Here you can find an interview that we conducted with Kaan about his minor in astronomy!
Which minor did you do?
Astronomy through Space and Time (1b)
This is the follow up of Einstein’s physics, but it is not required to follow both!
What made you choose this minor?
I was always fascinated by space and sci-fi, I even considered choosing astronomy as a major but figured it would too much calculus. So this was a perfect opportunity to explore a topic I had an interest in without being burdened by hard mathematics and formulas!
What were the subjects you had in your minor?
You follow three courses in tandem, firstly Astrobiology. I loved this course! Here you learn about what constitutes life, how it originates and if life is possible anywhere else in the universe. The most fascinating part is learning about the possibility of life on exo-planets. In my year you were graded on a poster, a group presentation and an open final project.
The second course is cosmic origins. Here you learn about the understanding of the universe and you focus on historical mythologies on the idea of the universe. You are taught about cultures such as the Ancient Greeks, Mesopotamians and Norse people and how they believed the universe came into existence. In my year we were graded on a written exam and a group essay.
Lastly you have the evolving universe. This was also a cool course! Here you learn about the origins of the universe, and the evolution of stars, planets, and solar systems. You also learn about analysing planets and stars in their lifecycle by observing their brightness, colour and temperate etc. You also guided in observing the starry night from our earthen perspective. E.g. looking at interstellar matter when observing the milky way. Another part is learning about different galaxies and their properties, as well as the laws of Keplar that lay the foundation of astronomy. This course was graded on weekly assignments.
What was your hardest experience during the minor course?
The hardest part was that they were not really prepared to conduct the minor online, this caused some technical difficulties and a fall out of the exam for the Evolving Universe.
What was the best experience during the minor course?
I loved learning about all three of the subjects. In Astrobiology you get a lot of freedom in exploring topics that you like in a creative way and the weekly assignments the Evolving Universe were a lot of fun, as they included making your own observations in the night sky etc.
Did the course meet your expectations? Yes, why/ No, why not
Yes, the course is exactly how it sounds. You learn about the three subjects in a very doable manner and there is nothing that I didn’t expect.
Which other minor did you consider?
I was also very interested in Neuroscience or arts culture and media (don’t think you can still pick this one)
Do you think that your minor will be useful for your future career?
Yes, why / No, why not
On the surface level there is not a lot linking astronomy and IR, though it offers you vital information about how the world is built up, and it may even be useful if you want to do research into e.g. space policy!
What would you say to future IRIO students who consider this minor?
If you have an interest in astronomy or if you’re fascinated by sci-fi movies, do consider this minor! Even though it may not be as relevant of a choice as e.g. sustainability, it offers you an amazing chance to peek over to the science faculty and learn about something you would otherwise never have learned! Besides, I made good friends here and it is a lot of fun!
Ratings: Rate from 1 to 10
Was the minor doable? (1 very hard <-->10 very easy)
4, It is not the easiest minor but if you keep up then it should be no problem!
Was the workload less/the same/or more than the IRIO programme? (1 much less workload <--> 10 a lot more workload)
5, The work load was definitely there, but since they are so varied it did not feel like too much!
How much would you recommend doing this minor? (1 not at all <--> 10 100% yes)
Definite 10! Especially if anything space related fascinates you.