Prof. Dave Charbonneau will be offering a new undergraduate course, Astro 1, which is a general introduction to the big questions that astronomy seeks to answer. Geared toward students without extensive training in math or physics, we think this will be a very enlightening and enjoyable way to meet your Science Divisional requirement.
We welcome our new Associate Professor Selma de Mink who will revive Stellar Astrophysics (Astro 120) for our concencentrators. This will be offered in Spring 2020.
Another new offering in Spring 2020 will be a 2-unit mini-seminar on Machine Learning (Astro 308). Jay Rhee, SAO Scientist, will be teaching this on Thursday mornings. See catalog for dates.
History of Science is offering a fascinating new seminar lab called: Starstruck! The History, Culture, and Politics of American Astronomy. This is being taught by Sara Schechner who is the curator of the instruments collection at the Science Center. Check it out!
Curriculum Redesign 2018-19
In June of 2018, a committee composed of students and faculty issued an interim report which was approved by the full faculty. This report recommended significant changes to the department's course graduate course offerings. These are summarized below.
Astronomy 200 Radiative Process
This course will continue to be required and taught principally by Ramesh Narayan. It will be mostly unchanged but may incorporate an additional module on quantum mechanics at the end of the semester.
Astronomy 201 Astrophysics Fluids and Plasmas
This course previously taught by Lars Hernquist will incorporate existing modules on fluids and add new modules on plasmas from a course previously taught by Nick Murphy.
Astronomy 203 Interstellar Medium and Star Formation
Astronomy 204 Stellar Astrophysics
Charlie Conroy will institute a variation of Astro 201 combined with aspects of stellar high energy. Karin Oberg will continue to teach Astro 203.
Astronomy 209 Exoplanet Systems
This was formerly Astro 189 but will still be taught by Dave Charbonneau. No significant changes in the syllabus but it will now be taught in the Spring instead of the Fall every other year.
Astronomy 214 Observational Astronomy
This is a new survey course in development this year focusing on the science and mechanics of astrophysics instrumentation. It will incorporate aspects of Radio and Optics previously taught as separate courses and add modules in time-domain and exoplanet observing.