Astronomy professor and Academy Village resident Michael Chriss is continuing an encore presentation of an undergraduate course he is teaching at the University of Arizona. His course is entitled “The Philosophy and History of Astronomical Thought.”
The free, non-credit course is being presented in the Arizona Senior Academy Great Room in three sections: five weeks last fall, six weeks in the winter/early spring of 2016, and six more weeks this fall.
In this third section—six Wednesdays from Sept.28 through Nov. 2—Chriss will cover “The Modern View: Astronomy from Newton to Hubble” and “Lingering Questions: Life, Religion, God, Meaning.”
Each class runs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with a break for refreshments near the middle. No tests will be given, and written notes for the course will be made available via the internet
The first three lectures of this fall section will describe how 18th and 19th century astronomers swept the skies and discovered new worlds around our sun and other suns that form our Milky Way Galaxy. Chriss’s Sept. 28 lecture will discuss astronomy’s impact on the voyages of discovery and the development of better angle-measuring instruments and star charts.
Chriss has spent a lifetime in teaching. Before he retired he was Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at San Francisco State University and Professor of Astronomy and Humanities at the College of San Mateo, where he had been teaching since 1966.
He received his degrees in astronomy at the University of Arizona with further studies in History of Art and Science at UC Berkeley, Stanford and Oxford University. Since 1986, he has lectured about astronomy and other related topics on cruise ships.
Now he is back at the UA Steward Observatory, teaching students where he started his career in 1952 as a freshman majoring in astronomy.
Written by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer