As the instructor for this course, I hold degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. For the past 32 years I have been employed as an optical engineer at the Perkin-Elmer / Hughes Aircraft / Raytheon / Goodrich / United Technologies Aerospace company located in Danbury near the airport. Our company built the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the optics in the Spitzer Infrared Telescope, in addition to many other astronomical and military satellites and observatories. My interest in astronomy started at age 5 while witnessing Man's first landing on the Moon - my parents bought me my first telescope when I was 7. Over the past several years, I've expanded my hobby as an amateur astronomer, acquiring several pieces of sophisticated equipment, and enabling not only the observations for this course, but a new hobby in astrophotography.
My wife, Kimberly Mcneill, was educated as a Mechanical Engineer, and worked for many years at the same company, prior to leaving several years ago to homeschool our children. She remains very interested in science and engineering, and particularly science education.
We have 4 children - a 10 year old son, and three daughters aged 16, 19 and 24. You are certain to meet most of them at some point during the course - and the 10 year old almost definitely will make an appearance for every class.
We also have 3 cats, a couple of whom can be overly friendly. If you have allergies, please let us know so we can try to accomodate you. And then there's the dog, very enthusiastically friendly, whom we sequester during class so as to avoid constant distraction.