What is the difference between a calculating machine and a computer?
In notes appended to Ada Lovelace's translation of one of the first introductions to Charles Babbage's "Analytical Engine," she included an in-depth analysis of the significance and potential of Babbage's machine design. These dense notes, much longer than the text she translated, explained how Babbage's machine had the potential of becoming a programmable computer, instead of merely a calculator.
What are your favorite constellations?
Urania's Mirror was a set of constellation cards designed to aid in the teaching and learning of constellations. This set includes 32 cards, each focused upon one or a few constellations. Holes punched in the positions of bright stars allow one to hold any card up to a light and compare the star pattern with the constellation figure. This is the half-page set.
OERs in this set:
- Urania's Mirror Learning Leaflet
- Urania's Mirror card set (full page)
- Urania's Mirror card set (half page)
- Constellation Activities
Why write science in a creative style?
Catherine Whitwell wrote an introduction to the night sky as a conversational dialogue between a mother and daughter. It contains 23 engraved plates drawn by Whitwell herself, including four hand colored folding plates. One of the plates depicts the constellations of Corvus the Crow, Crater the Cup and Hydra the Water Snake. Another plate conveys a dramatic impression of the Full Moon at night, shown against a striking black background.
How does the Sextant symbolize the person who worked on the famed Hevelius star catalog and star atlas throughout its production, from observation to publication?
Elisabeth Hevelius, wife of Johann Hevelius, was an astronomer in her own right. They worked together in the observatory of their Gdansk home to measure angular widths and distances with a great sextant, which required two observers at a time. The Sextant was among the new constellations they proposed in Uranographia (1690), the most detailed and influential celestial atlas of the 17th century. The Uranographia contains 54 beautiful double page engraved plates of 73 constellations, and 2 oversized folding plates of planispheres.
Are they talking about physics as they stroll through the garden?
At a time when very few scientists were capable even of reading Newton's masterwork of physics, the "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy," Madame du Châtelet mastered it and translated it into French. She also defended Newton in the Newton-Leibniz controversy.
What objects would you include in your own scientific portrait?
Margaret Bryan was a schoolmistress for a boarding school for girls in London, in which she taught mathematics and science. She also published several popular scientific textbooks on astronomy, geography, and natural philosophy.
How important in science is usability?
Prior to Newton, perhaps half a dozen astronomers accepted Kepler s three laws. Galileo was typical in ignoring Kepler s accomplishments. Yet this beautiful book is an exception. Maria Cunitz was not only one of the first astronomers to adopt Johann Kepler's astronomy, but because of the usability of her tables, she made the accuracy of Kepler's laws easy to grasp.
How do art and travel benefit natural history?
Maria Merian (1647-1717), skilled in both art and natural history, studied the relationships between flowers and insects. She conducted field expeditions around the world, carried out research in gardens and museums, and produced detailed sketches and beautiful paintings, and even bred insects to aid in her entomological investigations.
What were women doing in the museum?
Levinus Vincent, a wealthy Dutch merchant with ties to the East Indies, created a spectacular 'Chamber of Wonders' natural history museum in Haarlem. Visiting dignitaries admired his museum, including Peter the Great and King Charles III of Spain. The detailed depictions of interior spaces include figures of women engaged in a variety of activities. Museums such as Vincent's offered women opportunities for participation in the natural sciences as donors, collectors, discoverers, visitors, patrons, lecturers and curators. This OER explores the significance of women in these early museums.
How does the visual presentation of statistical evidence support professionalization of health care?
Florence Nightingale championed social reform and the organization of nursing as a profession. During the Crimean War, she organized the care of injured soldiers, making the rounds at night as the ÐLady with the lamp.Ð Her emphasis on hygiene and hand washing dramatically reduced the death rate. This OER explores the breadth of Nightingale's work in the nineteenth century.