University of Ottawa NMR Facility Web Site

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

iPods and Fourier Transforms

The way people collect and listen to music has changed drastically over the last several years. One's entire music collection, which once occupied several shelves in the living room, can now fit in the palm of one's hand and can be listened to virtually anywhere. The iPod / mp3 technology is also being used to change the way we can learn. Many, if not all of us, have spent tens of thousands of dollars to educate ourselves. If you are like me, there were courses in university you would have liked to take but did not have the time. Now, many universities have made their courses available free of charge online through iTunes University. Now, one can audit all of those expensive university courses for free through their iPod Touch or iPhone on the bus or train on the way to work. One excellent course I have been auditing is one called The Fourier Transform and its Applications, given by Brad Osgood of Stanford University's School of Engineering. As NMR spectroscopists, we use the Fourier Transform daily. This course covers many of the mathematical details not learned in NMR courses and explores many applications (other than NMR spectroscopy) where Fourier Transforms are useful. I highly recommend it and I hope that many more universities make their course material public.I regret to say that Bob Dylan is temporarily taking a back seat on my daily commute to work. Sorry Bob!

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