Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How much of Computer Science?

  1. Feb 21, 2006 #1
    Hi everyone,
    How much of CS do astronomers need? What kinds of computer programs do they need to be proficient at?
    Anyone has insightful information?
    thank you.
    -:biggrin: -
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Astronomers have been known to write their own small programs to do image analysis, or to simulate orbits or plot data. On the other hand, astronomers rarely spend their time writing large programs which require software-engineering skills.

    Most software used by astronomers is highly specialized, and often custom-written. They use software for photometry, astrometry, image calibration and analysis and so on. Most people have never heard of the majority of these programs.

    - Warren
  4. Feb 21, 2006 #3
    Single quarter/semester courses in C or Fortran will teach you more than enough Computer Science to be able to meet whatever professional needs an astronomer/astrophysicist would face.

    That said, matlab is a wonderful thing to be familiar with as well.
  5. Feb 23, 2006 #4
    Oh, thank you so much Chroot and Franz for the information. I guess I'll have to take in a lot programing stuff this summer. I'll probably study the C's first before matlab.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook