Saturday, 16 January 2016

Advice to a first year student interested in a career in astrophysics

As first year co-ordinator, I get quite a few emails like the below. Am I doing it right?

Hi David. I would like to pursue a career in astrophysics and have enrolled in PHY1AST. I have enrolled in math subjects such as MAT1ICA, MAT1NLA and MAT1CDE. Are there any other maths subjects I need to enrol in or are recommended?

Hi Slartibartfast,

You don’t need any special maths to do PHY1AST, but you will need lots in order to pursue an astrophysics career. So yes, all the ones you have listed will be useful.

I very much recommend any of these excellent moocs:

Here is a reddit AMA done by the driving forces, Paul Francis and Brian  Schmidt:

In general, the more maths you do at first year, the better- but don't do more than you feel comfortable with. Depth not breadth, and all that. :-)

Best wishes,