mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii


Ast 633: Astrophysical Techniques
Fall 2017 Monday, Thursday 1-2:30pm
Jonathan Williams, Institute for Astronomy


This is the one core course that is required of all graduate students in the Astronomy program. It introduces fundamental conccepts that you will find yourself using throughout your PhD research: The goal is for you to understand how data are acquired and analyzed correctly, from the top of the Earth's atmosphere to telescope to detector to your computer (and to publication). The emphasis is on ground-based observing with the facilities on Maunakea.

Following the methodology of previous instructors, Pat Henry and Mike Liu, I will teach in a traditional lecture-based way. I will not post lecture notes or many handouts (though I will put the figures and diagramts below), so you are strongly recommended to attend every lecture, write copious notes, review between classes, and ask me questions on any aspect that you do not follow.

There will be several homeworks during the semester, one of which will involve analysis of IRTF data and another that will include a significant amount of coding. Homework will be collected at the start of class on the due date. If you hand in the homework late, you will receive 50% credit if it is handed in by the start of the next class. After that, there will be no credit for late homework. There will be a 2-hour final exam in the week of December 11-15th. The course grade will be weighted 60% on homework, 40% on the final.