mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii


Ast 633: Astrophysical Techniques
Fall 2018 Tuesday, Thursday 1-2:30pm
Jonathan Williams, C-209


This core course 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. Note that the course should really be called "Astronomical Techniques" as its really on the methods by which we acquire good data,, and not on its physical interpretation.


The course text book is "Measuring the Universe" by George Rieke (Cambridge University Press). We will work through the entire book during this course. I will give reading assignments that we will discuss in class. I'll occasionally add some material through mini-lectures but I plan for the class to be very active with students taking turns to interpret the material.


There will be several homeworks during the semester, one of which will involve analysis of Meunakea 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. The course grade will be weighted 33% on class participation, 67% on the problem sets. There will be no final exam.