Summer Repeats, Removals and Research

For those people who think the summer is one long holiday for academics, I’m using a narrow window in my calendar to pack, and supervise the removal from Cardiff to Ireland of, some of these:

There will be about 30 boxes of books to ship. I have more than that, but I’m only moving my technical books for now; the novels, poetry, dictionaries, and other stuff will stay until I buy a house in Ireland.

I also have three or four boxes of old lecture notes. I almost threw these out when I left Sussex two years ago ago. I. thought I wouldn’t need them again because I was planning to take early retirement. Now things have changed and they might prove very useful.

In September I start to teach two new courses at Maynooth, one of which (Vector Calculus and Fourier Series) has similar content to modules I’ve previously taught in Sussex and Cardiff so hopefully I can use some of the notes and examples instead of starting entirely from scratch. That’s for students in their second year at Maynooth. The other new module is on Astrophysics and Cosmology for final-year students and I also have material for that. I’m looking forward to that as it is closest to my own research interests.

Anyway before I can start preparing for the new academic year there is the end of the old one to take care of. Coming up next week are the repeat (resit) examinations which have to be marked pronto so the relevant students know if they can continue in September.

And then there’s the small matter of research. I have two papers to write up {and one project which I’m stuck with) that I wanted to finish this summer .

Oh, and the new edition of my book Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction needs finishing off. And a publication for next year’s centenary of the famous Eddington Eclipse expedition. And getting the Open Journal of Astrophysics fully operational.

But, yes, it’s the summer holiday.

Now I’d better get back to work.


8 Responses to “Summer Repeats, Removals and Research”

  1. Bryn Jones Says:

    It would be a pity to throw out old lecture notes. It would be interesting to have access to notes taken during lectures in the 19th and early 20th centuries for some university courses, to understand aspects of the history of science.

    Those look like narrow Ikea Billy bookcases with extension units on the top.

    • telescoper Says:

      They are indeed.

      • Bryn Jones Says:

        Yes, I thought so. I acquired an ash veneer full-size Billy bookcase several months ago. It was standing abandoned outside a bin store with a note attached stating it was available to anyone who wanted it. Wheeling it home on a little trolley at midnight was quite challenging.

  2. I have recently moved to NUIG, Galway from University of Manchester, so watching your progress in synchronicity, and I am also a physicist! I also have lots of boxes of books and labstuff. A man in a van moved my lab stuff last week, and the Billy Bookcases are coming over in a couple of weeks time with the bulk of our house furniture.
    I shall sort my books into 3 lots:
    1. Physics (to keep since that’s what I will be teaching)
    2. Electrical engineering..donate to colleagues and students.
    3. Chemical engineering…donate to colleagues.
    I also rescued my lecture notes from a locked up filing cabinet in the cellar of my old building in Manchester. Very pleased I didnt throw them away.

  3. Shantanu Says:

    Peter does the new edition of your book contain a discussion of regularities in cosmic structure on galactic scales which led Milgrom to propose MOND? As I mentioned here earlier, Dave Merritt has pointed out that more than 30 Cosmology textbooks have avoided discussion of these issues.

    • telescoper Says:

      I will give MOND a mention.

    • What he says is true, but a) he doesn’t list some books which I would put in the same category which do and b) as anyone who has written a book knows, one can’t mention everything. It’s especially tricky to devote space to issues on which the jury is still out, since these can date very quickly. This isn’t the only thing wrong with Merritt’s paper. I hope to find time to write a detailed reply by the end of the year. My biggest complaint, as someone who is not unsympathetic to the idea of MOND, is that he comes across as a buffoon, attacking a straw-man caricature of standard cosmology which is so strawy it makes the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz look like a realistic sex doll. 😐 Stuff like this does prevent more mainstream cosmologists from taking the MOND camp seriously (although it shouldn’t, of course).

  4. “And getting the Open Journal of Astrophysics fully operational.”

    Finally. 😐

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