Lund Observatory
Research
Education
Library
Staff
Local events
Seminars
Resources
Links
Lund University

ASTM21
Statistical Tools in Astrophysics

Course period: Second half of the autumn term 2017.

Course content: Basic probability theory and statistics. The concept of probability, probability distributions, and Bayes' theorem. Sampling, moments, correlation, order statistics, and graphical presentation of data. Estimation of parameters and model fitting. The principle of Maximum Likelihood and least-squares method. Signal, noise, errors, and uncertainties.

For more detail please see the course plan

Introductory meeting:
Tuesday 31 Oct 2017, 13:15-15:00 (Room: Cassiopeia).

N.B. The first MatLab/Python class (shared with ASTM13) is before the Introductory meeting, on Monday 30 Oct 10:15-12

Teachers:
PM = Paul McMillan (Lectures & Project Work)
BT = Brian Thorsbro (MATLAB/Python & Project Work)

Documents and resources for the course

Lectures and labs: Lectures, project introductions and discussions are normally held in Cassiopeia, but will be in HUB in weeks 45 and 46. MATLAB/Python sessions are held in Cassiopeia for the first hour, and then they move to Lyra (PC room).

Note that project deadlines, and dates of introduction meetings are provisional.
Week 44
Mon 30 Oct 2017, 10:15-12 BT MATLAB/Python, lecture 1
Tue 31 Oct 2017, 13:15-15 PM
Wed 1 Nov 2017, 15:15-17 PM
Thu 2 Nov 2017, 10:15-12 PM
Week 45
Tue 6 Nov 2017, 10:15-12 BT MATLAB/Python, lecture 2
Tue 7 Nov 2017, 13:15-15 PM
Wed 8 Nov 2017, 15:15-17 PM Project 1 introduction
Thu 9 Nov 2017, 10:15-12 PM
Week 46
Tue 14 Nov 2017, 13:15-15 PM
Wed 15 Nov 2017, 15:15-17 PM
Thu 16 Nov 2017, 10:15-12 PM Project 2 introduction
Fri 17 Nov 2017, 17:00 Project 1 deadline
Week 47
Tue 20 Nov 2017, 10:15-12 BT MATLAB/Python, lecture 3
Tue 21 Nov 2017, 13:15-15 PM
Wed 22 Nov 2017, 15:15-17 PM
Thu 23 Nov 2017, 10:15-12 PM
Week 48
Mon 27 Nov 2017, 17:00 Project 2 deadline
Tue 28 Nov 2017, 10:15-12 PM Project 3 introduction
Wed 29 Nov 2017, 15:15-17 PM
Thu 30 Nov 2017, 10:15-12 PM
Week 49
Tue 5 Dec 2017, 13:15-15 PM
Wed 6 Dec 2017, 15:15-17 PM
Thu 7 Dec 2017, 10:15-12 PM Project 4 introduction
Fri 8 Dec 2017, 17:00 Project 3 deadline
Week 50
Tue 12 Dec 2017, 13:15-15 PM
Wed 13 Dec 2017, 15:15-17 PM
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 10:15-12 PM
Week 51
Fri 18 Dec 2017, 17:00 Project 4 deadline
Tue 19 Dec 2017, 13:15-15 PM

Course literature:

  • Robinson, E. L.: Data Analysis for Scientists and Engineers. Princeton Univ Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1-400-88306-6, ISBN 978-0-691-16992-7 (paper)

Other suggested reading:

  • Wall, J.V., Jenkins, C.R.: Practical statistics for astronomers. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge 2003. ISBN-13 978-0521-45616-6, ISBN-10 0-521-45616-9 (paper).

  • Press, W.H., Teukolsky, S.A., Vetterling, W.T., Flannery, B.P. (eds.): Numerical recipes. The art of scientific computing. (3rd edition). Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge 2007. ISBN 978-0521-88068-8, 978-0521-88407-5 (with source code CD-ROM).
    The 2nd edition of Numerical Recipes is perfectly serviceable for the course; it is available for free at URL http://www.nr.com/oldverswitcher.html

Examination:

This years take-home exam will be posted on Monday 8th January, 2018. Answers must be handed in by 5pm on Friday 12th January, 2018. Last year's take-home exam can be found here, and the required data files are DeltaPlx.txt and satR.txt. The deadline for submitting answers has passed. Solutions are available here.

For more information about the course grading scheme, see Documents and resources.

Documents and resources for the course

Results of course evaluations:
Autumn 2010
Autumn 2011
Autumn 2012
Autumn 2013
Autumn 2014
Autumn 2015