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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Confronting The Big Questions: Highlights of Modern Astronomy by University of Rochester

406 ratings
126 reviews

About the Course

An introduction to modern astronomy's most important questions. The four sections of the course are Planets and Life in The Universe; The Life of Stars; Galaxies and Their Environments; The History of The Universe....

Top reviews


Aug 01, 2017

Excellent course. Very clear lectures that cover a lot of ground in not a lot of time. Fantastic overview of most of what we know about astronomy and how we know it. Best class I've taken on Coursera.


Apr 12, 2018

The is the first time I have rated a course with 5 stars, but this one is worth it. I audited and did not take the exams, but I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures and I learned a lot.

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101 - 124 of 124 Reviews for Confronting The Big Questions: Highlights of Modern Astronomy

By Frederick G

Jan 26, 2016

Good overview of the topic. Inspiring lecturer. No need for any complicated math. Having a background in physics on advanced high school level should probably be enoughto pass this course.

By Bill T

Mar 31, 2019

Very good overview. I thought that some of the questions given were not covered in the lectures, e.g., that all valid combinations of color charge have to be colorless.


May 24, 2020

The course was very informative and helpful.But some of questions in the quizes where not in the videos and hence quizes appeared to be difficult.

By Naman J

Oct 09, 2019

This course was very theoretical, I was expecting a bit more data and a bit more details of the processes by which we take various measurements.

By Roshni R

Oct 12, 2016

Great professor. Simple to understand and made me love astrology... Quizzes are a bit challenging though...

By Laurent G

Jul 29, 2019

A sympatic and exhaustive presentation of the questions that are brought to our conscience

By Witold R

Oct 26, 2016

Very good overview of modern astronomy. Easy to understand by non native English speaker.

By Srinivasan B

May 10, 2020

In some sections the lecture did not cover all the ideas presented in the slides

By Javier R F

Sep 17, 2019

The course is amazing, but the quizs are very difficult.

By M E

May 17, 2020

great experience , helps a lot for beginners

By John P

Feb 25, 2018

Enjoyable and mind expanding course, great!

By Martin N S

Mar 28, 2019

A short but very illustrative course.

By Jonathan D

Jan 21, 2016

Professor explains concepts well.

By Jon S

Jan 07, 2017

Enjoyed it very much

By Shawna W

Feb 25, 2020

i loved the lectures and Adam Frank was an awesome teacher, they could be longer and give more information. The quizzes were the part that was sub-par. There were questions that were wrong no matter what you answered....multiple choice answers where there could only be so many answers to give. No matter what answer I gave it was counted incorrect. I contacted everyone that i was told to contact and received NO answer and no, the quiz was not corrected. I kept trying to retake the stupid thing to improve my score, but it just would not cooperate. I know the correct answers, I pay attention and listen to the lectures the way I am supposed to do. Some questions are common sense, still wrong Other questions asked for multiple answers, but would only let you choose one. Don't even get me started on the simulators, there's no instructions, no advice and no one to call. I audited my first course, so i could make sure i would be able to complete it. I want to pay for the certificates, but if i cant pass because the tests aren't working properly, its wasting money. I wish someone would listen and care as much as they promise in the welcome speech they provide at the beginning.

By Thomas S

Sep 18, 2016

Not for beginners in the slightest. Enjoyed the videos. But the quiz just made me feel stupid as I didn't have a clue on any of the equations and simulators I was supposed to use. It got me thinking of how ignorant clever people continue to be! Every time a smart person comes up with a new theory it's taken as fact. Give it a couple of decades and someone will prove it wrong. The sun orbiting us proving wrong, easth is flat, gas giants only orbit outside the habitable zone etc etc etc. So when will we learn that just because something happens on this planet doesn't mean it will, has happened elsewhere. The deepest depths of the ocean have life forms, yet we'd perish. So who's to say life forms can't exact on a planet, moon that is nothing like the earth! The world is still at the centre of the universe to these academics!

By Michael B

May 06, 2020

it is an interesting subject but the content is now quite old and I think could do with updating. I found it difficult sometimes to pay attention to Adam and the way he presents. He seemed to feel rushed in his presentation and this lead to a lack of flow and him stumbling over is words. I would love to see it updated.

By Ariana D

Oct 04, 2020

Some of the tests at the end require outdated simulators to solve the answer, software so old it could harm your computer. This made tests much more difficult, but otherwise I had an amazing time learning about space.

By Ethan Y

Apr 18, 2016

This is a very good and informational course : however, the person who is speaking tends to have a lot of mums and stammers a lot. Overall, pretty decent course.

By Jose A V B

Jan 09, 2016

Good but not deep enough. It could be longer to cover more aspects or more profound.

By Jonathan G

Mar 26, 2018

I learned a lot about rudimentary physics.

By Cees K

May 12, 2020

Hey Coursera,

A bit more on the course and why I did not proceed.

The course material is excellent, challenging and well presented by the lecturer.

I made an extensive summary in order to be well prepared for the first quiz.

In the quiz I got three simulators that were difficult to start (Flash problems) and without any explanation or exercise before - I could not answer the questions properly.

Next to the simulators there were quite some questions that I could not answer with the knowledge I got during the course.

I ended with a very frustrating 44% - this killed my positive feeling knowing that I had to read (but what?) and get knowledge somewhere else before trying the quiz again.

I decided to stop - I want to learn exciting facts about the universe instead of moving (and being blocked!) from one frustrating quiz to another.

Hope this helps for developing and enhancing your nice course portfolio.

Best regards - Cees Kok (Netherlands)

By jeffrey m

Jun 03, 2017

too rudimentary discussion/presentation and frequent mention of undefined terms. More explanation would help with natural history of stars before and after main sequence, more detailed discussion of AGN, more discussion of particle interaction

By Maria S

May 26, 2020

It is impossible to get 100% on a modern computer for the first two quizzes because they rely on obsolete technology.