Geo016 - Exploration of Mars

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Geo016 / Exploration of Mars / (M) 3:00-5:20 / Lincoln Field 105 / Prof. James Head

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Andrew Baum (02/04/04)

My name is Andrew Baum, I'm nineteen years old, and am from Pittsburgh, PA. I am currently enrolled in the PLME program here at Brown with the hope of coming out on the other end (in eight years) and become a surgeon. I have a strong interest in the sciences, chemistry and physics primarily, and am also interested in ethics (whether is be medical, social, political, etc.) I hope to contribute my own beliefs, biases, and personal opinions to the class, while also playing devil's advocate in order to spark some interesting discussions/ debates from others.

As I mentioned in class yesterday, I am interested in this seminar class for several reasons. The first, and probably foremost reason being that I do not know very much about space exploration, space travel, NASA, astrology, or even geology. That being said, my lack of knowledge about the subject is in no way a result of my interest for it. Having kept up with current events as any layperson would, the course's title alone sparked an interest for me. After looking into the class further and reading the syllabus, outline, etc., I saw several topics that interest me and that I look forward to learning more about and discussing with others. For example, one of the main goals of this Mars exploration is to detect whether life exists (or did exist) on another planet. I have always thought this to be a fascinating topic and cause for great discussions. Whether life exists on another planet is a big deal and could be very influential in our generation's future. I am also interested in what exactly the Rovers are testing for and the results of their findings. Something that is not on the syllabus, but that I am interested in is how exactly the Rovers work (i.e. watching the animation of the trip to Mars that we saw in class and seeing each step of the landing process). I look forward to having first-hand, fresh data to look at and learn how to analyze/ interpret that data. I am eager to meet those “higher-ups” in the NASA program, skilled scientists (local and international), astronauts, etc… and find out their perspectives on certain space issues. I would also like to learn about Brown's involvement in NASA's space program, and possible opportunities that we may have by taking this course. I am also really excited to try out the virtual reality CAVE!

With this class, I hope to come out eighteen weeks from now and have a better understanding of what exactly is happening millions of miles away from the earth. I hope have enough knowledge so that I may have intellectual discussions with other people about the current events of the Mars exploration. I also hope to make some lasting connections with scientists, scholars, and other students in the class. I look forward to starting our long journey together, and will see everyone in class on Monday!


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