Graduate Courses

The faculty has approval to offer the following courses in the academic years 2017–2018 and 2018–2019; however, not all courses are taught each semester or summer session. Students should consult the Course Schedule to determine which courses and topics will be offered during a particular semester or summer session. The Course Schedule may also reflect changes made to the course inventory after the publication of this catalog.

Astronomy: AST

AST 380E. Radiative Processes and Radiative Transfer.

Classical and quantum radiative processes relevant to astrophysics; basic radiative transfer. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 381. Topics in Theoretical Astrophysics.

Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

AST 381C. Gravitational Dynamics.

Orbital, collective, and tidal effects of astronomical objects, such as planets, stars, galaxies, and interstellar medium, under the influence of a gravitational field. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 381S. Seminar in Theoretical Astrophysics.

Topics to be announced. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 382C. Astrophysical Gas Dynamics.

The basic principles of compressible gas dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, developed and applied in an astrophysical context to a wide range of astronomical phenomena. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in astronomy or physics, or graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 383. Topics in Stellar Astronomy.

Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

AST 383C. Stellar Atmospheres.

Observational properties of stellar atmospheres; theoretical calculations of stellar atmospheres and stellar spectra. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 383D. Stellar Structure and Evolution.

Theoretical calculations of the structure and evolution of stars. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 383L. Seminar in Planets and Life.

Discussions concerning the solar system; the detection, formation, and evolution of planets; planetary atmospheres, climates, and meteorology; and various aspects of life in the universe. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 383T. Seminar in Stellar Astronomy.

Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 384T. Current Studies in Astronomy for Teachers.

Lectures and laboratory work in astronomy for elementary and secondary school teachers of earth science, physical science, or astronomy. Three lecture hours and twelve laboratory hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 385. Conference Course.

Three conference hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 185C. Conference on Modern Astronomy.

A broad introduction to the research being conducted by the faculty and research staff in astronomy. One lecture hour a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 386. Extragalactic Astronomy.

Topics include classification of galaxies, distance indicators, luminosities, dimensions, colors, spectra, polarization, radio emission, rotation, masses; formation and evolution; pairs, groups, clusters, superclusters, large-scale distribution, redshifts, cosmology. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 386C. Properties of Galaxies.

Observational properties of galaxies and their interpretation; includes a discussion of the Milky Way galaxy. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 386S. Seminar in Extragalactic Astronomy.

Topics to be announced. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 389. Dynamical Astronomy.

Topics include planetary and stellar motions, asymptotic representations of quasi integrals, galactic dynamics. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 391. Graduate Research in Astronomy.

Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in astronomy and consent of instructor.

AST 392D. Mathematical Methods of Astrophysics.

Statistics, error theory, least squares and curve fitting, numerical methods, approximation theory, Fourier transforms, sampling theory, time-series analysis. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 392E. Optical Techniques in Astronomy.

Topics include photometry, spectroscopy, direct imaging, interferometry and polarimetry at ultraviolet, visual, and infrared wavelengths. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 392G. Observing Techniques in Astronomy.

Survey of techniques used at the McDonald Observatory. Includes workshop at the observatory. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Offered in the summer session only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 392J. Astronomical Instrumentation.

A hands-on course in instrument development, including mechanical design and machining, electronics design, optical design and optics, computer interfacing, and project planning. Students use CAD programs in each area and design and build a computer-controlled instrument. Learning activities are carried out in groups and teams. One lecture hour and five laboratory hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

AST 393F. Survey of the Interstellar Medium.

A broad introduction to the processes and properties of the interstellar medium. Topics include H I regions, H II regions, molecular clouds, interstellar dust, and the distribution of the interstellar medium in our galaxy. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 393S. Seminar in Interstellar Matter.

Topics to be announced. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 396C. Elements of Cosmology.

A theoretical discussion of the origin and evolution of the universe; includes a brief review of general relativity and modern particle physics. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

AST 697. Graduate Research Project.

Two-semester graduate research project in astronomy. The equivalent of three hours of work a week for two semesters. Prerequisite: For 697A, graduate standing and consent of instructor; for 697B, Astronomy 697A.

AST 698. Thesis.

The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for two semesters. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: For 698A, graduate standing in astronomy and consent of the graduate adviser; for 698B, Astronomy 698A.

AST 398R. Master's Report.

Preparation of a report to fulfill the requirement for the master's degree under the report option. The equivalent of three lecture hours a week for one semester. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in astronomy and consent of the graduate adviser.

AST 398T. Supervised Teaching in Astronomy.

Effective astronomy teaching: course design, instructional materials, test design, other methods. In-class practice teaching. Projects in astronomy education. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and current or previous appointment as a teaching assistant.

AST 399R, 699R, 999R. Dissertation.

Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

AST 399W, 699W, 999W. Dissertation.

Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Astronomy 399R, 699R, or 999R.