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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Data-driven Astronomy by The University of Sydney

1,093 ratings
318 reviews

About the Course

Science is undergoing a data explosion, and astronomy is leading the way. Modern telescopes produce terabytes of data per observation, and the simulations required to model our observable Universe push supercomputers to their limits. To analyse this data scientists need to be able to think computationally to solve problems. In this course you will investigate the challenges of working with large datasets: how to implement algorithms that work; how to use databases to manage your data; and how to learn from your data with machine learning tools. The focus is on practical skills - all the activities will be done in Python 3, a modern programming language used throughout astronomy. Regardless of whether you’re already a scientist, studying to become one, or just interested in how modern astronomy works ‘under the bonnet’, this course will help you explore astronomy: from planets, to pulsars to black holes. Course outline: Week 1: Thinking about data - Principles of computational thinking - Discovering pulsars in radio images Week 2: Big data makes things slow - How to work out the time complexity of algorithms - Exploring the black holes at the centres of massive galaxies Week 3: Querying data using SQL - How to use databases to analyse your data - Investigating exoplanets in other solar systems Week 4: Managing your data - How to set up databases to manage your data - Exploring the lifecycle of stars in our Galaxy Week 5: Learning from data: regression - Using machine learning tools to investigate your data - Calculating the redshifts of distant galaxies Week 6: Learning from data: classification - Using machine learning tools to classify your data - Investigating different types of galaxies Each week will also have an interview with a data-driven astronomy expert. Note that some knowledge of Python is assumed, including variables, control structures, data structures, functions, and working with files....

Top reviews

Sep 10, 2020

Really amazing course! Gave me insights into how data analysis works in the field of astronomy and how one can use different machine learning techniques to classify the huge amounts of data generated.

Feb 28, 2020

Its been amazing to learn about the celestial objects, stars, galaxies. The lectures and quizzes spurred in me to explore new material online. Great hands on exercises in python and machine learning

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51 - 75 of 316 Reviews for Data-driven Astronomy


Aug 19, 2019

Un curso introductorio, de dificultad variable (quizás más duro al principio que al final) muy interesante tanto para enlazar teoría y práctica en el campo de la Astronomía, para iniciarse en las técnicas y conceptos clave del Machine Learning, como para desarrollar o refrescar el pensamiento algorítmico-computacional.

En resumen: MUY BUEN CURSO

By Javier H

Aug 27, 2020

Very good course for anybody, with a knowledge about programming with Python and without them, im a engineering student and i love the modules to plot beautiful variables relation graphics and finding the more important values on a big source of data. Qualified teachers and a interesting application to use Python and learn at the same time.

By H S

Jul 16, 2020

The practical approach really enabled me to learn more. Instead of just lectures and quizzes, the programming problem sets challenged me to properly learn different features of python. Since I am new to programming, I had to use a lot of outside sources to complete the code. I had to engage significantly more with the problems posed.

By Roger H

Jun 14, 2020

Very enjoyable and practical dive into astronomy concepts. I think the machine learning part could have been a bit more advanced but now I understand it is meant to be an intro-level practical tutorial in both machine learning concepts/data science concepts and how they apply to astronomy. In this respect, the course does quite well.

By Amit K

May 19, 2020

The course, video, practice, all are really good. But one who is joining this, really need good python practice and knowledge of astronomy. In the discussion forum it may take some time but reply comes. I’ll suggest for making it better further. It is really awesome. One join the course and take advantage of it. Thank you all.

By Alexei M

Aug 11, 2017

A great place to get hands dirty for those who are interested in how modern astronomy handles and does science with observational data. Good for both amateur astronomers and professionals. I enjoyed the course very much. Impressive is how practical part of programming was made available and worked smooth most of the time.

By Andre R

Oct 1, 2020

One of the best online courses I've taken. Dr. T is an excellent communicator. Course is nicely chunked to make it challenging, yet encouraging. First data science class I've taken in which the datasets are interesting - not simulated, no flower petals or handwriting. Fingers crossed for DL class from these instructors.

By Akash P

Sep 10, 2017

Most of all courses in astronomy and astrophysics are just introduction to subject or provides little advanced theoretical perspective but this is one of the courses which teach us practical astronomy and let us have insights of how astronomers really use physics as well as computers to to get something good out of it.

