Norman Gray: Teaching

Undergraduate teaching

Astronomy Honours: General Relativity I

This is one of the Year B courses of Astronomy Honours/MSci (ie, it's taught in even-numbered years).

This course resulted in a book, A Student's Guide to General Relativity (CUP 2019, ISBN 9781316634790).

Astronomy 2: Special Relativity

I currently (session 2022–23) teach the Relativity and Gravitation strand of the Astronomy 2 course.

I have taught the SR part of this course in various years since 2000. This also resulted in a book, A Student's Guide to Special Relativity (CUP 2022, ISBN 9781108999588).

Exploring the Cosmos 1Y
I taught the Mapping the Universe strand of this course in session 2019–20.
(old) Numerical Astronomy: Inverse Problems
(biennial presentation) I taught this in session 1998-99, and then it passed to Richard Barrett in 2000-01. Then (2002-03) it was taught by Graham Woan. And then it changed its name. However, the notes I assembled are still available, for old times' sake.


I organise the Software Carpentry (SWC) course for the SUPA graduate school (see timetable).

Centre for Open Studies teaching

Teaching in the Centre for Open Studies (was DACE).

Fundamental Physics and the Nature of Reality.
A ten-lecture course periodically offered by DACE (most recently in session 1999-2000); sometimes offered via the internet (most recently in session 2000-1).
Astronomy in the Third Millenium: Special and General Relativity
This is a two-lecture component of the course Astronomy in the Third Millennium, 2002.
Einstein's searches for a fundamental theory
My overheads and notes as part of the DACE day-school on Einstein's Legacy, held in 2005.
Modern Cosmology [3.5MB download -- oops!]
Slides for a talk on `modern cosmology', as part of a DACE day-school on Cosmologies, 2006 November 25. I did the modern cosmology bit; others did Hindu/Buddhist, Mayan and Greek cosmology.
Slides for the 2009 DACE day-school on Galileo, as part of the International Year of Astronomy, and the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of the telescope (and the publication of Kepler's three laws).
The Fundamental Universe
I contributed two one-evening talks to a one-semester COS course on ‘The Fundamental Universe’, which was intended to be a series of talks on the fundamental ideas of physics, concentrating on the core ideas rather than any of the details, practical or not. These two talks were a (admittedly slightly quixotic) overview of Classical Mechanics, from the variational point of view, and an overview of Quantum Mechanics.
Big Data
A one-evening talk on ‘big data’ in science, in January 2014. There are some ‘wow!’ numbers here, but I think a more interesting take on this is that it prompts questions such as ‘How does science work?’, ‘Is “Big Science” actually different?’, ‘Why is science funded?’, and ‘What does “big data” tell us?’
Access Maths
I taught the first half of the Maths course in the Access Programme (with Alec MacKinnon) in Autumn 2007 and Autumn 2013.

All the material on these pages is Copyright (various dates) Norman Gray. Some of the links above go to freely available resources. You're very welcome to read and study these; if you want to repurpose them or, say, redeliver them, that sounds great – I'm unlikely to object, but you should get in touch with me first.

Norman Gray
2022 September 6