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edX Our Place in the Universe

The University of Hong Kong via edX

  • Overview
  1. edX
    The University of Hong Kong
    1-3 hours a week
    4 weeks
    Paid Certificate Available
    Mankind has always been driven to learn and discover how the Universe works. This pursuit is made possible by our inquisitive minds and our ability to think rationally. You are cordially invited to join us on a 4-week tour to see how we have come to our current understanding of our place in the universe today.

    Starting about 5000 years ago, our ancestors tracked patterns and movement of celestial objects, making religious, philosophical, and scientific interpretations of what they saw. They discovered answers to the events, shape, and structure of the Universe. Over the course of history, great scientists and astronomers including Eratosthenes, Anaximander, Aristarchus, Ptolemy, and Copernicus have contributed important theories and models that shape our understanding of the world and the Universe as we know it today.

    What is important to recognize is that we did not develop this knowledge overnight. Rather, it has been a long journey of astronomical exploration that has developed and changed as we gained new perspectives and understanding. The exciting thing is that the journey continues today and there will always be new frontiers for us to discover and to understand.

    The course provides a highly visual tour with high-density videos and special effects animations to help learners understand cosmological patterns and events. It also utilizes a first-of-its-kind e-learning app, “The Armillary Sphere.” The app offers a digital reconstruction of an ancient Armillary Sphere for MOOC learners to download and use to solve astronomical problems in real-time.

    What you'll learn
    • How the scientific method was developed and its application
    • Qualitative and quantitative everyday astronomical phenomena and patterns and how such understanding has evolved over history
    • Ways to recognize the emergence of rational thinking
    • How to assess the effects of social environments on intellectual development through historical examples
    • The role of science in transforming our philosophical thinking
    View Syllabus

    Taught by
    Sun Kwok

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