alien life No-advanced-math based concept summary and essential concepts from: BSFWB: Ch. 9; BSF: Ch. 13; NASAINS; ESAEXB: II.3; PINLN
15 Review PINLN
16 Final exam

 

Course Notes/Textbooks

NASA Science, Our Solar System, https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/solar-system/our-solar-system/overview/  : NASAS.

A. B. Chace, The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus (Vol. I) (Mathematical Association of America, Oberlin, Ohio, 1927): RMPI.

O. Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (Dover Publications, New York, 1969): TESA.

B. Russel, History of Western Philosophy (George Allen and Unwin Ltd., Great Britain, 1947): HWP.

T. S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (The University of Chicago, Chicago, 1970): SOSR.

K. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (Routledge, London, 2005): LOSD.

P. Feyerabend, “How to defend society against science,” in Scientific Revolutions, Ian Hacking, Ed. (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1981): FEYDS.

O. Gingerich, “Was Ptolemy a fraud?” Q. Jl. R. astr. Soc., 21, 253-266 (1980): GINPTO.

F. Pinto, “Giants’ Talk,” The Griffith Observer, 2-18, 9, 1992: PINGT.

A. Einstein, Relativity: The special and general theory (Methuen & Co Ltd, 1920): SGT.

G. W. Mason, Physical Science Concepts (BYU Univ. Press, 1997): PSC.

NASA, Adventures in Rocket Science (NASA, 2008): NASARS.

D. Doody and G. Stephan, Basics of Spaceflight: Learners’ Workbook  (JPL, 1995): BSFWB.

D. Doody, Basics of Spaceflight (JPL, 2011): BSF.

NASA, Mars InSight Launch Press Kit (2018): NASAINS.

F. Pinto, “Engines powered by the forces between atoms,” Am. Sci., 102, 280-289 (2014): PINEFBA.   

ESA, Exobiology in the Solar System & The Search for Life on Mars (1999): ESAEXB.

F. Pinto, Lecture Notes: PINLN.

Suggested Readings/Materials

-

 

EVALUATION SYSTEM

Semester Activities Number Weigthing
Participation
Laboratory / Application
Field Work
Quizzes / Studio Critiques
Homework / Assignments
Presentation / Jury
Project
2
30
Seminar / Workshop
Oral Exams
Midterm
1
30
Final Exam
1
40
Total

Weighting of Semester Activities on the Final Grade
3
60
Weighting of End-of-Semester Activities on the Final Grade
1
40
Total

ECTS / WORKLOAD TABLE

Semester Activities Number Duration (Hours) Workload
Theoretical Course Hours
(Including exam week: 16 x total hours)
16
3
48
Laboratory / Application Hours
(Including exam week: 16 x total hours)
16
Study Hours Out of Class
16
4
Field Work
Quizzes / Studio Critiques
Homework / Assignments
Presentation / Jury
Project
2
14
Seminar / Workshop
Oral Exam
Midterms
1
5
Final Exam
1
5
    Total
150

 

COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES AND PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS RELATIONSHIP

#
Program Competencies/Outcomes
* Contribution Level
1
2
3
4
5
1

To be able to define and discuss the history, underlying concepts and theories of cinema and digital media.

2

To be able to develop a storytelling idea for cinema and digital media arts by using creativity and critical thinking.

3

To be able to operate specialized technical equipment and competently use software in the fields of cinema and digital media arts. 

4

To be able to execute the main tasks in the pre-production, production and post-production of an audio-visual work at the basic level including screenwriting, production planning, operating the camera, sound recording, lighting and editing.

5

To be able to perform a specialized task at an advanced level either for pre-production, production or post-production of an audio-visual work.

6

To be able to discuss how meaning is made through works of cinema and digital media; in what ways economics, politics and culture affect visual representation; how the conditions of production, consumption, distribution and interpretation shape images.

7

To be able to perform specialized tasks for creating digital media narratives with interactive elements.

8

To be able to conduct a critical analysis of a film or a work of digital media arts from technical, intellectual and artistic points of view.

9

To be able to take individual responsibility of a film or a digital media work from scratch to product in a problem-solving manner.

10

To be able to work as a crewmember by following norms of ethical conduct and taking initiative to improve the ethical standards of his/her working environment.

11

To be able to collect data in the areas of Cinema and Digital Media and communicate with colleagues in a foreign language ("European Language Portfolio Global Scale", Level B1).

12

To be able to speak a second foreign language at a medium level of fluency efficiently.

13

To be able to relate the knowledge accumulated throughout the human history to their field of expertise.

*1 Lowest, 2 Low, 3 Average, 4 High, 5 Highest