Posts tagged ‘2008’

“Thanks to Henrietta Leavitt”


The CfA is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Cepheid period-luminosity relation on Nov 6, 2008. See for details.

[Update 10/03] For a nice introduction to the story of Henrietta Swan Leavitt, listen to this Perimeter Institute talk by George Johnson:

[Update 11/06] The full program is now available. The symposium begins at Noon today.


Contact has been re-established with XMM-Newton. Continue reading ‘Whew’ »

SLAC Summer Institute

A GLAST-related opportunity: A Summer Science Institute at SLAC on Cosmic Accelerators is scheduled for August 4-15 in anticipation of GLAST science, and the co-directors welcome participation by students, postdocs, and researchers (even those with no background in astrophysics). The registration deadline is July 31. Continue reading ‘SLAC Summer Institute’ »

Google Sky

For people in the Boston area, a cornucopia of talks on Google Sky in the near future.

  1. Hunting for Needles in Massive Astronomical Data Streams
    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 4pm
    Room 330, 60 Oxford St.
    Ryan Scranton, Google Sky Team
  2. Inside Google Sky
    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8pm
    Room 105, Emerson Hall
    Andrew Connolly, Google Sky Team
  3. Sky in Google Earth
    Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 1pm
    Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden
    Alberto Conti & Carol Christian, STScI

AstroStatistics School in India

From Prajval Shastri of IIAp comes news of the sequel to last year’s Astrostatistics school at Kavalur, India:

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics and the Center for Astrostatistics, Pennsylvania State University (USA) are jointly organising an 8-day school in fundamental statistical inference as applicable to astrophysical problems during 9-16 July, 2008 ( The school is intended for practising astrophysics researchers at all levels. Details may be found on the website of the school.

Continue reading ‘AstroStatistics School in India’ »

AstroStat special session at HEAD

The High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society will meet at Los Angeles on March 31 – April 3, and we have been allocated a slot for an AstroStatistics session. It will be a 60-minute lunch-time session, so we anticipate that the session will be dominated by poster haikus and panel discussions similar to the workshop we held during the New Orleans meeting in 2004.

The meeting website is at: abstract submission deadline is January 25, 2008 (now past, but late abstracts are not unheard of among astronomers).

If you are attending the meeting, and plan to present posters or talks that deal with astrostatistical methods or techniques, we welcome you to participate in this session. When you submit an abstract, be sure to indicate a category of “Other” and in the comments field state that it belongs with the AstroStatistics special session.If you have questions, please contact Aneta or me. There is also a page for this session on the astrostat google groups site.

Update (1/22): The abstract submission page currently says that only one abstract is allowed per person. We have been informed that this is incorrect, and that people can submit two abstracts, one for the special session and one as a regular contribution. Note that posters will be up only one day, and those associated with a special session will be put up the day of the session.

Update (1/26): A detailed program is not yet available, but here is a description of the session:

Astrostatistics: Methods and Techniques

This session will provide a forum for the discussion and presentation of statistical challenges in high energy astrophysics, highlighting the great deal of progress that has been made in methods and techniques over the past decade. The one hour session will cover the current and future directions in Astrostatistics, and will include a discussion of MCMC methods in the context of specific applications (such as propagating calibration errors, defining the significance of image features, etc.); a discussion of standardized methods for computing detection limits, upper limits, and confidence intervals for weak sources; and hypothesis testing and its limitations (including the significance testing of emission lines).

Update (2/19): We have been allocated the mid-day slot of March 31. The session will run from 12:30pm till 1:30pm2pm. The tentative program is as follows:

  • Remarks on current and future trends in AstroStatistics, by Eric Feigelson
  • Poster haiku
  • F-Test theory and usage, by David van Dyk
  • Discussion on MCMC techniques, led by Andy Ptak

Update (2/26): The final program is out, and the AstroStat session is scheduled for 12:30pm-2pm at the Museum/Bunker Hill Room.

Update (4/1): The talks and posters associated with the AstroStat special session are now online at Additional comments and descriptions will be archived there.