Office: RLM 17.220
Phone: (512) 471-3425
1. Course Description
AST 101L is a laboratory course meant for non-science majors who either are
taking or have taken AST 301. In it you will work in groups to learn more
about some of the experimental and observational topics you have heard and
read about in AST 301.
The class will be divided into groups of 4-5 students. Each group will work
together to carry out three 3-week projects. The groups are selected based on
which nights you have free to do the observing and on which three segments
you want to do most. If you are in the class with 3 or 4 friends, you can choose
to form a group. If you do not make up a whole 4 or 5 on your own, however,
we may choose to split you up.
There is one scheduled class hour each week of the semester. In addition, the
groups will also have to meet at other times to work on the projects. In some
cases, you will need to gain access to restricted equipment; the TA will be
available during certain periods to allow this. At the end of each three week
period, your group will meet with the TA and/or the Prof. to discuss and
evaluate the completed project.
The observational projects will work a bit differently than the others. For
one thing, you will be expected to devote some evening hours to the projects.
Because these projects are so dependent on the weather, they will be scheduled
independently of the 3-week blocks. If your group chooses an observing project
for one of its three, you will need to come to class at one additional time during
the first 3 weeks of the semester to do the prep work. After that, you will need
to carry out your observations on the first clear nights for which your group has
a slot available.
WARNING: It has often turned out in the past that there were entire
three-week stretches without a clear weeknight. You MUST "make hay while
the moon shines" and get your observing done when you can. The upside of
this is that you may be done with this course early. If observing will occur on
a given night, the TA will email the class, so be sure to check your email
For this course, the semester will be divided into three 3-class periods during
which you will work on projects: