AY 98hf Junior Astronomy Tutorial


Professor Alyssa Goodman


Office hours, at 160 Concord Ave., Room M-330, by appointment

This tutorial is designed to acquaint students with contemporary astrophysical research, through a combination of seminars on current topics during the fall term, and a research project to be completed during the spring term.

Meetings will be held at Moors 2, at North House every Tuesday during the fall semester. Dinner with the speaker will be at 6 PM. The after-dinner seminar will be held in the same room at 7 PM each week, and should end by about 8:30 P.M. Students will be expected to attend the seminars and participate actively in discussion, as well as do preparatory reading, which will be assigned by each speaker.

During the fall term, students are expected to "scout out" suitable topics and research supervisors for their spring research projects, by meeting with staff of the Center for Astrophysics, and carry out background reading for their project. The spring term will be devoted to work on the student's research project, with frequent consultations with their research supervisor, and the AY 98 professor. Upon completion of the research papers, a day will be devoted to oral presentations of results for all of the members of the Center for Astrophysics.

AY 98hf Research Schedule
October 28 1-page report due about checking into research with CfA staff. Please make an appointment to come see me soon after this, to discuss this report.
November 25 By now you should have selected a research topic and supervisor. Please submit a 1-page report on these activities, including a short description of the project you plan to pursue.
December 16 A research plan should be submitted, signed, and approved by your supervisor. This should spell out the problem to be tackled, list the basic issues to be addressed, describe a plan of attack and a timetable for specific goals, and list the references to be read. You will be asked to present a 5-minute talk to the class on this day, summarizing your selected research problem.
January 2-13 Reading period. Finish necessary background reading, make research plans more specific.

Week of

February 16-20

Please make an appointment to come see me this week to discuss your progress. Please bring as much "evidence" of what you've done as you like. Your background reading should be fully finished by now, and your research should be fully underway.
March 31 Basic research activities, whether observational or theoretical, should be finished. You should be ready to write up your project when you return from Spring Break. A preliminary abstract and outline of your paper are due on this date.
April 21 First draft of your paper should be submitted to your research supervisor for comments and suggestions on or before this date.

Week of

April 27-May 1

20-minute presentation of your research paper to members of the CfA
Week of May 4-8 Final revisions of research paper, incorporating comments from presentation.
May 11 Final deadline. Four copies of your paper should be submitted to the Department office . They will be distributed to: (1) research supervisor; (2) reader; (3) AY 98 professor; and (4) CfA Library. No fancy binders are necessary!

Note: This is a research-oriented course. The grades for the course will be based primarily on the final presentations and papers. However, if a student is delinquent in handing in the short progress reports, etc., this will also be taken into account. There will be no extensions given for the final paper, barring very, very "extenuating circumstances."