Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stanford Professors Conduct Free Online GPS Course

GPS Block IIIA satellite

Coursera has a free course in GPS available right now. The course is titled “GPS: An Introduction to Satellite Navigation, with an interactive Worldwide Laboratory using Smartphones” and will run from October 13 to November 24—a total of 6 weeks. The course will cover the fundamentals of GPS and how it works, along with ‘backyard’ laboratory experiments using GPS enabled Android smartphones.

While the course has technically already begin, free enrollment is still open. I’d recommend jumping on now if you are at all interested. Students who complete the course with certain eligibility will receive a Statement of Accomplishment. This course is free and will be taught by Stanford professors Per Enge and Frank van Diggelen.

The course is broken up into several different modules which can be viewed at any time over the course of a week. But the coolest part is the ‘backyard lab’ where students will be able to take part in a worldwide study of the movements of GPS satellites.

“The class as a whole will follow these satellites around the world, as they tie us together in a global laboratory,” van Diggelen said in a GPSWorld article, “using online apps that make the worldwide labs work.”

It is worth noting that this class does look like it’s a little on the advanced side and the FAQs warn that the course will include mathematics and that it might be difficult for students who have not pursued an undergraduate education in a technical field. However, if you’re interested in learning, don’t let that scare you off.

Fore more information or to register, check out the Coursera Website. Again, if you are interested in taking part in this class, I might recommend registering today or tomorrow at the latest. This first week is mostly going to be introductions, but starting out a technical class behind might not be fun. However, if you don’t have time, the massive popularity of this course lends me to suggest that there will likely be other courses offered along these lines later in the year.

 

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