By Samrat M

Jan 16, 2019

The course was just epic. Anyone who wants to learn about the application of Machine Learning in the field of Astronomy , this course is a must. The activities will be like the instructor is sitting just by your side, and guiding you, which is what any beginner wants to start their journey. The course is just awesome.

By Fausto B D S T

Mar 3, 2021

I just can't thank the staff enough for the effort in making this high quality course available. It was an amazing learning experience.

If you want to learn about some of the most amazing aspects of our physical universe while having fun with python and machine learning, just go for it! It is definetely worth it!

By Egor Z

Dec 10, 2019

Amazing course about the Sky above. Here is python code practice with NumPy and Astropy libraries - very useful for me.

But, I didn't understand that guy, just at the end of 2nd week talking. Little bit boring stuff. I think better to show the beauty of the astronomy data in visual aspect and more (in sound).

By Juanu H

Jan 25, 2019

Besides being a Senior Developer, and Junior Data Scientist, I also am a Self Taught astronomer, and this course has given me a lot of knowledge and insights about astronomy, andways in which I can practice my self learning carrear in astronomy (and maybe astrophysics?) Awesome course! Highly recommended!

By Harshna G

Jul 22, 2020

Such a great introduction course to data-driven astronomy! As someone working full-time the fact that it was only 6 weeks length - meant that it was easy to complete! Tara and Simon are great at explaining concepts and the interactive tool for python/SQL provides real-world example problems! Loved it!

By Ahmad S

Jun 21, 2020

Just AWESOME! I absolutely loved. Great staff, fun syllabus. I'd recommend it to anyone with a CS background seeking a look on how beautiful the universe is (if you're already bored with pop-science videos.) The most surprising thing about the MOOC actually is how integral CS is to modern astronomy.

By Alan S

Apr 19, 2017

A very interesting course, even though I am not an astronomer. Plenty of examples on the use of Python for data handling, ML classification of astronomical objects (sklearn), plus a neat section on RDMS usage (postgresql + python). Many thanks to all at astro-sydney for their help and Coursera.

By pascal l

Dec 15, 2019

I am a astronomy amateur observer - having attended this course provided me a totally different approach to existing image analysis programs - I can now preview what will be the future of pro/am collaborations...

Thanks again for the quality of this course - truly accessible to all.


By Lanz A L

Sep 24, 2020

This is the perfect introductory course for anyone who has a good python skillset and the desire to further enhance this in order to work on leveraging them effectively for astronomy research. Now, I have confidence to finally access the GAIA DR2 database using Python and SQL/ADQL.

By Aura R

Sep 29, 2020

Excellent course!! really interesting and enjoyable. It gives an overview of both data science skills and varied but fundamental astronomy concepts. As a professional astronomer I loved it, and learned a lot about some types of algorithms that are useful in data driven astronomy.

By Harish K

Dec 29, 2020

Very well designed course. Each week/module introduced a specific astronomical question, and then introduced the data analysis tools to answer the question. This allowed the learner to become familiar both with the question and the tool. The Grok platform was also very helpful.

By vishwapriya g

Mar 17, 2020

It is one of the best courses I came across. It summarizes and gives a feel for the data science process and methods along with the flavour of astronomy. The other thing I liked most about the hands-on learning experience. I thank the Instructors and Coursera wholeheartedly.

By Qingxiang C

Jul 18, 2020

This is a very nice course. You can gain some interesting astronomy knowledge as well as data processing technique. I found the median stacking, SQL basics and machine learning implementation modules quite useful. Also you can get some experience on python programming.

By Thiago C L M

Jun 7, 2020

I highly recommend this course from The University of Sidney. It was very well taught, with a good amount of exercises and excellent videos from top-notch researchers. It is a course for everybody, especially data scientists, analysts, astronomers, and astrophysicists.

By José Á F G

Nov 9, 2020

Un curso bastante interesante en donde se abordan de manera paralela temas importante en astronomía moderna y técnicas estándar en análisis de datos. Muy recomendable para los que quieran aprender las bases de análisis de datos a través de problemas reales en física.

By Daniel H

Sep 25, 2020

Data Driven Astronomy course is well paced and the instructors present the material in a way that is interesting and fun. The exercises were useful and at the right level for the course. After each section is an interview with an Astronomer which was very helpful.

By Utkarsh T

Nov 21, 2019

The exposure that I needed just to understand how day-to-day things work in professional astronomy has given to me through this course. I am utterly thankful to all the instructors and their respective team for placing such a great quality education in the market.