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Computational Astrophysics


Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lecture 3

Lecture 4

Lecture 5

Lecture 6

Supplement 1

Supplement 2





Matlab Introduction

Project 2

Project 3

Feedback from 2012 can be found here

2012 overall summary marks were 2 excellent, 1 very good, 2 good and 3 no replies

Feedback from 2013 can be found here

2013 overall summary marks were 2 excellent, 2 very good, 1 good and 1 fair

Feedback from 2014 can be found here

2014 overall summary marks were 4 very positive, 3 positive, 1 neutral

Please see the main faculty pages for later feedback summaries.

COMPUTE Lectures

Lectures 14 and 15

Fortran code

Teaching Philosophy

My primary goal as a teacher or supervisor is to convey a deep understanding and appreciation of the physical sciences and their applications. An ideal program at a research institution includes significant one-on-one interactions between faculty members, researchers and students, in addition to research excellence. An undergraduate education in science and mathematics can begin fruitfully in a classroom setting, but other learning experiences such as individual research projects and seminars geared explicitly towards students are essential. At the graduate level, it is very important to involve Doctoral and Masters students not only in their own personal research, but also in other facets of the department's academic environment such as conferences, seminars and undergraduate education.

As computational research often involves writing complex computer programs, it is essential to introduce students to the basics of computing. This can be done with a number of packages, for example, Matlab is widely used to quickly model algorithms and contains powerful graphics capabilities, which allow students to visualise their results. Similarly, Mathematica is very useful for numeric and symbolic computation. In addition, it is essential that students learn to implement algorithms in at least one of the widely used computer languages, such as Java, C/C++ or Fortran. I believe that this hands-on experience of implementing numerical methods will prove invaluable for graduates when finding employment.

In advanced courses, I believe that students learn the course material more effectively when it is combined with projects rather than just examinations. Ideally, I would like to assign projects - tying together the material covered throughout the course - so that students can explore the course curriculum in greater detail than they could with a traditional timed exam. Assignments force students to review relevant background material (covered explicitly in the course) in order to successfully complete a project.

It may be more difficult to supplement less advanced courses with projects. Nevertheless, project work at this level is important as students often find the basics dull. By setting project assignments, I hope to allow students to discover for themselves that science and mathematics are rather exciting. For example, projects at this level might involve conducting a historical review of the work of an astronomer, physicist or mathematician. Discovering how and why a particular branch of science was first developed can leave an enduring impression and, ultimately, a strong interest in the subject. Finally, involving more advanced undergraduates in exciting research projects is important. To contribute to a research program and see your efforts being used and published can give a great deal of satisfaction and may attract undergraduates to pursue further education.

Lund Observatory, Box 43, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Visiting address: Sölvegatan 27
Phone: +46 46 22 21 573, Fax: +46 46 22 24614
Last updated: August 27, 2010

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