Institute of Astronomy

Part III General Information

It is hoped that as a Part III Astrophysics student, you will feel part of the Institute of Astronomy and will participate in some of the activities that maintain its friendly and interactive atmosphere.

The Institute of Astronomy staff have coffee (and tea) in the Hoyle building foyer from about 11 am. Part III Astrophysics students are invited to enjoy coffee with the staff and postgraduate students, although this may on occasions not be possible given the location and timing of Part III lectures. There is no charge for coffee for Part III Astrophysics students.

Journal Club and Socials
There will be a series of sessions for Part II and Part III students which are designed to build confidence in giving presentations and will also allow socialising between the two-year groups. The sessions are run by enthusiastic PhD students who will offer friendly advice on preparing and giving scientific talks (lecturers do not attend). Further details of these events are to be confirmed.

Public Outreach
The IoA runs an extremely successful programme of Public Outreach on Wednesday evenings. Student participation is welcome. More information will be provided during an introductory session (12:30 Wednesday 5th October 2022), which will be delivered by our Public Astronomer, Matthew Bothwell.

There are several possibilities for lunchtime food provision. Snacks can be obtained on site from the vending machine located in the Hoyle building. Off-site there are several possibilities for canteen style food (CMS, Cavendish Laboratory and Churchill College) and a full range of meals at the Hauser Forum as well. There is also a bread and cheese lunch held on Wednesdays at 12:30pm, which precedes the Seminar.

Part III students are given full access to the Institute of Astronomy Science Cluster, which is based on the Redhat Enterprise Linux operating system. The Science Cluster consists of the desktop computers around the site as well as a number of shared servers. There are also public Linux, Windows and MAC workstations available in the Hoyle Print Room (H30). There are substantial data storage facilities as well as printers and scanners connected at various locations around the site. A wide variety of software is available both for general purposes (producing documents, e-mail, web browsing etc.) and for scientific computing and there is the facility to distribute intensive jobs between computers on the cluster using HTCondor.

A short, compulsory computer orientation course covering practical aspects of Unix and use of the Institute of Astronomy Science Cluster will run in the first two weeks of the Michaelmas term, see online calendar for timetable.

The Institute of Astronomy library holds 8,000 books and 11,000 volumes of astronomical periodicals. Part III students are encouraged to use the library facilities but may not sign out books. If you need any help, ask the Librarian, Mark Hurn, who has an office in the library area in the Observatory building.

Students' correspondence will be delivered via email.

There is a photocopier in the reprographic room (opposite the vending machines), another outside to the right of the stairs to the Sackler Lecture Theatre and one in the main library in the Observatory building. Course-related copying is free of charge. For private copying there is a charge of 3p per A4 sheet.

CMS Facilities
In the CMS, Part III Astrophysics students may use the large Part III Mathematics Room and the associated facilities. More details may be found in the Part III Mathematics Handbook.

Printing at DAMTP
Part III students are given a free allocation of printer credit for use on the PWF-MATHS printers at CMS. PWF-MATHS credit cannot be spent on UCS or college printers. Similarly, credits purchased at the UCS or in college cannot be used at CMS. If you run out of printer credit, send an email to the IoA Undergraduate Office. You may be asked to explain why the standard allocation proved to be insufficient.

Please note that printing facilities are provided solely for academic use. Please use other printers in college or at the UCS for personal use. Note that non-academic use of printers, or unnecessary waste of paper (including large amounts of output left uncollected), may result in a charge being made.

Raven: The University of Cambridge web authentication server.
You will need your Raven password to log in to the Teaching Information System (q.v.), and to access material, such as past examination papers) on the teaching website from outside the domain.

  • If you use the Hermes mail­store, you can get your Raven password here.
  • If you have lost your Raven password, or you don’t use Hermes, contact the University’s IT Support Portal.
  • If you have a Raven password and your login is rejected by the teaching system, contact the IoA Undergraduate Office, providing your CRSID and we will enable your account.

CamCORS: The Cambridge Colleges Online Reporting System
Supervisors use this to report to Directors of Studies and Tutors on the progress of their supervisees, and to claim from the colleges for the supervisions provided. Students can view their supervision reports here directly. 

CamSIS: The Student Information System
Students use this to enter for exams, and (when the results are uploaded) to check their Tripos results.

Moodle: The University’s Virtual Learning Environment used by many departments at the University.
Students will be enrolled on to the Part III/MAST Astrophysics Moodle site by the Undergraduate Office at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term.

All Part III Mathematics lecture courses will also have their own site on Moodle. Students will be able to self-enrol on these Moodle sites at the start of each term. Further information on how to access lecture resources on Moodle will be provided to students at the Part III Mathematics Introductory Meeting (Wednesday 5th October). A recording of the lecture material delivered on any given day is expected to be available via the Moodle site at the latest by the end of that day.

The Teaching Information System (TIS): A web database system run by the Department of Physics. All physics course resources are provided here. Students must register on the Physics TIS in order to receive important emails from the Teaching Office. Failure to do so will result in not being informed about lecture timing changes due to unforeseen circumstances as well as supervision allocation.  If you have any difficulty in registering, contact the IoA Undergraduate Office for assistance.

The University’s Timetable Tool: This allows you to create your own timetable of lectures and add to your own electronic calendar.

Page last updated: 26 September 2022 at 08:16