(Note: Previously I used this page to automatically post solutions to the activities. All of those solutions can now be seen at

At UCSC we host the Lamat Computational Astrophysics REU program.  This is an opportunity for undergraduates to get astronomy research experience, while also gaining computational skills.  They choose advisors from a pool of mentors ranging from observation to theoretical astrophysics, with a mix of graduate student, postdoc and professor mentors. This program is targeted at California community college and transfer students, although all undergraduates are eligible.

To help prepare them for their computational projects, we run a winter “Python Boot Camp” to learn basic programming skills using Python.  In 2016, I was an instructor for this week-long course, designing hands-on activities which showed key functionalities within Python through solving astronomy-oriented problems.  More information on the materials and schedule for the week can be found at the site for the 2016 Boot Camp: