Students

ASTR7913 – Contemporary Research Techniques in Astrophysics

2022 – Session 2, In person-scheduled-weekday, North Ryde

General Information

Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor and project advisor
Matt Owers
7 Wally's Walk, rm 2.703
By email appointment.
Project advisor
Joanne Dawson
7 Wally's Walk
By email appointment.
Project advisor
Orsola De Marco
7 Wally's Walk, rm 2.706
By email appointment.
Project advisor
Devika Kamath
7 Wally's Walk
By email appointment.
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit will introduce students to fundamental analysis techniques used in contemporary astrophysics. Students will undertake a series of projects in which they will reproduce key recent results from research papers. The projects will span a range of potential topics from radio astronomy, instrumentation, high resolution optical spectroscopy of stars, spatially resolved spectroscopy of galaxies, quantitative structure of galaxies, analysis of large survey data, and computational theory. After completion of this unit, students will possess the skills required to undertake a range of advanced research projects.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: demonstrate the skills required to undertake research across a broad range of topics in astrophysics.
  • ULO2: apply advanced knowledge of fundamental analysis techniques used in astronomy research.
  • ULO3: critically evaluate scientific outcomes in light of applied analysis techniques.
  • ULO4: effectively communicate the results of astronomical research in written and oral form.
  • ULO5: independently solve complex computational and technical problems related to astronomy research projects.

General Assessment Information

For each of the four projects, students will be required to submit a written report that describes the research problem addressed, the techniques used, as well as the outcomes and conclusions. Each report should be submitted by the due date and time. Students will also be undergo an oral assessment for each project. Please note that the time listed against each assessment task is the estimated time required to complete the task in addition to the time spent on the project itself.

Late Assessment Submission Penalty

From 1 July 2022, Students enrolled in Session based units with written assessments will have the following university standard late penalty applied. Please see https://students.mq.edu.au/study/assessment-exams/assessments for more information.

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, a 5% penalty (of the total possible mark) will be applied each day a written assessment is not submitted, up until the 7th day (including weekends). After the 7th day, a grade of '0' will be awarded even if the assessment is submitted. Submission time for all written assessments is set at 11:55 pm. A 1-hour grace period is provided to students who experience a technical concern.

For any late submission of time-sensitive tasks, such as scheduled tests/exams, performance assessments/presentations, and/or scheduled practical assessments/labs, students need to submit an application for Special Consideration

Assessments where Late Submissions will be accepted

In this unit, late submissions will accepted as follows:

  • Project 1-4 – Yes, standard late penalties apply.

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Project 1 25% No Week 5
Project 2 25% No Mid-semester break
Project 3 25% No Week 11
Project 4 25% No Week 13

Project 1

Assessment Type 1: Project
Indicative Time on Task 2: 12.5 hours
Due: Week 5
Weighting: 25%

 

A report containing a written and oral component on the first of four projects undertaken during the unit.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • demonstrate the skills required to undertake research across a broad range of topics in astrophysics.
  • apply advanced knowledge of fundamental analysis techniques used in astronomy research.
  • critically evaluate scientific outcomes in light of applied analysis techniques.
  • effectively communicate the results of astronomical research in written and oral form.
  • independently solve complex computational and technical problems related to astronomy research projects.

Project 2

Assessment Type 1: Project
Indicative Time on Task 2: 12.5 hours
Due: Mid-semester break
Weighting: 25%

 

A report containing a written and oral component on the second of four projects undertaken during the unit.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • demonstrate the skills required to undertake research across a broad range of topics in astrophysics.
  • apply advanced knowledge of fundamental analysis techniques used in astronomy research.
  • critically evaluate scientific outcomes in light of applied analysis techniques.
  • effectively communicate the results of astronomical research in written and oral form.
  • independently solve complex computational and technical problems related to astronomy research projects.

Project 3

Assessment Type 1: Project
Indicative Time on Task 2: 12.5 hours
Due: Week 11
Weighting: 25%

 

A report containing a written and oral component of the third of four projects undertaken during the unit.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • demonstrate the skills required to undertake research across a broad range of topics in astrophysics.
  • apply advanced knowledge of fundamental analysis techniques used in astronomy research.
  • critically evaluate scientific outcomes in light of applied analysis techniques.
  • effectively communicate the results of astronomical research in written and oral form.
  • independently solve complex computational and technical problems related to astronomy research projects.

Project 4

Assessment Type 1: Project
Indicative Time on Task 2: 12.5 hours
Due: Week 13
Weighting: 25%

 

A report containing a written and oral component on the fourth of four projects undertaken during the unit.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • demonstrate the skills required to undertake research across a broad range of topics in astrophysics.
  • apply advanced knowledge of fundamental analysis techniques used in astronomy research.
  • critically evaluate scientific outcomes in light of applied analysis techniques.
  • effectively communicate the results of astronomical research in written and oral form.
  • independently solve complex computational and technical problems related to astronomy research projects.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Students will undertake four guided projects over the course of the semester, each coupled with an academic advisor. Students will be expected to spend one full day per week on their projects, and will consult with the academic advisor in the weekly 2-hour workshops for help with problem solving. The first workshop in Week 1 will involve an introduction to the unit, and to the four projects and academics. The four projects will be computational in nature, so students will require access to either a laptop or desktop computer. There is no required text, and appropriate reading material will be made available by the academic advisors.

Unit Schedule

Students will complete 4 mini-projects throughout the semester (N.B. the below ordering of the projects may change):

  1. Week 1: Unit overview and introduction to the projects (2hr workshop)
  2. Weeks 2-4, Project 1: Resolving the sources of gas ionisation in galaxies using optical spectroscopy. (Mentor: Matt)
  3. Weeks 5-7, Project 2: Understanding stellar collisions using 3D hydrodynamic simulations. (Mentor: Orsola)
  4. Weeks 8-10, Project 3: Kinematics of HII regions using radio interferometry. (Mentor: Jo)
  5. Week 11-13, Project 4: Exoplanet detection using high-resolution spectroscopy. (Mentor: Devika)

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/policies). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Academic Integrity

At Macquarie, we believe academic integrity – honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, fairness and courage – is at the core of learning, teaching and research. We recognise that meeting the expectations required to complete your assessments can be challenging. So, we offer you a range of resources and services to help you reach your potential, including free online writing and maths support, academic skills development and wellbeing consultations.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

The Writing Centre

The Writing Centre provides resources to develop your English language proficiency, academic writing, and communication skills.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Services and Support

Macquarie University offers a range of Student Support Services including:

Student Enquiries

Got a question? Ask us via AskMQ, or contact Service Connect.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes from Previous Offering

Removed project presentation and added oral component for each project. Devika Kamath has come onboard, replacing Christian Schwab.