Discuss the latest discoveries in Astronomy with leading scientists from around the nation. In
this course, the Astronomy Department's weekly professional visitors make simplified in-class
presentations on their research. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the techniques,
significance, and scientific context with both the visitor and the faculty instructor. There will be
both preparatory and follow-up discussion before and after the visit for students to gain a
complete understanding of the context, motivation, methodology, and scientific discoveries
associated with each project presented. ASTRO
420 students will discuss the presentations in the advanced context of the professional scientific
There will be weekly reading from the scientific literature to provide background on the visitor's
presentation, and weekly written homework summarizing the speaker's project: 1) context and
hypothesis, 2) experimental or theoretical method, 3) scientific results. Students also will be
required to choose a follow-up to one of the semester's topics and write a term paper to explore
the science in greater detail than discussed in class. Class participation will be evaluated by
contributions to class discussions. All students are expected to participate in discussion, which
will contribute to the course grade.
Upper-level Astronomy and Physics concentrators and minors, although other students with
sufficient background are welcome.
Two 1.5-hr class sessions with the visitor attending about half of the session on Thursday.