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ASTR 427 METHODS OF COMPUTATIONAL ASTROPHYSICS

This is a hands-on course to learn methods for numerically
solving problems that arise in astrophysics. Some programming
experience is required. Teaching programming is not the primary goal,
nevertheless it is hoped that techniques for writing and debugging
programs will be a useful side effect.

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Reference Texts

*Numerical Recipes* by Press et al. (3rd edition is
best, but earlier editions are OK)
For tips on good practices for writing scientific software, I
recommend *Writing Scientific Software: A Guide to Good Style* by
Oliveira and Stewart. This book is somewhat language neutral. For a
book that specifically focusses on object oriented C++ (not what I
recommend for this course), I
suggest *Scientific and Engineering C++: An Introduction with
Advanced Techniques and Examples* by Barton and Nackman.
I also have a
Coding
Guidelines document for a large C++ project I work on; it
includes links to other style guides.
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Topics

- Interpolation and extrapolation
- Integration
- Ordinary Differential Equations
- Linear Algebra
- Root Finding
- Optimization
- Monte-Carlo methods
- Data structures and algorithms
- Parallel techniques

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Evaluation

The grades will be entirely based on 5 programming assignments. Correctness of
results, program performance, and readability will be used as grading
criteria.
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Learning Goals/Objectives:

The student will understand performance issues and limitations of
floating point arithmetic on computers.
The student will be able to express and solve several types of
astrophysics calculations within a computer program.

The student will have skills to assess correctness of computed results.

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Homeworks

Paper copies are OK, but assignments must be turned in electronically,
preferably via email to the instructor's address below.
Github repositories are also welcome. My github
handle is trquinn.

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Hyak GPU node access:

For general Hyak access for UW undergraduates, see the
Research Computing Club website.
For instructions specific to GPU usage, see the Hyak GPU HOWTO
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Instructor Contact Information

Office: PAB 380, email: trq@astro.washington.edu, phone: 206-685-9009, and fax: 206-685-0403