Astronomer's Toolkit

Besancon model of the Galaxy - This web tool will simulate a sample of stars belonging to the Milky Way (including their colors, magnitudes, and velocities) for an input direction and area of observation.

Stellar Evolution Database - This web tool presents a stellar evolution database in a user friendly way. Created by Aaron Dotter while a graduate student at Dartmouth, this is a one-stop shop for both synthetic and empirical isochrones and stellar luminosity functions. These can be generated at a wide range of ages, [Fe/H], [alpha/Fe] in just about any filter you could want. This paper describes the database in detail.

Synthetic Stellar Spectra - This website links to a large library of synthetically generated spectra of stars with a wide range of temperatures, surface gravities, [Fe/H], and [alpha/Fe]. This paper describes this library of stellar spectra.

Computing Stuff
I encourage you to use the set of IDL books in the Observatory computer lab and online help resources. IDl Searchable Help - Look here before you ask me how to use a particular function or procedure, or whether a function exists in IDL to do X.

IDL tutorials I used in 2008 for this class:
Tutorial 1 - including: how to read help pages, basic syntax for math, inline programming vs. procedures, plotting lines instead of points, plotting more than one set of data on the same figure, adding a legend to a figure.
Tutorial 2 - Hess diagrams
Tutorial 3 - Hess diagrams, calculating apparent magnitude uncertainty as f(magnitude).

Making histograms with IDL

Image processing with IDL

UNIX/Linux tutorial that steps you through all of the basics of the Linux operating system and the basic commands.

Related to SDSS
SDSS - the Sloan Digital Sky Survey project.
SDSS Data Release 8 paper. This paper and references therein describes the most recent release of imaging and spectroscopic data available in the SDSS archive in the SDSS website. You will likely need to look at older references to find out the exact photometric depth and precision of the SDSS dataset.

Related to LSST
LSST - the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project
Discover magazine article about LSST LSST from Science Drivers to Reference Design and Anticipated Data Products by Z. Ivezic et al, 2008. This paper describes the imaging data, observing strategy, and science drivers for the LSST project.