Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration


How old is the Universe?

Image of the Carina Nebula from the Hubble Telescope

Demonstration Module

In this introductory module, you will be introduced to the format and methods that will be used in the analysis of data and solution of problems that are presented in Kéyah Math. The KM Studies will all be presented in a somewhat structured format that will be outlined in this module. Applets, or little programs, have been designed to be used with each Study; these will perform the mathematical operations you need to analyze data and build mathematical modules. Also, links are included throughout each study that will take you to explanations of mathematical terms and methods. Here you will be guided through a study on population that will illustrate the most common methods used in all of the Kéyah Math Studies and will also illustrate the use of the applets. Although this study (and the Practice Module that follows) presented here is not directly related to geology, it serves as a good illustrative example, and it is certainly relevant to the age of the earth, a study included in Kéyah Math. First, we outline the general structure for all the Studies.

Each Study will have three components:

the Text, which will provide information and ask questions about a particular problem;
the Menu will be in two parts: the Tool Chest, which will contain the applets to perform the mathematical operations; and a Topics list, which will contain links to explanations of relevant mathematical topics;
the Journal, which will be the place where you can record your thoughts, answers, and mathematical solutions. You should use your individual word processor to write the journal.

The Tool Chest will be the place where you can access the applets that will perform the mathematics. Here you can enter your data or other quantitative information and use the applets to analyze data and construct mathematical models. The results should answer the questions involved in the problem.

The journal will be the place you record your answers to questions from the text and include the explanations of the mathematics you used. Your journal should be written as a file in the word processing package on your computer; this will be the document you turn in to your instructor.


>> Proceed directly to Exercises

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant GEO-0355224. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.