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UW ASTR 300 - Syllabus

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Astronomy 300 Winter 2012Introduction to Programming for Astronomical ApplicationsDr. Toby SmithAstronomy and Physics Building (PAB) C338Phone: 616-2959Email: [email protected] Hours: Email me to set up a time.Website: http://www.astro.washington.edu/smith/Astro300/Class Meetings: PAB B356 on Wednesdays from 1:30 - 3:20.Background: This course offers the introd uction to programming needed for astronomicalapplications. We will be cover topics such as the UNIX (Linux) operation system, the AWK andPython computer languages, the LATEX scientific pub lishing package, and the IDL datavisualization package. Recommended for astronomy majors planning to take 400-level astronomycourses, to peruse individual research projects, or to apply for Research Exper ience forUndergraduate appointments (REUs). The general programming courses offered by the UW aretoo limited in coverage by design to give the undergraduate majors in astronomy the specificfoundation they need. The examples used in class and assigned as homework will be specific tothe field of astronomy.Class Mailing List: I will be using the class mailing list during class. Please make sure tomonitor your u.washington email account, or set it to forward email to the account you usualread.Assignments: There will be weekly assignments handed out in class in Wednesdays. Th e d uedate on all of the assignments will be the following Tuesday by 5pm. No late work will beaccepted.Grading: Grades for the class will be based on the weekly homework assignments. Here are noexams in the course, fi nal or otherwise, but there is a midterm and final in-class proj ect.Course texts: All the course materials will either be online or handed-out in class. There is notextbook for the class.Preliminary Class Schedule:Week Topic1 Introduction & Basic UNIX command s2 Messing around with data - awk3 Messing around with data - IDL4 Messing around with data - Python5 Midterm Project6 Plotting data - SciPy7 Publishing Data- LATEX, BibTEX, and AASTEX8 Finding stuff in data - Regular Expressions & sed9 Image Data - IDL10 Final ProjectGenerally useful stuffConnecting to an astrolab machine from another location. Open a terminal and:% ssh -X -l username astrolabXX.astro.washington.eduThe -l is a lower case L.Replace the XX with a number from 01 to 24.Copying a file from a local computer to your home directory on an astrolab machine.% scp filename [email protected]:~Replace the XX with a number from 01 to 24.Ty ping Ctrl-c will cause most programs to quit. This is useful if something runs away on you.Starting a program in the background (such as emacs).% emacs &If you forget the & you can force a program into the back grou nd by using Ctrl-z and then typingbg. For example:% emacs[type Ctrl-z][2]+ Stopped emacs$ bg[2]+ emacs &List all of the p rocesses you are running: % ps


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