Senior Practicum
Spring 2004

TIME AND PLACE: Tu,Th 2:00-3:15  SBO S125  (Observatory)
INSTRUCTOR: Webster Cash
OFFICE: Duane C333A (303-735-3002) or ARL (Research Park, 303-492-4056)
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment -- send me an e-mail!
            I will usually be in my Duane office 1-1:45 TR before class.  I can stay late at SBO after class.
            I am also available at ARL much of the time.
TEXTS:  Data Reduction and Error Analysis,  Bevington and Robinson, McGraw Hill, 2003
Practical IDL Programming, Gumley, ISBN 1-55860-700-5

GOALS OF THIS COURSE: To introduce seniors with a serious interest in astronomy to the practicalities of modern professional astronomy.

PREPARATION: It is assumed that students in this course are seniors with a major in astronomy.

EXAMS: There will be no in-class exams.

MATERIAL: This class attempts to bring together three important and useful aspects of the astrophysics profession.
A) Programming:   We will learn applications programming in the IDL language.
B) Statistics: Learning to analyze data sets in a quantitative way and set error bars.
C) Journals:  Learning to read and understand the context of a recently published research paper.

HOMEWORK: There will be quantitative homework projects assigned. About half the class time will be devoted to working on the computers and solving your difficulties with the assignments.

PROJECT:  There will be a major assignment to perform some data analysis and write it up as a mock paper at the end of the semester.

COURSE GRADE: The curve in the class will be very high -- mostly A's.  Your grade will be based on reports, problem sets and projects..

Information about the course can be found at
We will use the site extensively as the source of most of the information, including problem sets  and notes.