This course is designed for astronomy majors and undergraduates who wish to learn basic astrophysics from a quantitative perspective. The course includes an introduction to the physical principles needed to understand astronomical phenomena, such as laws of motion, gravitation, and radiation; astronomical instruments; the structure and evolution of the Solar System bodies; properties of exoplanets; and the search for life. Both lectures and laboratory session emphasize active, team-based learning and problem-solving techniques. The lecture is given by the course instructor. In the associated lab sections, taught by teaching assistants, students use research-grade optical telescopes both on campus and the Iowa Robotic Observatory in Arizona and develop some basic skills in scientific programming. Course grades are typically based on weekly homework assignments, in-class activities and participation, midterm exams, a final exam and laboratory work (including a final observing project).
four years of high school math