.Astronomy 5

September 16-18, 2013

Venue: New England Research & Development Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Local Organisers: August Muench, Jenine Humber, Alyssa Goodman, José Galache, Louise Rubin, Sarah Block, Alberto Pepe.

Summary: The Seamless Astronomy group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will be hosting .Astronomy 5 at Microsoft Research’s beautiful NERD Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We aim to host 50 attendees for a three-day event conference, unconference and hack day all about astronomy online!

Live streaming: Youtube Ustream

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About MSR NERD: 

The Microsoft New England Research & Development Center (NERD) is a research and software innovation campus located in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The NERD vertical campus spans two buildings with its primary presence and conference center located at One Memorial Drive and a recently renovated and expanded space located at One Cambridge Center. NERD is home to some of Microsoft’s most strategic teams including Microsoft Research New England, Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), SharePoint Workspace, Microsoft Technical Computing, Microsoft Advertising, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Office 365 and more. NERD has become a hub of activity for the local tech community and has hosted more than 900 events and welcomed more than 80,000 visitors during the past three years.


Time Mon 16th Tue 17th Wed 18th
9:45 Welcome Hack Day Intros Hack Summary
10:00 Stuart Lynn Hack Day Intros Hack Summary
10:30 Elisabeth Newton Hack Day Intros Coffee
11:00 Coffee Coffee Laura Trouille
11:30 Curtis Wong Hack Day Amy Robinson
12:00 David Hogg Hack Day Amanda Bauer
12:30 Lunch Hack Day Lunch
13:30 Unconference Lunch Unconference
14:15 Unconference Hack Day Unconference
15:00 Coffee Hack Day Coffee
15:30 Unconference Coffee Unconference
16:15 Unconference Hack Day Unconference
17:00 Regroup Hack Day Regroup
17:30 Alberto Accomazzi Hack Day Tony Hey
18:30 Hack Day Dinner and
Late Hack Day Wrapup

Monday’s Talks

A Smarter ZooniverseStuart Lynn, Zooniverse
Abstract: Until now most Zooniverse projects have treated all citizen scientists, and subjects they classify, on an even footing. While this is a nobly egalitarian situation it doesn’t reflect the range of peoples abilities and the range of task difficulties. I will talk about ongoing ways in which we are trying to understand our users in real time and how we use that information to increase efficiency, encourage learning and make the Zooniverse a better experience for everyone.

Astronomy Blogging and AstrobitesElisabeth Newton, Harvard
Abstract: The founding and dramatic growth of Astrobites has been key component of my graduate school career. I will talk about the origins and organization of Astrobites as well as its current readership. Beyond the blog itself, Astrobites has been my induction into the world of astronomy online. I will present the results of two surveys aimed at learning how the (less than) average astronomer interacts with the online community. I will discuss how we follow blogs, how often we read blog posts, and how blogging savvy the (also less than) average astronomy graduate student is.

Outreach and Learning with Astronomy Data VisualizationCurtis Wong, Microsoft Research
Abstract: WorldWide Telescope was launched in 2008 with interactive guided tours that were designed to easily enable the creation of narrated interactive movies through the rich visual 3D environment for didactic learning. Since that time WWT has integrated the ability to import large spatial temporal data sets which can be plotted on the Earth or other reference frames in space to allow for rich interactive data visualization over time. This new capability can extend the didactic learning with access to data to allow for learning process that are closer to traditional scientific discovery based on hypotheses followed by exploration and data driven analysis and discovery.

Crowdsourcing a High Dynamic-Range Image of the Entire Night SkyDavid Hogg, NYU
Abstract: The sum total of astronomical information contained in snapshots and amateur astro-photographs is almost certainly enormous. I discuss ways we might obtain, combine, and scientifically benefit from the data in this rich source. I also discuss some possible implications for citizen science and large-scale astrophysics projects.

The dotAstrophysics Data SystemAlberto Accomazzi, SAO
Abstract: As Virtual Observatory efforts and funding are scaled back in the US and elsewhere, we should reconsider the role that a literature repository such as ADS plays in the research workflow of astronomers, librarians, and archivists. In addition to the full-text of the major astronomy papers, the ADS has now in its archive descriptive metadata for a rich set of research content which includes articles, observing proposals, facilities, Vizier catalogs, and links to objects, data, software, and funding sources. I will discuss how we are able to extract some of this information from the text, aggregate it with external resources, and expose it to our users via our new search engine and API. I will highlight what we are doing to allow external curators and developers to use ADS as a discovery platform and how their metadata can be integrated back into our system.

Wednesday’s Talks

An Experiment in Supporting the Public in Research & Publishing ResultsLaura Trouille, The Adler Planetarium and Northwestern University
Abstract: In this talk we present the in-progress results of an ongoing experiment in collaborative research and article writing within the citizen science context. Beginning July 18th and continuing today, astronomers and the Zooniverse team are running Galaxy Zoo Quench (quench.galaxyzoo.org), investigating the mechanism(s) that recently and abruptly shut off star formation in a sample of post-quenched galaxies. Through this project, the public has the opportunity to experience the entire process of science, including galaxy classification, reading background literature, data analysis, discussion, debate, drawing conclusions, and writing an article to submit to a professional journal. The discussion will focus on how to leverage online tools to authentically engage the public in the entire process of science.

