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

1,339 ratings

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 17, 2020

Very Nice course, materials well explained though the programming exercises were very difficult for me, as I did not had that much in depth knowledge of python, for which I had to take additional help


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.

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76 - 100 of 383 Reviews for Data-driven Astronomy

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

Nov 29, 2022

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.


Dec 28, 2021

It is a good course to do for people who have an interest in A&A. The course teaches the use of languages like Python and SQL in the domain of A&A and doing this course, one can start analyzing public databases with this knowledge and contribute to the scientific community.

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.

By vas m

Aug 26, 2020

I found this module a good, for me it was good recap of SQL and python. And introduction to ML, big data and astronomy. Exercises are good to do - they do take some time, to do properly and learn from - some of the ML is more cut and past, using python libraries.

By Intentional_Error

Feb 13, 2021

Both of the lecturers present the information in a clear and concise way. If you are used to using an IDE grok has some drawbacks such as not auto completing brackets and quotes; these are easily overcome though. Thanks to Both the Murphys for this opportunity.

By Michele C

Jul 20, 2022

I really enjoyed this course which gives basic but solid knowledge of astronomy (providing also hints for further resources) and allows anyone having a basic understanding of python what is needed to kick off with machine learning methods! I'm really thankful!

By Barun S

Jun 11, 2020

it is obviously a wonderful course to learn so much about my favourite subjects got good computational skills, Thank you for making this course so easy and understandable, hope I will get more contents like this, Thank you Coursera, thanks to all the faculty.

By Athul

Jun 6, 2020

The course is well defined with clear presentation. From an astronomy prespective, the course provides necessary knowledge for inspiring us to step into data analysis and machine learning. Thank you University of Sydney to host such a course on astronomy

By Nabanita R

Jan 24, 2020

Application consists a lot of basics including using SQL database and programming. This course should be labelled as fundamental. There should another course that emphasises only on the usage and practical applications of ML in astronomical institutions.

By Boris D

Feb 17, 2021

I am an astronomy lover and a programmer, for me this course is the first acquaintance with the work of a professional astronomer. It was very interesting thanks a lot! Could you please make an advanced course with laboratory work from real research? :)

By Maryam A

Sep 17, 2023

Data-Driven Astronomy equipped me with valuable skills and knowledge to explore the universe through a data-driven lens, at my own pace. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in intersection of data science and astronomy.

By Erik v P

Sep 5, 2017

Good introduction course to big data. Some prior knowledge of Python is good to have to make it easier to get through the course, The astronomy part of the course is very interesting. It has changed much since I took university level courses in it.

By Johanna B

Feb 26, 2020

The videos are extremely well-done and contain just the right amount of content for astronomy newbies like me. I really enjoyed the use of Grok. Personally, I don't think previous python knowledge is necessary to successfully complete this course.

By Allan J

Mar 26, 2022

Well constructed course, that is manageable by a variety of skill levels. Some background in machine learning is helpfull but the course consentrates on other data management skills as well. I enjoyed it and will be using it for future reference.

By Jesse S

Aug 30, 2017

Fun, engaging programming-focused assessments with just the right balance of structure and freedom. Diligent mentors such as Magda on the Forums. All embedded in the wonderful content of Astronomy. Good for practising Python and an intro to SQL.

By Manoj J

May 30, 2019

This course is excellent for anyone who loves astronomy and is looking to working in the field .The concepts are conveyed effectively and the assignments are the most important aspects as they teach a lot more than the videos . Its was fun !!

By Avinash C

Feb 10, 2020

This course was very useful and insightful for me. I really liked the programming sets. I did feel that there could have been bit more detailed discussion in Machine learning part. I would really love to do an advance course in this subject.