sagittarius a

Sagittarius A (Chandra)

W 2:00-3:00 · RLM 15.216B · Unique No. 49495


Chris Sneden

RLM 15.312 · (512) 471-1349 (office) 478-2748 (home) · MF 2-3 · email

Courses - Fall '09  |  Course Website

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Tests, Homework



"Who is the program member, and what does he/she do?"


This purpose of this course is to introduce you to our department, to bring you together with fellow astronomy majors and other majors keen on astronomy, to discuss present and future pathways to success in and around astronomy, and to share with you some of the exciting instrumental, observational, and theoretical research of our department. The description of Astronomy 104 given in the Undergraduate Catalog is very clear: Designed for astronomy majors. Discussions about current astronomical research, with different topics emphasized each semester. One lecture hour a week for one semester. May be repeated twice for credit when the topics vary. Offered on the pass/fail basis only. Let's expand on these statements.

Offered on a pass/fail basis only. We want you to enjoy this one credit-hour course; the real academic challenges for you will come in other courses (go study your math!). Therefore it is EASY to do well here; show up for class, participate, and write one simple two-page-limit paper on your contact with a departmental member. Your grade will be based on your attendance and your essay. The attendance part is simple: miss no more than two (2) class meetings beginning with the September 2 class. A sign-in sheet will be passed around each class to verify your attendance. The paper is nearly as painless: I ask you to find an astronomy program member of some flavor (faculty member, post-doctoral fellow, research scientist, graduate student, education specialist, engineer, etc.), read some thing that they have written (research paper, equipment design report, StarDate script collection, etc.), talk with that person until you understand their document, and write a no-more-than-two page essay on that person and your interpretation of their work. One restriction: each of you needs to find a different person to interview.

May be repeated twice for credit when the topics vary. Yes indeed; our general theme this fall will be: "Who am I, and How Did I Get Here?" This somewhat silly title covers my desire for you to be exposed to the quite varied types of people who end up as UT astronomy program members, and their work here. We welcome those of you from past years who have signed up for this course again. Please do note the two-credit limit for the course repetition.

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