Astronomical Computing


Who: Christoph Federrath (1st half of the course)

Where: Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Duffield Lecture Theatre and Online (Zoom: Meeting ID: 858 8746 1060; password on Wattle)

When: 2nd semester 2021, Tuesdays and Thursdays, lectorial+tutorial: 13:00-14:30, drop-in session: 14:30-15:00

Student representatives: Callum Lynn (ASTR4004) and Jocelyn Ware (ASTR8004)

Time table

Course notes and resources

For this course you will need access to a computer with Linux-based shell (e.g., Bash) and program capabilities. The first few sessions and assignment will be about Bash. You will also need access to python 3. Please read the '00 course materials' for more information and/or contact your IT department for help with software and access. Moreover, you will need a computer account at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics; see computer account form below. This is necessary for access to compute servers at RSAA, as some of the course involves remote and parallel computing. Please contact RSAA IT for account creation.


Assessment of the course is based on 4 assignments, with the first 3 assignments counting 20% (each) of the total course credit. The 4th assignment serves as an exam assignment (take home examination) and counts 40% of the total course credit. This information and more is also available on the class summary webpages for ASTR4004 and ASTR8004.

Please submit your assignment solutions by the assignment due date. Note that late submissions are possible, but will get a penalty of 5% of the credit per working day, up to a maximum of 5 working days, at which point you would not get credit for the assignment. Note that late submissions are not possible for assignment 4, because it is a 'take home examination'. Please find more detailed information on course assessment procedures and policies.

Note on collaboration and team work for solving assignments

Collaboration and team work is strongly encouraged, especially when you need help with solving an assignment. If you feel that you cannot solve an assignment completely on your own, please do reach out to your fellow students for help to improve your basic understanding, by discussing the assignment. You are also encouraged to ask and discuss during the drop-in/tutorial sessions. However, this should not lead to producing identical assignment solutions. Ultimately, you must work through, understand, and answer the assignment questions on your own, and not simply copy from other students' work. Please also note the information on ANU policies regarding collusion and plagiarism.

© C. Federrath 2021