Galaxies and Cosmology

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9/10 stars
based on  10 reviews
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Cost FREE
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Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • TBA

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4708 reviews

Course Description

An introduction to the modern extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, the physical universe, big bang, formation and evolution of galaxies, quasars, and large-scale structure.
Reviews 9/10 stars
10 Reviews for Galaxies and Cosmology

Ratings details

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Karna Desai profile image
Karna Desai profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 2 months ago
This is a great introduction of the subject. The course does require background in the subject. This could have been improved by more details. But overall, it's a comprehensive introduction.
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Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 1 month ago
I want to encourage courses like this. Hard courses that you feel might have been taught at a top university. Please don't down vote a course that is difficult. It's the nature of the subject. I'm afraid that instructors will dumb down courses and take out what you need to really understand. I
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Kristina Šekrst profile image
Kristina Šekrst profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 102 reviews
  • 102 completed
4 years, 1 month ago
This course requires much prior knowledge and calculus, but it's worth while. Professor participated in the forums, and the assignments were fun. I've learned a lot, and this is a must-enroll for advanced astrophysics!
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Julien Dubois profile image
Julien Dubois profile image
8/10 starsTaking Now
  • 2 reviews
  • 0 completed
4 years, 4 months ago
Quite an advanced course, with a good pace and some required background in astronomy and related physics. The lectures can be a bit hard to follow (slides are very dense).
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Bjorn Remseth profile image
Bjorn Remseth profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 6 months ago
The content was stellar, in every way. The only thing to dislike was that that there was a bit too much subject matter for the time allocated, but that is also somewhat contradictory, since what made the course so good was the breadth of subjects covered. You can't have everything I guess. I would have liked some more suggestions for homework: Problems to work thorough, and perhaps also a group of people to discuss that homework with. That said, this was a fantastic course that I would recommend to anyone with a basic understanding of astronomy/science/math/physics and willingness to dive deep into cosmology. Btw, the instructor is quite fantastic. He knows the subject extremely well. Is well prepared. Also he has an extremely dry sense of humor, and way of spicing up the subject, in a low key and somewhat ironic way that I found very appealing. Not everyone will see him that way, but I did, and loved it :-)
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Charles King profile image
Charles King profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 4 completed
5 years, 1 month ago
You definitely need a basic understanding of astronomy, physics and maths to at least a first-year level. There are several introductory courses available that should be done before this one. But if you want to move on from the basics, this is the course for you. It provides a thorough survey of the investigations being performed by cosmologists and the methodology used. As always, 9 weeks is not really enough to provide all the detail the material deserves, but the course gives you a foundation for further reading. Most online science courses are aimed at a fairly novice audience and it was very enjoyable to find one that wasn't repeating the same old stuff I've heard before. Prof. Djorgovski can come across as a bit grumpy at times on the fora, but he makes a concerted effort to interact with the students and help the discussions.
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Homer Thompson profile image
Homer Thompson profile image
7/10 starsDropped
  • 9 reviews
  • 7 completed
5 years, 4 months ago
This had the potential to really be an incredible course. The professor gives excellent lectures and the material is just mindblowing. Unfortunately, Galaxies and Cosmology was not a complete course in Winter 2013, since there were no assessments other than the video quizzes used to ensure the Caltech students watched all the videos before coming to discussion section. If you googled the Caltech course webpage you could get the homework assignments, but they weren't presented on the coursera page itself (at least in the first 5 weeks or so of the course when I was actively taking it). You're on your own for the homework assignments that can be downloaded from the caltech course webpage. Perhaps this is designed to keep Caltech students from being able to easily find answers on the coursera boards. If you're willing to buy the textbooks and put in the time to do the readings, as well as putting in the time to do the homework from the ... This had the potential to really be an incredible course. The professor gives excellent lectures and the material is just mindblowing. Unfortunately, Galaxies and Cosmology was not a complete course in Winter 2013, since there were no assessments other than the video quizzes used to ensure the Caltech students watched all the videos before coming to