Random thoughts : learning Rocket science
I just finished a course in Aerospace engineering on Edx.
This was a crazy challenge as I had NONE of the prerequisites (stopped math and school at 17), this course taught me a lot, but more importantly it taught me the value of not giving up. It was 10 hours into trying to solve the very first problem of the first unit , and I was about to quit.
This was clearly way above anything that I could do.
Turns out it was the perfect level of difficulty : just a tad bit too difficult.
I had to re-learn calculus, Scientific notation, units, physics terminology practically from scratch. At the end of Unit 7 I got a kind of mediocre 45% for the final test, but 82% score for the overall course. I remember the early survey asking " how much time do you intend to spend on this MOOC ? " , 3-4 hours a week I clicked, this quickly turned into 3-4 hours A DAY :D
I'm really glad I stuck to the challenge, and you know what was the best ?
It's my mom's face when I told her I finished the course. She then revealed that she sent me that course because I was considering giving up Art for Science, she then sent me that course, with the funny idea that if there was enough math I would realize science isn't a walk in the park. Now It feels less of a distant "what if" and much more of a life choice.
The idea of free dematerialized courses and schools is pretty amazing and I can't wait to see the
"science boom" that will result from this new form of sharing knowledge. Instead of a costly class of 40 students per year, this knowledge is shared for almost no cost to over 4000 students worldwide, including a lot of people who could not possibly afford or even attend theses course.That means a couple decades from now we might see new space programs that are kicking ass from totally unexpected countries, we will see more Indian women and people from rural areas study engineering and one day be able to work for ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), because education would not be solely brick-and-mortar institutions anymore.
I think that's super cool !Check out the courses on Edx, for now the certificates are kinda worthless, but what's important is that the knowledge is there, available, free, and that's the most important factor.
By the way, here is a small selection of the hundreds pages of notes I took during the course, hope you like numbers and boxed, green highlighted titles :)