Welcome to BLCAA fall 2017

This is the course website for Basic Linux and Coding for Astronomy & Astrophysics (BLCAA), it is updated regularly. BLCAA is part of the Master of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Universiteit van Amsterdam. Questions about the course can be sent to Thijs Coenen thijs@astroprog.nl or David Gardenier david@astroprog.nl.

We will keep this site up-to-date with the newest information, chapters of the reader and assignments.

Basic Linux and Coding for Astronomy and Astrophysics

The aim of the course Basic Linux and Coding for AA is to to get you up and running in Linux with some basic knowledge of its command line interface and teach you the basics of programming. This course will use the Python programming language (more specifically Python 2.7 which, despite Python 3 being available, is still the most prevalent in research). Python was chosen for its relatively straightforward syntax, its free availability, the wide range of libraries in its eco system. For the fields physics and astronomy in particular, Python provides a large number of libraries for scientific computing and is displacing packages like IDL and Matlab.

The Linux part of our course will teach you some of the backgrounds and commands that you will need to be productive. More specifically:

The programming part of this course aims to teach you the basics of programming in general and programming in Python in particular. Because of the limited extent of this course, we will focus our attention on a practical subset of the Python language --- and test whether you attain working knowledge of that subset. Specifically:

A further more general goal is that you develop problem solving skills using programming tools.

General schedule