Thomas R. Quinn
Recent developments in one field of astronomy or astrophysics.
This is a hands-on course to learn methods for numerically solving problems that arise in astrophysics. Teaching programming is not the primary goal, nevertheless it is hoped that techniques for writing and debugging programs will be a useful side effect.
Topics will include: interpolation and extrapolation, integration, ordinary differential equations, root finding, optimization, linear algebra, Monte-Carlo, an introduction to partial differential equations, and an introduction to parallel techniques.
Student learning goals
The student will understand performance issues and limitations of floating point arithmetic on computers.
The student will be able to express and solve several types of astrophysics calculations within a computer program.
The student will have skills to assess correctness of computed results.
General method of instruction
The instruction time will be half lectures, and half lab sessions.
Some programming experience is required. You should either be a Physics or Astronomy major.
Class assignments and grading
The assignment will be problems requiring the writing of programs.
The grades will be based on 5 programming assignments. Correctness of results, program performance, and readability will be used as grading criteria.