discussion section. If you googled the Caltech course webpage you could get the homework assignments, but they weren't presented on the coursera page itself (at least in the first 5 weeks or so of the course when I was actively taking it). You're on your own for the homework assignments that can be downloaded from the caltech course webpage. Perhaps this is designed to keep Caltech students from being able to easily find answers on the coursera boards. If you're willing to buy the textbooks and put in the time to do the readings, as well as putting in the time to do the homework from the Ay21 caltech page, this is probably a lot closer to a 5-star class than the three I rated it. But the coursera course alone gets 3 stars for incompleteness. Overall, I learned a lot in the first 5 weeks I took the course through doing some problems out of Ryden. I ended up dropping mostly because there were a couple of CS courses I REALLY wanted to put time into that started about the time I dropped. I might try to finish the course this time though (offered again Janaury 2014). Forgot to mention George is pretty active on the boards, so that's a big plus. Also, make sure to have pen and paper in hand watching the lectures. The math isn't overly difficult, but there is a huge amount of material presented quickly (it's Caltech after all), and without following along in the calculations and filling in the details it would be really easy to get lost.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
6 years, 1 month ago
This was one of the best courses I took on Coursera. It introduced a lot of material, much of which was cutting edge, discovered only in the last 10 years. It certainly made me work very hard and rewarded careful study. The professor did not pander to people who just wanted an easy ride, and kept the standards of the course high, and I felt very pleased to have completed the course with a good score. It is the only online course I've done where the prof actually held office hours every week - I felt privileged to be able to talk to a Caltech prof - I don't even get to meet the profs at the uni I pay to attend! He was very accessible in real life, fielding elementary questions from us with great patience, not snobby at all, and his kindness was one aspect of the course I shall always remember.
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Anna Nachesa profile image
Anna Nachesa profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 13 reviews
  • 13 completed
6 years, 1 month ago
I liked this course because it provided a serious-style overview of the modern cosmology. I have graduated as a physicist, but have been working as a software developer for the most time afterwards, so there were quite a few topics to brush up for me. You definitely need a book for this course (one of those recommended) and some time to set aside for the self-study (in general, the science courses aren't the ones where the lectures will be enough - they are to be seen as a guidance!) I wish I could get more involved with the subject! This is one of the most interesting (even though also the most unrelated to the so called "real life") things we, the humans, are trying to understand, using whatever understanding we currently have. Can't help wondering how many of these concepts will survive after another 20-30 years!
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Ricardo Teixeira profile image
Ricardo Teixeira profile image
5/10 starsCompleted
  • 86 reviews
  • 77 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
This course is very hard. I have had many Physics classes, and even I am having some difficulty following the course. It's definitely interesting, but there's a lot of content put online every week, so we just skim through the equations and never really carefully discuss the concepts used. If you're planning on taking this course, please mind the "Pre-requisits" part of the description! This is definitely not aimed at casual students. Plus, this is the only course I've taken that at Coursera that was a bit disorganized. The professor skipped some weeks and then overcompensated. Sure, he mentioned he was sick - but was he taping week to week segments? What pissed me off the most was a discussion forum conversation where a student complained that the course was not entertaining enough. Granted, it's a dubious comment, but the professor replied "I'm sorry, here's your money back". He would do that a lot - imply that we can't complain or... This course is very hard. I have had many Physics classes, and even I am having some difficulty following the course. It's definitely interesting, but there's a lot of content put online every week, so we just skim through the equations and never really carefully discuss the concepts used. If you're planning on taking this course, please mind the "Pre-requisits" part of the description! This is definitely not aimed at casual students. Plus, this is the only course I've taken that at Coursera that was a bit disorganized. The professor skipped some weeks and then overcompensated. Sure, he mentioned he was sick - but was he taping week to week segments? What pissed me off the most was a discussion forum conversation where a student complained that the course was not entertaining enough. Granted, it's a dubious comment, but the professor replied "I'm sorry, here's your money back". He would do that a lot - imply that we can't complain or criticize because the course was free. That is absurd. If he did not want to do a good course, he shouldn't. I'm sure nobody forced him. In conclusion, if you like this subject and you already know something about it, go for it. If not, take other alternative courses.
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.