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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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101 - 125 of 383 Reviews for Data-driven Astronomy

By elliot t

Mar 3, 2024

fun, great way to learn some SQL. The code parts were challenging, not a lot of context to problem solve without the solutions; perhaps adding more function and logic explanations would make it more valuable; but still, a great use of time!

By Scott M

May 24, 2022

Interesting content, great videos that are never too longer or verbose. Nice balance of learning asssessments/quizes and coding expercises. Unique course that does a great job marrying physical science with data science. Highly recommended.

By Akhil P

May 25, 2017

This course has provide me with great insights in the field on Astrophysics. It has really helped in matching my interests in Astrophysics and Machine Learning. Now, I feel confident to play with data from SDSS and Kepler Exoplanet Archive.

By Toivo S

Sep 16, 2017

Amazing course! I learned a lot about astronomy, quasars, galaxies, machine learning, python and the scientific libraries numpy, scikit-learn, scipy, creating programs that are optimised in memory use and that complete in reasonable time

By Md K

May 25, 2021

I'm very happy that i came across this course on Coursera. Even more am I happy that they let me complete this course for free. It showed me how we analyze those tremendous amount of data we receive from telescopes and draw conclusions.

By Fakhrtdinov R

Nov 9, 2020

A very interesting course containing information useful for practical application. I wish there was a continuation of this course, because there are still many questions regarding the processing of astronomical data. It would be great!

By Chirag M

Mar 27, 2020

The course gives a very deep knowledge on the astronomy and also it encourages us to explore ourselves rather than spoon-feeding us. It also gives a good amount of knowledge on application of machine learning in astronomical fields.

By Paulina V

Jul 12, 2019

It is a really well done course, 100% recommended. Simple but with a lot of information to shared. exercises are really well build in order to anyone can understand the main objective (Astronomy and Machine Learning techniques).

By Ashish J

Aug 28, 2019

Overall Great course regarding content delivered and the good thing is they kept it short and straight forward; more interesting exercises and programming would have been really great! Looking forward for more advanced courses!

By Kris S

Jun 5, 2017

Course follows a very intuitive approach to impart modern astronomy knowledge with big data as a backdrop. Good coverage of materials, well-paced programming instructions, eloquently and excellent presentation of written notes.

By Paul L

Jun 1, 2017

An optimal course for the type of learning that I am interested in. The programming assignments had the right level of challenge to keep me engaged with the lecture material. The use of Grok Learning tools was a definite bonus.

By Vaggelis C

May 16, 2018

Excellent training program for people who wish to combine data analytics skills and astronomy! An entertaining 6-week period with really helpful tips and exercises that I will surely keep in mind in my future work! Thank you!

By Adrian W

Aug 31, 2018

Loved the mix of theory and hands-on. Very well balanced. Great learning outcomes. Loved that it went as far as to include simple ML into the syllabus. This has made me want to get back into real computational physics again!

By Jai I

Dec 28, 2020

This was a great course for me, who wanted to start from scratch on data analysis in Astronomy. The scientific concepts of pulsars, stellar classification, galaxy classification were new to me and fun to learn. Thanks!

By Maciej K

Dec 11, 2018

Starting from the basics and going into ml - nice content :) iIloved the idea to solve more interresting problems, not only house-price-predict. I would like to see more of such courses in the future. Thank you :)

By vikalp s

Jan 14, 2023

I would highly recommend this course to students who are interested in astrophysics and computer science and data processing this course helps you learn about astronomy along with data analysis at the same time.

By Sourabh D

Sep 24, 2018

Completed the course 2 days ago. It was an amazing experience of learning. I was overwhelmed by all practical examples and implementations. I would recommend this course to everyone in either astrophysics field.

By Vitthal K

Apr 30, 2022

One of the best courses I have attended. Thank you University of Sydney. I have refreshed by data science skills with python and will exend it further by learning tensorflow, CNN applications to astronomy data.

By Cassio F

Mar 19, 2021

Excellent overview of how big data, data visualization, data analysis and machine learning techniques are applied on science fields like astronomy. Hope I can soon apply all these knowledge myself in a project.

By Tanishqa K

Jun 8, 2020

In the world of big data this course provides a beautiful blend of astronomy and data science. It is very informative and given me a good enough insight in both above mentioned subjects to start exploring more.

By Deleted A

Aug 6, 2017

Well prepared and very informative course. Was very hands on and also didn't require any setup, which allowed to dive right into the problems. One of the best courses I've taken online, staff was very helpful.

By Maksym M

Jun 28, 2017

The course is fantastic for those who want to work in the field of high-energy astrophysics. Many useful skills are taught during the course and many interesting activities are proposed. I highly recommend it.

By Dilip A

Jun 22, 2020

The course was worthwhile, learnt about very different modules application for python. Entered the course with no idea about SQL and machine learning but got through and had an amazing time, solving problems

By Zou X

Jul 22, 2020

This is a brilliant course, you will learn a lot of useful programming skills for python, SQL, and machine learning. It is particularly important in this era of big data, even during scientific researches.

By Stephen S

Jul 1, 2020

Excellent course. I am fairly new to Python and the programming exercises for very good for learning the language. I particularly enjoyed the Grok platform for learning the language. It was easy to use