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OCA General Meeting
Friday August 11th, 2017, 7:30 PM
Chapman University
Free and open to public more

Applications of Galilean Experimental Design to Knowledge-discovery Using the North American Solar Eclipses 2017 & 2024

This event will be partly a follow-on to Albert DiCanzio's interactive-presentation at the Spring 2016 conference of the American Astronomical Society regarding "criteria of determination for metrics conducive to discovery in eclipse-observation". The motivating idea of Albert's project is to use the statistical capacity of a great multitude of observers positioned in the path of totality to provide data reducible to accurate measures of central tendency (even though individual errors may occur due to inadequate instrumentation or training). An overarching question of the project is: what measurements can easily and quickly be made during solar eclipses to advance scientific knowledge? In examples drawn from his published scientific biography of Galileo, Albert will illustrate knowledge-discovery that does not rely on elaborate or expensive instrumentation and he will suggest candidate research questions that might be addressed. By analogy to Galilean measurement-experiments involving relatively simple instrumentation, Albert will also take up the question, interactively with OCA members present: How best might an individual observer, equipped only with a suitable common metric and widely available equipment, contribute to new knowledge from observing the solar eclipses of 2017 and 2024?

Albert DiCanzio

As an undergraduate, Dr. Albert DiCanzio studied mathematics at Georgetown University, where an astronomer on faculty assigned him to calculate the orbit of an asteroid without using any external calculating device -- but only pencil, paper, and logarithm tables. In this way, he learned to appreciate computing machines! His early career focused on computational mathematics applied to predicting performance of products under development and he is currently a contract-consultant in management decision support. He was a main speaker at OCA three times over a span of 22 years from 1984 to 2006 presenting aspects of the science of Galileo and the controversy about him. His last two OCA talks, in 1997 and 2006, were based on Albert's published scientific biography of Galileo, which remains arguably the only complete and highly readable one in the English language, connecting Galilean astronomy back to Ionian Greek scientists and forward to Einstein and beyond. More recently, he has presented at academic and business conferences on various subjects including applied and computational mathematics, the science of Galileo, the inventions of Thomas Paine, constructive heuristics in education, the dynamics of scientific and business conflict, and Albert's own research into organizational dynamics seen as an extension of physical dynamics.

"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Geovanni Somoza from LAAS

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