Supercourse Newsletter, January 10, 2005
Tsunami: The tragedy of the tsunami continues. We had not
thought that the Supercourse team would play a role, however
were "swept up" in the horrible events, and we helped.
The Just-in-Time lecture that Ali Ardalan from Iran, with Eugene
Shubnikov, Erik Noji and myself was very well received world
wide. In the 5 days between Jan. 4, and Jan. 9, our crude esti-
mates revealed that about 255,000 people learned from the lec-
ture or about 51,000 per day. Our counters on the Supercourse
shot up after we put the Tsunami lecture up. The feed back we
received from people was that they liked the lecture very much
as it was scientific, coherent, and made for educators. We re-
ceived considerable feedback. We had people ask us to receive
the PowerPoint file for the lecture. This was a mistake as over
3,000 people requested the file. We asked everyone of them if
they would distribute the lecture to at least 5 people, and this
worked very successfully. The patterns of request were very in-
teresting, first by public health people world wide, then by
educators, as teachers world wide needed to teach about the Tsu-
nami but did not have materials. Libraries rapidly took up the
lectures. What was most amazing is that we had a large number of
requests from those in Earth Science world wide.
The Discovery Station presented an important quote:
"The only defense against a Tsunami is education". This helped
us to formulate a Mission Statement for the Supercourse, which
we would very much like your input:
* The Mission of the Supercourse is to translate the best possi-
ble scholarly information from leading researchers to educators.
The past week has also seen an explosion of new people joining
the Supercourse. We started out at the beginning of January with
about 18,000 collaborators. In the last week we have had 2-3000
new members, from a marked diversity.
We have decided to provide you, and the world, a second lecture
on Tsunamis. You can view this at:
Ali and Eugene have updated the original lecture 3 times based
upon changes circumstances and feedback:
As we tell all people, these are gifts that are meant to be
given. We would appreciate if you could distribute the lectures
to at least 5 people.
Thank you so much for your effort. Education is one of the few
major defenses against disasters.
Please help by sharing your knowledge.
Best Regards from Pittsburgh
Ron, Ali, Eugene, Tom, Mita, Faina, Soni, Samar, Ezzelden