The course is intended to give a broad background to the computational problems that an astronomer is most likely to encounter. The emphasis will be to develop skills in logical thinking by means of extensive programming exercises, based on astrophysical problems, using Python. Most of the three-hour sessions are devoted to tutorial exercises. Further exercises are provided as homework which will count towards the final mark. The idea behind the course is to instill familiarity with logical thinking and to develop programming skills.
The course does not make use of well-known software packages, but rather seeks to build an understanding of the fundamentals underlying scientific computations. Students will have had a brief exposure to computers and the Linux operating system prior to the course. The course itself will be one module (30 hours), consisting of 10 three-hour weekly sessions.