Topics in Astrophysics 29:235 - Fall
Prof. Philip Kaaret
702 Van Allen Hall
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Physics and Astronomy
DEO: Prof. Mary Hall Reno
Office: 203 Van Allen Hall
Special Topics in Astrophysics is a graduate level course and this
semester will cover extragalactic astronomy. The topics to be
covered will include normal and active galaxies, large scale structure,
the early universe, and cosmology. The course will
assume an undergraduate preparation in physics, but no prior training
in astronomy. The course will include a research project
UI and CLAS Policy and
Lectures are Monday and Wednesday, 1:30-2:45 pm, in room 358 of
Van Allen Hall.
The textbook for the course is Extragalactic
and Cosmology by Peter Schneider, which is available
in electronic form via the UI library.
will be expected to read assigned sections from the textbook
before class and come to class ready to discuss the material. Two
other books are available on reserve for 3 day loan in the library: Galaxy formation and evolution by
Mo, van den Bosch, and White, and How
the first stars and galaxies form? by Loeb.
The grade in the course will be determined from
the problem sets (50%) and from a research project (50%).
Homework will be due at the beginning of class
on the assigned date. Students are allowed to work on the
homework in small groups. However, each student should be sure to
understand each homework problem. Students should feel free to
come during office hours to discuss the homework assignments.
For the research project, students will work in groups of
2. If there is an odd number of students in the class, there will
be one group of 3. Each group will choose a topic in
extragalactic astronomy then analyze data and write a paper
describing the motivation for the analysis, the analysis work done, and
an interpretation of the results. Each group will also give two
15 minute presentations of the analysis work during class.
Questions, directed to particular group members, will be asked during
- Absence from Class: To
make up a class missed for medical reasons, the student must fill out
the "Absence from Class Form" available at the Registrar's Page of Forms
Students. It is prefered that the student go to health
services or see a doctor. If the student does not, then section
5c must be filled out by a person who is not another student.
- Administrative Home: The College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of this course and governs
matters such as the add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option,
and other related issues. Different colleges may have different
policies. Questions may be addressed to 120 Schaeffer Hall, or see the
- Electronic Communication: University policy
specifies that students are responsible for all official
correspondences sent to their University of Iowa e-mail address
(@uiowa.edu). Faculty and students should use this account for
correspondences. (Operations Manual, III.15.2.
- Accommodations for Disabilities: A student seeking academic
accommodations should first register with Student Disability Services
and then meet privately with the course instructor to make particular
arrangements. See www.uiowa.edu/~sds/ for more
- Academic Honesty: The College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences expects all students to do their own work, as stated in the CLAS
Honesty. Instructors fail any assignment that
shows evidence of plagiarism or other forms of cheating, also reporting
the student's name to the College. A student reported to the College
for cheating is placed on disciplinary probation; a student reported
twice is suspended or expelled.
- Making a Suggestion or a Complaint: Students with a suggestion or
complaint should first visit the instructor, then the course
supervisor, and then the departmental DEO. Complaints must be made
within six months of the incident. See the CLAS Student
- Understanding Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment subverts the
mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students,
faculty, and staff. All members of the UI community have a
responsibility to uphold this mission and to contribute to a safe
environment that enhances learning. Incidents of sexual harassment
should be reported immediately. See the UI Comprehensive
Harassment for assistance, definitions, and the
full University policy.
- Reacting Safely to Severe Weather: In severe weather, class members
should seek appropriate shelter immediately, leaving the classroom if
necessary. The class will continue if possible when the event is over.
For more information on Hawk Alert and the siren warning system, visit
the Public Safety web