EyeWireAmy Robinson, EyeWire
Abstract: If we want to understand how the brain works, we need to map one. But it takes a researcher over 50 hours to reconstruct just one neuron — and there are over 80 billion neurons in every human brain. To tackle this monumental challenge, Seung Lab at MIT did the natural thing and drew inspiration from Angry Birds. We’re harnessing the power of gamers. EyeWire, a game to map the brain, launched in December 2012 and has since grown to over 80,000 people from 130+ countries who together are deciphering the mysteries of neural information processing.

Communication Strategies: How do you Organize a Party in Space? You PlanetAmanda Bauer, Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO)
Abstract: So you want to engage the community, inspire students, promote your research, and/or advertise your brilliant web-based innovation so more people use it. How can you do this? What are the best ways to promote your project? And maybe most importantly, how do you measure your impact so you can report your successes and seek further financial support? First, you define a communication strategy, and then you use all the tools available to you to achieve those goals. I will discuss ways to go about doing these things.

The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific DiscoveryTony Hey, Microsoft Research
Abstract: There is broad recognition within the scientific community that the emerging data deluge will fundamentally alter disciplines in areas throughout academic research. A wide variety of scientists—biologists, chemists, physicists, astronomers, engineers – will require tools, technologies, and platforms that seamlessly integrate into standard scientific methodologies and processes. “The Fourth Paradigm” refers to the data management techniques and the computational systems needed to manipulate, visualize, and manage large amounts of scientific data. This talk will illustrate the challenges researchers will face, the opportunities these changes will afford, and the resulting implications for data-intensive researchers.


Name Affiliation Twitter
Adam Ginsburg University of Colorado-Boulder @keflavich
Adrian Price-Whelan Columbia University @astrodrian
Alasdair Allan Lots @aallan
Alberto Accomazzi Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @aaccomazzi
Alberto Pepe Harvard/Authorea @albertopepe
Alex Viana STScI @AlexVianaPro
Alyssa Goodman Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @aagie
Amanda Bauer Australian Astronomical Obs. @astropixie
Amit Kapadia Zooniverse/Adler @amitinho
Amy Robinson Eyewire @AmyLeeRobinson
Anais Rassat Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne @anaisrassat
August Muench Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @augustmuench
Brooke Simmons University of Oxford @vrooje
Carolina Ödman hack4dev @carolune
Chris Beaumont Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @BeaumontChris
Chris Lintott Oxford/Zooniverse @chrislintott
Christopher Erdmann Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @libcce
Cliff Johnson University of Washington @lcjohnso
Curtis Wong Microsoft Research eScience @worldwidewong
Dan Foreman-Mackey New York University @exoplaneteer
Darren Croton Swinburne University @darrencroton
David Condon WGBH/NOVA/NOVA Labs @theNOVALabs
David W Hogg New York University @davidwhogg
Demitri Muna Ohio State University @scicoder
Doug Roberts Microsoft Research/Northwestern
Elisabeth Newton Harvard University @astroellie
Erik Tollerud Yale University @eteq
Erin Braswell Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @erinbspace
Geert Barentsen University of Hertfordshire @GeertMcTwit
Grant Miller Oxford/Zooniverse @mrniaboc
James Allen University of Sydney @j_t_allen
Jenine Humber Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
Jeyhan Kartaltepe NOAO @jeyhan
John Johnson Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @astrojohnjohn
Jonathan Fay Microsoft Research @astrojonathan
Jose Luis Galache Minor Planet Center/CfA @JLGalache
Joseph Harrington University of Central Florida
Joshua E Peek Columbia University @joshuaegpeek
Kaylea Nelson Yale University @kaylea_nelson
Kelle Cruz Hunter College/AMNH @kellecruz
Ken Hudson Independent @shareastronomy
Kevin Govender IAU astro4dev @govender
Kyle Willett University of Minnesota @kwwillett
Laura Trouille Adler/Northwestern @windycityastro
Louise Rubin Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @louiserubin
Markus Pössel Haus der Astronomie @mpoessel
Matthew Sottile Galois Inc. @mjsottile
Michelle Borkin Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @michelle_borkin
Nathan Sanders Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @astrobites
Niall Deacon MPIA Heidelberg @nialldeacon
Nicole Gugliucci Southern Illinois @noisyastronomer
Omar Laurino Harvard-Smithsonian CfA @OmarLaurino
Patricia Udomprasert Harvard/WWT Ambassadors @WWTAmbassadors
Renee Hlozek Princeton University @reneehlozek
Robert Simpson Oxford/Zooniverse @orbitingfrog
Roy Gould Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
Roy Kilgard Wesleyan @rkilgard
Ruth Angus University of Oxford @RuthAngus
Sarah Block Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
Sarah Horst University of Colorado-Boulder @planetdr
Sarah Kendrew University of Oxford @sarahkendrew
Sebastian Seung Eyewire @SebastianSeung
Stuart Lynn Zooniverse/Adler @stuart_lynn
Thomas Boch CNRS – Observatoire de Strasbourg @bochthomas
Thomas Robitaille MPIA Heidelberg @astrofrog
Tim Staley University of Southampton @YossariansLife
Vanessa Moss University of Sydney/CSIRO @cosmicpudding
William Silversmith Eyewire @willsilversmith