Chevron Left
Back to Data-driven Astronomy

Data-driven Astronomy, The University of Sydney

4.8
357 ratings
102 reviews

About this Course

Science is undergoing a data explosion, and astronomy is leading the way. Modern telescopes produce terabytes of data per observation, and the simulations required to model our observable Universe push supercomputers to their limits. To analyse this data scientists need to be able to think computationally to solve problems. In this course you will investigate the challenges of working with large datasets: how to implement algorithms that work; how to use databases to manage your data; and how to learn from your data with machine learning tools. The focus is on practical skills - all the activities will be done in Python 3, a modern programming language used throughout astronomy. Regardless of whether you’re already a scientist, studying to become one, or just interested in how modern astronomy works ‘under the bonnet’, this course will help you explore astronomy: from planets, to pulsars to black holes. Course outline: Week 1: Thinking about data - Principles of computational thinking - Discovering pulsars in radio images Week 2: Big data makes things slow - How to work out the time complexity of algorithms - Exploring the black holes at the centres of massive galaxies Week 3: Querying data using SQL - How to use databases to analyse your data - Investigating exoplanets in other solar systems Week 4: Managing your data - How to set up databases to manage your data - Exploring the lifecycle of stars in our Galaxy Week 5: Learning from data: regression - Using machine learning tools to investigate your data - Calculating the redshifts of distant galaxies Week 6: Learning from data: classification - Using machine learning tools to classify your data - Investigating different types of galaxies Each week will also have an interview with a data-driven astronomy expert. Note that some knowledge of Python is assumed, including variables, control structures, data structures, functions, and working with files....

Top reviews

By GM

Jun 30, 2017

Great course with a good balance of code and the rewards to be had from understanding how the code works - proved to be an excellent introduction to Astronomy and confidence builder in Python.

By JM

Jul 15, 2017

One of the best courses I've done on Coursera. Just enough astronomy to understand the problems, and then go into the exercises in a step by step way, building up complexity. Couldn't stop!

Filter by:

99 Reviews

By Sara Doan

Apr 08, 2019

Fantastic! I learned a lot. The exercises were really interesting!

By Richard Osseweyer

Apr 01, 2019

Perfect to brush up my Python skills while studying a fascinating subject!

By Daniel Nájera

Mar 20, 2019

very good course, with clear technical explination and interesting

By Mark Murray

Mar 18, 2019

Interesting, engaging and informative!

By miguel andrade

Mar 09, 2019

Fue un excelente curso , me ayuda mucho para poder intentar el procesado de unos catalogos de galaxias en especial la parte del machine learning aplicado

By Michael West

Mar 08, 2019

This is a very well organized, interesting, and, quite frankly, fun class. I especially liked being able to do hands-on exercises in Python.

By Atul Nanal

Feb 09, 2019

What I liked about the course was the graded programming assignments, which help to introduce a person to machine learning techniques and other problems in astronomy data processing. Being a physics student by formal education and a star gazer too, I am familiar with the theory but was always curious about how to they measure distances, how do they measure red-shifts etc when the distant galaxies are themselves so faint. This course helped me understand these stuff....

By Behzad Bojnordi Arbab

Jan 27, 2019

Very professional, very productive

By Juan Manuel Haedo

Jan 25, 2019

Besides being a Senior Developer, and Junior Data Scientist, I also am a Self Taught astronomer, and this course has given me a lot of knowledge and insights about astronomy, andways in which I can practice my self learning carrear in astronomy (and maybe astrophysics?) Awesome course! Highly recommended!

By Abdul Aziz

Jan 22, 2019

Excellent presentation and delivery method by the instructors and very good course content. Highly recommend it anyone curious about Universe and to understand it better!