What is D A T A?

Demonstrations and Animations for Teaching Astronomy (DATA) is a collection of Java applets and Flash animations. It is being developed at the Astronomy Department at the University of Illinois. The development is being funded in part by a grant from the University of Illinois as well as by the Astronomy Department at the University of Illinois.

What do I need to view the demos and animations?

All of the demos in DATA are built with Flash, Java™ technology, or JavaScript. Most browsers come equipped with all of these technologies already. However, if you are having trouble viewing one or several of the demos, see our "FAQ/Help" page.

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The concept and philosophy of D A T A .

In teaching astronomy, it is sometimes difficult to explain and illustrate concepts in the non-interactive format of a textbook, or blackboard. Instructors needed ways to dynamically illustrate concepts to their classes, and students needed an interactive learning format to review and explore these concepts on their own. Thus, DATA was born. All of the concepts presenented here are ones frequently encountered in teaching and learning basic astronomy. The demos and animations are designed to bring life and interactivity to the concepts in order to make them easier to understand and learn.

Credits and contacts.

DATA is a collaborative effort in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Illinois. Much of the funding work was done by Dick Crutcher and Jim Kaler with the help of Daniel Goscha. Many useful comments, ideas, input and feedback has come from many of the faculty, especially Charles Gammie, Brian Fields, and Ed Sutton. The development of the animations and demos has been done by Daniel Goscha and Bryan Dunne. Special thanks goes to Jim Kaler and the Summer 2000 Astronomy 100 class for beta-testing many of the Java applets. Additional thanks goes to the Astronomy Department Computer Commitee for initial and continued funding of this project.

Questions about DATA, comments, or requests for animations or demonstrations should be sent to Daniel Goscha.


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University of Illinois
Department of Astronomy