Basic Science: Understanding Numbers

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Course Date: 18 August 2014

Price: free

Course Summary

This course explains how you can use numbers to describe the natural world and make sense of everything from atoms to oceans.


Estimated Workload: 3 hours pw

Course Instructors

Profile Simon Kelley

I'm an academic at the Open University responsible for the virtual microscope for Earth sciences, and working on the Moons MOOC. My research includes Ar-Ar dating and noble gas geochemistry.

Profile Simon Kelley

I'm an academic at the Open University responsible for the virtual microscope for Earth sciences and working on the Moons and Numbers MOOCs. I'm a geologist specialising in finding the age of rocks.

Profile Simon Kelley

I'm an academic at the Open University responsible for the virtual microscope for Earth sciences and working on the Moons and Numbers MOOCs. I'm a geologist specialising in finding the age of rocks.

Course Description

About the course This practical, hands-on course will help you to start thinking like a scientist, by using numbers to describe and understand the natural world. It might be the size of the Greenland ice sheet, the number of molecules in a raindrop, or the latest set of mind-boggling numbers about climate change presented in the media. No longer will you be put off by averages or percentages, and you’ll even learn to love negative numbers. You will understand and manage numbers like a scientist. The course will introduce all the main skills you’ll need to understand and communicate scientific numbers, relate them to the real world, and share your discoveries with other learners. Learners studying Basic Science: Understanding Numbers will have the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation. You may also be interested in joining Basic Science: Understanding Experiments, starting 22nd September 2014. All Open University science courses presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education. You can use the hashtag #FLnumbers14 to join and contribute to Twitter conversations about this course.

Course Workload

3 hours pw

Course Prerequisites

There are no special requirements for this course but you may like to find a simple calculator in a drawer or on your mobile phone to help you with some of the maths calculations.

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