Special Joint CS and Physics Colloquium NOTE TIME AND ROOM: The IIC Time Series Center: How Astronomers, Computer Scientists and Statisticians are working together to tackle hard problems in astronomy
New astronomical surveys such as Pan-STARRS and LSST are under development and will collect petabytes of data. These surveys will image large areas of sky repeatedly to great depth, and will detect vast numbers of moving, variably bright, and transient objects. The data product of these surveys is series of observations taken over time, or light-curves.
The IIC has established an inter-disciplinary Center for Time Series with an immediate focus on astronomy. I will present three research topics currently being pursued at the IIC that require expertise from astronomy, computer science and statistics. These are: identifying novel astronomical phenomena in large light-curve datasets, searching for rare phenomena such as extra-solar planets, and efficiently searching for significant events such as occultations of stars by small objects in the outer reaches of our solar system.
Pavlos Protopapas is a senior scientist at the IIC and Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His research interests spans the outer solar system, extra-solar planets and gravitational lensing. He specializes in analyzing large collections of astronomical data, with a toolbox drawn from data-mining, computer science and statistics.