Introductory radio astronomy school (9 – 14 December 2014)

With the South African precursor to the SKA, MeerKAT, set to become the most powerful radio telescope in the southern hemisphere, South Africa has the unique opportunity to play a major role in international scientific projects that will undoubtedly make ground-breaking contributions to the field of radio astronomy.

PAPER in the Karoo

PAPER in the Karoo

In order to maximise the benefits that can be derived from building MeerKAT and hosting the SKA, there is a need to develop a critical mass of young researchers that can directly participate in the large-scale science programs proposed for these next generation radio experiments. To address this, we are hosting a 6-day school focusing on introductory radio astronomy. The objective is to provide students with a basic knowledge of core concepts in multi-dish radio astronomy as well as some practical experience of relevant data analysis techniques. The school will comprise of a series of lectures given by leading researchers in radio astronomy.  A significant part of each participant’s time at the school will be spent performing hands-on tutorials with the purpose of reinforcing the knowledge delivered in the lectures. See the programme for details.

Aims of the school:

  • To provide students with a clear understanding of the scientific process and the skills that are required for research in radio astronomy.
  • Impart key analytical and statistical skills, which are widely applicable to scientific research in general.
  • Give students experience of radio data analysis algorithms (such as CASA) and KAT-7 data.

Since no prior formal training in astronomy will be required, this program will accommodate students with a broad range of backgrounds with the hopes of fostering a greater interest among young scientists in astronomy as a research topic and as a career.  Students in their third year of an undergraduate degree or an Honours programme at a South African University in a relevant field (Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science) are encouraged to apply. We have funds to cover the costs of attendance for up to 40 students.