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269001 VO Computational Concepts in Astronomy and Geosciences I (2021W)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 26 - Physik


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Lectures will be held online.

Tuesday 12.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 19.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 09.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 16.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 23.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 30.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 07.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 14.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 11.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 18.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

The aim of this course is to introduce students to a range of computational concepts useful in astronomy and geosciences. The course is split into the following topics:

1) Data processing in space instrumentation: Students will gain insight into software dealing with space instrumentation. The lectures explain what software tasks are carried out on board of space telescopes, what algorithms are being used e.g. for data compression and what the challenges in their implementation are. In this context software engineering and quality assurance are also briefly touched.

2) Statistics: students will learn about probabilistic programming languages (PPLs) with the aim of being able to apply these to their data modelling problems. PPLs are modern computational tools for statistical inference. The course will give some background in probabilistic models and discuss various inference methods (e.g. variational inference and varieties of MCMC sampling) and their pros/cons. We will then introduce PPLs with several worked examples on data-modelling problems.

3) Dynamics of stellar galactic and gaseous protoplanetary disks: Students will be introduced to the concept of hydrodynamics, which is ubiquitously used in astronomy, in particular, to describe the evolution of galaxies and protoplanetary disks around young stars. Numerical methods to compute the gravity force of astrophysical objects and the friction force between gas and dust grains in protoplanetary disks will be presented.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written exam at the end of the semester

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

more than 50% at the written exam

Examination topics

Lecture materials (slides, Jupyter Notebooks) and additional information during the lectures

Reading list

see lecture

Association in the course directory


Last modified: Tu 18.01.2022 05:08