|Instructor:||Prof. Leslie Looney||Email:||lwl @ illinois . edu|
|Office Hours:||By appointment|
This course is intended to be a hands-on introduction to the practice of astronomy, including setting up astronomical instruments for CCD imaging and spectroscopy to make analytical analysis of astrophysical problems. Labs will be conducted by small groups (2-3) of students. Because of the diversity of the laboratory activities and the need for good weather for observations, along with the constraint of telescope availability, labs will be conducted by students on their own schedule and in a difference sequence by each group, with some ordering restrictions. There are four groups of labs, and at least one lab from each group must be presented by each student by the end of the semester. Short write-ups (written in the general style of the Astrophysical Journal) will be required for each lab, but for the first three labs they will be short and not referenced. The length of the write up will depend on the lab. See this link for information on the ApJ style.
This course gives 2 hours credit. Students should be seniors with at least one 400-level astronomy courses completed.
There will be no textbook for this course. Students will be provided with a "lab manual" of sorts which describes only the basic principles of the experiments, and some tips on what internet resources, journal articles, and monographs to consult to figure out how to make the experiments work. But on the whole, students will be left to their own devices (of course, with guidance from the professor as needed) so they will have an authentic research experience.
The course will not have formal lectures or discussion periods. Students will work on the experiments on their own schedules, which is necessary due to limited experimental resources and good weather.
Students will be evaluated by a combination of the short reports on the first three labs (70%), a proposal and report for the fourth lab (20%), one HW assignment (2%), and on the student's effectiveness in the laboratory as judged by the professor and their lab partners (8%).
Academic honesty is essential to this course and the University. Any instance of academic dishonesty (including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, falsification of data, and alteration of grade) will be documented in the student's academic file. In addition, the particular report will be given a zero.
Guidelines for collaborative work: although the data and data reduction must be done in groups, each student is expected to do his or her own work and is responsible for their own reports. For further info, see the Student Code, Part 4. Academic Integrity, at http://www.admin.illinois.edu/policy/code/article1_part4_1-401.html.
To insure that disability-related concerns are properly addressed from the beginning, students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations to participate in this class are asked to see the instructor as soon as possible.