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Unit 1 Theory of time

Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • know more about your teacher, classmates and course
  • be able to define, discuss and explain time
  • be able to discuss progess, period, points, etc.
  • understand the complexity of concept of time
  • be able to define the terms in the review section
Rubik

Introductions

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, interaction will be primarily online. You are encouraged to form student groups and discuss this course using your preferred SNS.

Activity 1 Your tutor

Listen to this introduction to find out a little about your teacher and how to contact him.

your tutor

Activity 2 Your course

Read the introduction below:

The official university course syllabus provides details of the grade percentages awarded to participation, quizzes and final assessment.

The course divides into two parts: knowledge acquistion and prototype development. You will work individually on knowledge acquisition and in teams of the prototype development. (For students who can code and prefer not to work in teams, you can form a team of one).

Active participation is defined (by me) as submitting assignments or completing assigned tasks via the learning management system ( ELMS ).

In general, each assignment or task is awarded either zero or 100%. Most assignments involve solving problems. This emoticon is used to remind you of these. Quizzes are conducted either online or live. There are quizzes on time, tense and visualization. The final assignment is the creation of a prototype for a tool to visualize time and/or tense. For this assignment, you need to design, develop and evaluate a visualization tool. You need to submit three items, namely the source code, a written report and a video evaluation.

Activity 3 Your classmates

Introduce yourself to your classmates. State your preferred name, something you are proficient at (programming, gaming, maths?), and share the reason why you selected this course. If your course is fully online, use the Forum on ELMS.

Activity 4 Course content 

Read the following.

The course divides into two parts: knowledge acquistion and prototype development. In the knowledge acquisition part, we focus on the core concepts of time and tense. In the prototype developmet part we focus on visualization of language.   

Knowledge development

The first five units are dedicated to enhancing your knowledge of time and tense, and enabling you to apply this knowledge to texts written in English. We will, however, analyze and discuss texts written in different languges. The five units to be covered are:    

  1. Theory of time
  2. Time, tense and aspect
  3. Time in natural language
  4. Function of tenses
  5. Mapping tenses

Prototype development

In this part, different visualization tools are introduced. This is followed by a brief introduction to different natural language pipelines. The lion's share of this part will be spent on prototype development. This prototype needs to be evaluated and so methods of evaluation are also covered. The final unit aims to review the course, bringing together all the core concepts covered.

  1. Visualization tools
  2. Visualizing using a natural language pipeline (NLP) pipeline
  3. Prototype development: idea generation, design and development
  4. Prototype evaluation: usability, accuracy and efficacy
  5. Revision

Activity 5 Reading

Read the following.

Time even plays a central role in followers of religions. Below is an extract from Genesis taken from an English translation of the Old Testament, the first part of the Bible. Gensis is based on the first of the five books of Moses in the Hebrew Torah, which is part of the Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible.

Genesis 1 New International Version of the Bible: The Beginning

  1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
  2. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
  3. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
  4. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
  5. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Brief discussion

This extract describes events in the past. The following time expressions are used: in the beginning, now, day, night, evening, and morning. By creating "time" first, the world can move from the past to the future. Prior to its creation, there was no time. For non-believers, the start of the world including the creation of time and space is explained by the big bang theory.

Activity 6 Watching

Read the following description, which is abridged from Wikipedia. There are four different concepts that time is used to refer to, namely:

  • instant as an object: one point on a time axis, which has no value.
  • time interval as an object:the distance between two instants, which has no value.
  • date: a quantity characterising an instant, which has a value.
  • duration: a quantity characterising a time interval, which a value.

Activity 7 Reading

The aim of this activity is to help you to understand the concept of time more fully.

Briefly read the link provided for each of the ten time-related concepts. Keep notes to help you remember these concepts as you will need to use them later.

  1. The passage from past to future is called time link 1
  2. Directionality - Time moves only in one direction: forward link 1
  3. Time dilation link 1
  4. The units of measurement of time link 1
  5. Sidereal time - GMT, UTC link 1
  6. System time - epoch and range link 1
  7. Time and language link 1
  8. Absolute (Newtonian) time vs. relative (Einstein) time link 1
  9. Spacetime link 1
  10. Mayan calendars link 1
arrow of time

Activity 8 Watching

Watch and listen to a short explanation of the differences in views between Newton and Einstein on time

Knowledge and application

Knowledge and application activities are designed to help you activate the key terminology and apply the concepts covered in the course so far. Try to use the terminology and concepts accurately and appropriately.

Activity 9 Poster creation

The last number of your student id determines your topic. For example if the final digit is 3, your topic is number 3. If the final digit is 0, your topic is number 10.

Read extensively about your assigned topic. Start with provided link, Wikipedia and then search for other sources. You can search in any language. Create a poster using a one-slide slideshow in landscape format. The slide should include at least three interesting points that other students are not likely to know. Include references to any sources used. Some links are provided, but you are expected to find additional sources. Submit your poster as a pdf file via ELMS.

  1. The passage from past to future is called time link 1
  2. Directionality - Time moves only in one direction: forward link 1
  3. Time dilation link 1
  4. The units of measurement of time link 1
  5. Sidereal time - GMT, UTC link 1
  6. System time - epoch and range link 1
  7. Time and language link 1
  8. Absolute (Newtonian) time vs. relative (Einstein) time link 1
  9. Spacetime link 1
  10. Mayan calendars link 1

Review

Make sure you can explain the differences between the following simple English:

  1. absolute time vs. relative time
  2. sidereal time vs. system time
  3. instant vs. interval
  4. time dilation vs. spacetime

Make sure you can explain the following simple English:

  1. the arrow of time
  2. directionality

Running count: 10 of 70 time-and-tense-related concepts covered so far.

"There is no past, present or future. Using tenses to divide time is like making chalk marks on water." - Janet Frame

Copyright John Blake, 2020