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For a full description of courses, including prerequisites, see the registrar's course catalog.

For majors

AST 207: The Science of Astronomy
In-depth study of one topic in astronomy with emphasis on key discoveries. Topics may be cosmology, the solar system, and the life of stars.
AST 208: Planets and Telescopes
Origin and nature of the solar system. Planets of the solar system and other star systems. Determination of time and celestial coordinates. Astronomical instruments and observational methods.
AST 304: Stars
Physical processes that determine the structure and evolution of stars. Observations of stars and star clusters. Spectra of stars.
AST 308: Galaxies and Cosmology
The Milky Way. Structure and content of galaxies. Active galaxies and quasars. The expanding universe. Modern cosmological models.
AST 410: Senior Thesis
Design and execute an original experiment or computation. A written and oral report of the research is required.

For non-majors

AST 101: The Celestial Clockworks
Relationship between ancient skylore and timekeeping. Establishment of a calendar and celestial navigation. Development of the Greek horoscope as a time recorder and coordinate system.
ISP 205: Visions of the Universe
Role of observation, theory, philosophy, and technology in the development of the modern conception of the universe. The Copernican Revolution. Birth and death of stars. Spaceship Earth. Cosmology and time.
ISP 205L: Visions of the Universe Laboratory
Observations of the sky, laboratory experiments, and computer simulations exploring the development of the modern conception of the universe.

Selected Teaching Awards


Faculty Teaching Prize (2015)

Lilly Teaching Fellowship (2010)

Ronald W. Wilson Endowed Teaching Award for teaching Integrative Studies (2008)

Teacher-Scholar Award for contributions to research and teaching (2006, 2018)

Undergraduate Teaching Award (2018)


Outstanding Teaching Assistant (2012, 2014, 2015)

Thomas H. Osgood Teaching Award (2013, 2015)