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College of Arts and Sciences Syllabus

Course Information

Course Description
An introduction to such topics in astrophysics as the formation, structure, evolution, and death of planets, stars, clusters, galaxies, the universe (Big Bang), and other esoteric objects such as black holes, neutron stars, and quasars. Significant application of physics and mathematics is assumed. 3.0 Credits
MW at 5:40 PM - 6:55 PM, in BBH-237

Faculty Information

Dr. Greg Anderson, Professor of Physics.
Office Hours
Posted here and by appointment in 217C BBH.
Contact Information
Email:, Phone Extension: 5753

Course Materials

Required Textbook
Ryden & Peterson, Foundations of Astrophysics, (Pearson Addison Wesley).
Other Useful Texts:
Other Useful References:

Assignments and Expectations

Goals and Learning Outcomes
The Learning Outcomes for this course are derived from the Physics Program Learning Outcomes which align with NEIU's Baccalaureate Goals.
Time Commitment
For university courses, the universal, standard expectation is that students should spend at least 2-3 hours per week outside of class for every credit hour. For science classes, and for upper division science classes in particular, the "2" above is generally considered to be insufficient. That means for this class you should be spending at least nine hours a week outside of class time reading the text, studying the lecture notes, and doing the homework assignments. Students who do not devote enough time to outside of class study should not expect to perform well on tests and quizzes.
Problem Sets
Weekly problem sets are assigned here. Problem Sets should be completed by the following week.
Paper and Presentation
Each of you will write a paper and give a presentation on an astrophysics topic of your own choosing, subject to instructor approval. The document(s) linked at the end of this sentence contain guidlines for your final paper in PDF. You do not have to write your paper in latex, but if you choose to do so here is the latex file which uses constants.tex. The last two weeks of class are presentations based on your final paper. Each of you will make a 20 minute presenttaion to the class followed by five minutes of questions. You should target your presentation at your classmates and not your instructor.
The final grade will be based on:
Two exams (1/5) + (1/5) + [Quizzes,problem sets] (1/5) + Final (1/5) and a final presentation/paper (1/5)
Any student who achieves a percentile score of above 90%, 80%, 70%, 60% is guaranteed to receive an A, B, C, or D respectively. These percentile scores may be adjusted downwards based on a class curve and other considerations.

Additional Information

Academic Integrity
By enrolling in this course, you are bound by the NEIU Student Code of Conduct (HTML), (PDF).
ADA Statement
Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in making reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. To request accommodations, students with special needs should make arrangements with the Student Disability Services (SDS) office, located on the main campus in room D104. Contact SDS via (773) 442-4595 or
Campus Safety
Emergency Procedures and Safety Information can be found on NEIUport on the MyNEIU tab or at:
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