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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Shveta Raina (02/04/04)

Freshman seminars are a great example of what Brown is all about, intimate, engaging and interdisciplinary. When an experienced professor teaches a Freshman seminar on a raging new topic, it becomes a class that just can't be missed!

My name is Shveta Raina, and I've been absolutely fascinated by missions to space ever since I went to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, when I was eleven. I'm delighted to be in this class because the concept of one or many worlds out there, similar or different to ours, really ignites my intellectual curiosity. Looking and thinking beyond just human existence is humbling and yet empowering. I feel like space research has the ability to unite the world; because this is one time when our petty differences just don't matter anymore.

What especially attracts me about this class is that we will not only be studying the exploration of mars, but will be doing so from an interdisciplinary perspective. Approaching something in several different ways really makes you understand it to the fullest. The appropriate size of the class will allow us to question the things we encounter at every step, making it possible for us to take away a tremendous amount from this class.

I want to contribute enthusiasm, curiosity, analysis and depth. I believe that since I'm actually interested in this class, I'll be able to give it my best, and hopefully work with the other people in the class to make the most of our experience. I enjoy working with people and want to believe that we've achieved synergy when we're done; that we've learnt more together than we could have learnt alone. Also, being a freshman has several advantages; the world is at our feet as we have just begun this journey that is Brown. We're at a stage where we need to embrace new thoughts, ideas and opinions, to get to know ourselves a little better. Hence I'm going to work on opening my mind in this class, trying to push it to think beyond just the ordinary, to contribute ideas to this class that are a product of lateral thinking.

I want to take away three basic things from this class. First, a feeling that I've put myself into the shoes of scientists, astronauts, people who have been actively involved in the missions to Mars and others like it. People are a great resource for me, I learn a lot just talking and listening to them. In fact, Mars being so current makes interacting with them even more meaningful. Second, I want a more realistic perception of what space-research is all about; including the things that go on behind the scenes. The risks, implications, collaboration, work environment, politics, competition, and the commitment. Third, I want to enjoy this class. The virtual reality simulations, the talks by scientists, the discussion-based style of the class, and the fact that it's all clearly planned out, appeal to me.

In conclusion, I want to acquire skills in this class which I can use later on, in other classes, and in life. I want to make it an unforgettable part of my Brown experience.


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