ASTR 2600 Computational Techniques
Fall 2009

TIME & PLACE: TTh 4:00-5:15 SBO

INSTRUCTOR: Webster Cash

OFFICES: Duane F519 Physics Tower. (But I spend more time in my research office at CASA ARL)

HOURS: TTh – before and after class or by appointment. At SBO so we have computer access.

my phone is 303-492-4056, but email usually works faster to contact me


TEXT: Learning the Unix Operating System by Peak, Todino and Strang
and An Introduction to Programming with IDL by Bowman

EXAMS: No Exams.

HOMEWORK: There will be homework assignments on a quasi-regular basis. They will be graded and will count toward your course grade. Doing these problems is the core of the course. By working through the problems you will become facile with applications programming.

PROJECT: Several weeks into the course, after you have a basic idea of what IDL can do, you will need to choose some kind of project. The project will involve writing a system of linked IDL procedures that will be useful in some context. For example: a statistical analysis package, or a photo image analysis system, or an astronomy simulation system. The project will be due after Thanksgiving and no later than the last day of class.

COURSE GRADE: Your grade will be based upon the homeworks grades and the project grade in roughly equal proportion. Precise balance will be announced mid-semester.

PREPARATION: Freshman level physics and integral calculus will prove very helpful but are not specifically required.