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Robert Gill

smiling robert gill

I usually teach two sections of Astronomy 342,with about 75 students in each, and my previous textbook was about $170.Unfortunately advances in astronomy occur so rapidly that textbooks are usually out of date as soon as they are published, and new editions come out every couple of years. However, some topics, like the history of astronomy, basic concepts of light and physics etc. don’t change. After some searching, I located, through Google search, a free ebook, Introduction to Astronomy and Cosmology, 7th Edition, by Ian Morrison. The free ebooks that I have chosen, while being an older edition, will work well for about 70% of the course material. I include the recent updates, advances and discoveries by addressing them in the lectures and by using current reading materials found mostly on the internet.  These include articles, papers, NASA materials, simulations and videos  posted as links to the students on my  Cougar Course page.

In the past I have also utilized iClickers for class participation and feedback. By switching to the “Poll Everywhere” system which is supported and paid for by the campus, I can continue to get feedback and participation information without any additional cost for the student.  So the total savings for each student will be about $200 (about $30K total for both courses).