(Note: This website is for the Caltech students only. Coursera students should go to the Coursera class page)

Welcome to the Ay 1 - The Evolving Universe!



Please explore the links on the left.



  • May 4: Due to an apparent email glitch, apparently no one knew about my midterm review session today (and so I thought that no one is there because you all know everything, expecting a brilliant performance by all on the midterm). Your TAs may organize extra review sessions. If your regular section is on Thu or Fri, email them and ask them.
  • April 29: The Midterm has been posted. It will be due by 5 pm on Thu. May 7. It is a closed notes test, with no collaboration allowed. You will have 3 hours to complete it, although it really should not take more than 2 hours to do it.
  • April 27: The Midterm will be posted on Wed. Apr. 29. Since you also have a homework due this Friday, we'll extend the midterm exam period (nominally ending on May 5) by a couple of days, so that the Midterm will be due by 5 pm on Thu. May 7. It will be a closed notes test. You will have 3 hours to complete it, although it really should not take more than 2 hours to do it.
  • April 24: Homework #4 has been posted. We decided to increase the size of the homeworks slightly, to compensate for the fact that there is no discussion session on Mondays any more, and that no one has come to the Professor's office hours either. As usual, you can discuss the homeworks with your classmates, but everyone has to do their own.
  • April 23: The class trip to Palomar is a month away, but we are starting to plan now. Please indicate your sandwich preference here.
  • April 21: The section assignments are now well and truly frozen. Please see the Head TA if you have any problems with that.
  • April 21: I will have make-up office hours today, 12:45-1:45 in my office, 374 Cahill. Depending on the demand, I may have more later.
  • April 17: Homework #3 has been posted. It is due on April 24. Enjoy!
  • April 17: I will not have the office hours next Monday, Apr. 20, due to a scheduling conflict. I’ll let you know when the make-up slot will be. In any case, you can always come and see me, but email me first.
  • April 16: The results are in. Instead of the discussion session, I'll have an open office hour in that same time slot, Mon 2-3 pm, in my office, 374 Cahill, unless noted otherwise. You are welcome to come see me at any other time as well, but email me first. You are also instructed to to form your own study groups (if you have not done so already), that will meet on a regular basis for at least 1 h/wk. Human interaction (student-student, student-instructor) is an essential component of learning.
  • April 16: The class trip to Palomar will be in the afternoon and early evening of Saturday, May 23. Please mark your calendars. More details will be posted here.
  • April 16: In order to find a possible alternative time slot for the discussion session and/or open office hours, please indicate your availability here.
  • April 15: The lonely feeling I had at the last discussion hour on Monday is making me rethink the approach. There are several options, which I will email you and post on the Facebook page. Go to this link to enter your choices.
  • April 10: Homework #2 has been posted. And you should start watching lectures 5 and 6 now.
  • April 9: The enrollment for this class is now closed. We appreciate the broad interest, but our sections are now full. You can try again next year, and if you enroll in a timely manner, you'll get in.
  • April 7: Transcripts of the videos are now posted on the Lectures page. We also fixed the bug in downloading the pdfs of the slides. And you should be watching Lectures 3 and 4 now.
  • April 6: (1) All section assignments are now finalized. Please check your assignment, section location, and time on the Times & Location page. (2) You should be well into watching the Lectures 3 and 4 now. (3) Do come to the discussion session today at 2 pm, and bring some questions to ask. There will be a prize for the person asking most questions!
  • April 3: By now everyone should have watched lectures 1 and 2, and you should start watching lectures 3 and 4, and be ready with some questions for our Q&A session on Monday.
  • April 3: Homework #1 has been posted on the Homeworks and Exams page. It is due on Friday, April 10.
  • April 1: There is a thread on our Facebook page for the students looking to trade section assignments. Please help yourself and let the TAs know.
  • April 1: Venues for some of the sections have been changed. Please see the Times & Location page.
  • April 1: There will be sections today and on Friday. Those of you assigned to the Monday sections, please attend one of the Wed/Fri ones at your convenience. Likewise, if you are still trying to change your section assignment, please do attend one. We will not be taking the attendance (this week only), but you'll find the sections useful, in part at least because they will help you with the homework.
  • April 1: The YouTube videos provide subtitles, which are not perfect, but may help. We will post the edited versions on the Lectures webpage soon.
  • March 31: Section assignments have been posted on the Times & Location page (see the link). You can trade slots among yourselves, but you must let both TAs know.
  • March 30: Assignment for this week: watch Lectures 1 and 2. There will be a homework on Friday.
  • March 30: Please use the FB page to give us your feedback, to communicate with your fellow students, ask questions, and post any interesting links that you may have.
  • March 30: Welcome to the class! Watch this space for announcements, etc.