Spring 2017

Practical Astronomy: Tools and Techniques for Astrophysical Problem Solving

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as ASTR-200

Moodle site: Course (Guest Accessible)


Kate Follette (Section 01)


How do Astronomers gather information about the universe? What tools and techniques do they use to interpret that information? How does one tell sound results from questionable ones? The purpose of this course is to introduce computational and numerical reasoning techniques that will allow students to excel in further coursework in astronomy and/or other STEM majors. With a particular emphasis on how to clearly and honestly visualize real astrophysical data, students will be introduced to: how to use the Python programming language to analyze and manipulate data, how to read and interpret scientific publications, how to make and dissect data-driven arguments, and how to give an engaging scientific presentation. We will sharpen these skills through the lens of astronomical data collection and analysis, with a focus on how astronomers collect and analyze light, including types that are not visible to the human eye.

Recommended requisite: ASTR 111 or 112. Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Follette.

If Overenrolled: Preference first to sophomores, then first-years, then juniors, then seniors, with special preference within each year to majors in astronomy, physics, then other STEM disciplines, others

Cost: 75 ?


Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Lab Science Course, Quantitative Reasoning


2018-19: Offered in Spring 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017