Courses - Spring 2020

ASTRO 1102 Our Solar System

 

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nikole Lewis (nkl35)
Jonathan Lunine (jil45)
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ASTRO 1104 Our Solar System

Identical to ASTRO 1102 except for addition of the laboratory.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nikole Lewis (nkl35)
Jonathan Lunine (jil45)
Full details for ASTRO 1104 : Our Solar System
ASTRO 2201 The History of the Universe

General discussion of how the universe has evolved since the Big Bang era and how our understanding of it has changed from ancient to modern times. Several main themes are covered over the course of the semester: the evolution of our view of the sky from that of ancient cultures to that of space telescopes; the formation and nature of black holes; dark matter and dark energy; and the origin, evolution, and fate of the universe. Presents a nonmathematical introduction to these subjects and discusses uncertainties and unresolved issues in our understanding.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicholas Battaglia (nb572)
Full details for ASTRO 2201 : The History of the Universe
ASTRO 2211 Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology

Course surveying the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang onwards: what happens in the first few minutes of the universe's life; star formation, structure, and evolution; the physics of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes; galaxy formation and structure; and cosmology. The roles of quantum physics, particle physics, and relativity in astrophysics are discussed (no prior knowledge of these is assumed). The course is more in-depth than ASTRO 1101/ASTRO 1103. All course materials are made available online.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Terry Herter (tlh10)
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ASTRO 2299 Search for Life in the Universe

This course surveys the possibilities for life in the universe and the search for it, against the backdrop of our modern understanding of the cosmos.  It covers ideas about the origin of the universe and how structure arises, the formation of stars and planets, how life might have begun on planets, the evolution of life on the Earth, and the search for life elsewhere in the solar system and beyond.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jim Cordes (jmc33)
Lisa Kaltenegger (lk433)
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ASTRO 3303 Galaxies Across Cosmic Time

This course provides an overview of our current understanding of how galaxies have evolved over the last 13+ billion years and how their evolution has been influenced by their local intergalactic environment.  We will look at the evidence that links supermassive black holes, gas accretion and merger events to galaxy evolution and track the star formation rate from early to current epochs.  Additional topics will include the formation and distribution of clusters and groups of galaxies, the importance of dark matter and how galaxy evolution fits into the framework of current cosmological models.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Dominik Riechers (dar329)
Full details for ASTRO 3303 : Galaxies Across Cosmic Time
ASTRO 3334 Data Analysis and Research Techniques in Astronomy

Introduction to the tools of data processing and analysis for research in astronomy.  The course reviews the techniques employed in astrophysical research, both observational and theoretical, to explore the universe.  Methods and strategies of data acquisition and image and signal processing are discussed. Students gain hands-on experience with visualization techniques and methods of error analysis, data fitting, numerical simulation, and data scalability.  Exercises address the processes by which astrophysicists piece together observations made with today's foremost astronomical instruments to solve questions concerning the origin of planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe itself.  This course prepares students with the techniques and computing tools necessary to undertake research in astronomy and other data-driven fields.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: James Lloyd (jl554)
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ASTRO 3340 Symbolic and Numerical Computing

Introduces Mathematica and modern symbolic manipulator programs to students in quantitative disciplines. The course will cover language concepts, programming tools and techniques and draw examples from a wide variety of fields including mathematics, astronomy, physics, engineering, biology, statistics, finance, and the general topic of big data. For the final project the student will apply the capabilities to an individual area of interest. Both undergraduates and graduates may register.

Distribution: (MQR-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Chernoff (dfc8)
Full details for ASTRO 3340 : Symbolic and Numerical Computing
ASTRO 4431 Physics of Stars, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

Major topics include: the structure and evolution of stars; solar neutrino astronomy; stellar seismology; the physics of white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes; the physics of low mass stars and connection to planets. Basic ideas in atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear and particle physics, fluid mechanics and general relativity are introduced in a practical fashion that emphasizes concepts useful for understanding astrophysical phenomena.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ira Wasserman (imw2)
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ASTRO 4940 Independent Study in Astronomy

Individuals work on selected topics. A program of study is devised by the student and instructor.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Bean (reb55)
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ASTRO 6570 Physics of the Planets

A graduate-level introduction to Planetary Science with an emphasis on the application of basic physical principles. Topics to be covered include: planetary dynamics, including satellite orbits, tidal interactions, resonances and ring dynamics; an introduction to the theory of planetary interiors, gravitational fields, heat sources and rotational mechanics; reflected and thermal radiation; and the equilibrium structure and dynamics of planetary atmospheres.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Phil Nicholson (pdn2)
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ASTRO 6577 Planetary Surface Processes

Survey of remote sensing techniques used to observe the surfaces of solar system bodies and the geomorphic processes involved in their formation and evolution. Surface morphology and landforms of terrestrial planets, satellites, asteroids, and comets. Fundamentals of impact cratering, volcanism, tectonism, and erosion, with significant emphasis on terrestrial field sites as analogs. Basic introduction to physical, geochemical, and "space" weathering of planetary surfaces. Basic introduction to field methods and remote sensing techniques/data sets (terrestrial, spacecraft). Students can participate in an optional field trip over Spring Break to a "classic" planetary surface process analog field site (e.g., Meteor Crater, Amboy, White Sands, Hawaii, Grand Canyon, Death Valley) for 1 additional credit.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Alexander Hayes (agh4)
Matthew Pritchard (mp337)
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ASTRO 6579 Advanced Astrodynamics

A graduate level course in astrodynamics and trajectory design. Course topics include a brief review of the two body problem, impulsive transfers, and perturbations; orbit determination and one-way ranging; algebraic and symplectic mappings and surfaces of section; the circular and elliptical 3-body problem, invariant manifolds and 3-body orbit design; secular and resonant perturbations; finite and continuous thrust modeling and transfer design. The course will emphasize numerical methods and building deep understanding of modern approaches to orbital design problems. Familiarity with basic orbital mechanics (at the level of MAE 4060 or equivalent) and numerical integration of dynamical systems will be assumed.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Dmitry Savransky (ds264)
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ASTRO 6940 Advanced Study and Research

Guided reading and seminars on topics not currently covered in regular courses.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rachel Bean (reb55)
Full details for ASTRO 6940 : Advanced Study and Research
ASTRO 7340 Symbolic and Numerical Computing

Introduces Mathematica and modern symbolic manipulator programs to students in quantitative disciplines. The course will cover language concepts, programming tools and techniques and draw examples from a wide variety of fields including mathematics, astronomy, physics, engineering, biology, statistics, finance, and the general topic of big data. For the final project the student will apply the capabilities to an individual area of interest. Both undergraduates and graduates may register.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: David Chernoff (dfc8)
Full details for ASTRO 7340 : Symbolic and Numerical Computing
ASTRO 7683 Seminar: Astronomy and Planetary Science

This course is a reading seminar where graduate students will gain astronomy breadth, practice public speaking, and distill important results from seminal astronomy research papers.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Nicholas Battaglia (nb572)
Full details for ASTRO 7683 : Seminar: Astronomy and Planetary Science