Posts tagged ‘survey’

Astroart Survey

Astronomy is known for its pretty pictures, but as Joe the Astronomer would say, those pretty pictures don’t make themselves. A lot of thought goes into maximizing scientific content while conveying just the right information, all discernible at a single glance. So the hardworkin folks at Chandra want your help in figuring out what works and how well, and they have set up a survey at Take the survey, it is both interesting and challenging!

missing data

The notions of missing data are overall different between two communities. I tend to think missing data carry as good amount of information as observed data. Astronomers…I’m not sure how they think but my impression so far is that a missing value in one attribute/variable from a object/observation/informant, all other attributes related to that object become useless because that object is not considered in scientific data analysis or model evaluation process. For example, it is hard to find any discussion about imputation in astronomical publication or statistical justification of missing data with respect to inference strategies. On the contrary, they talk about incompleteness within different variables. Putting this vague argument with a concrete example, consider a catalog of multiple magnitudes. To draw a color magnitude diagram, one needs both color and magnitude. If one attribute is missing, that star will not appear in the color magnitude diagram and any inference methods from that diagram will not include that star. Nonetheless, one will trying to understand how different proportions of stars are observed according to different colors and magnitudes. Continue reading ‘missing data’ »

survey and design of experiments

People of experience would say very differently and wisely against what I’m going to discuss now. This post only combines two small cross sections of each branch of two trees, astronomy and statistics. Continue reading ‘survey and design of experiments’ »

Classification and Clustering

Another deduced conclusion from reading preprints listed in arxiv/astro-ph is that astronomers tend to confuse classification and clustering and to mix up methodologies. They tend to think any algorithms from classification or clustering analysis serve their purpose since both analysis algorithms, no matter what, look like a black box. I mean a black box as in neural network, which is one of classification algorithms. Continue reading ‘Classification and Clustering’ »

[Book] pattern recognition and machine learning

A nice book by Christopher Bishop.
While I was reading abstracts and papers from astro-ph, I saw many applications of algorithms from pattern recognition and machine learning (PRML). The frequency will increase as large scale survey projects numerate, where recommending a good textbook or a reference in the field seems timely. Continue reading ‘[Book] pattern recognition and machine learning’ »

working together to tackle hard problems in astronomy

This is an edited email copy of Colloquium Announcement from Tufts University, MA. A must go for those live in Medford and Somerville, where Tufts Univ. is located and its vicinity.

Subject : Special Joint CS and Physics Colloquium
Title : How Astronomers, Computer Scientists and Statisticians are working together to tackle hard problems in astronomy
Speaker: Pavlos Protopapas
Date : Thursday February 7
Time : 3:15 pm
Place : Nelson Auditorium, Anderson Hall (Click for the map, 200 College Ave, Medford, MA, I think)
Abstract: Continue reading ‘working together to tackle hard problems in astronomy’ »

[ArXiv] Geneva-Copenhagen Survey, July 13, 2007

From arxiv/astro-ph:0707.1891v1
The Geneva-Copenhagen Survey of the Solar neighborhood II. New uvby calibrations and rediscussion of stellar ages, the G dwarf problem, age-metalicity diagram, and heating mechanisms of the disk by Holmberg, Nordstrom, and Andersen

Researchers, including scientists from CHASC, working on color magnitude diagrams to infer ages, metalicities, temperatures, and other physical quantities of stars and stellar clusters may find this paper useful.
Continue reading ‘[ArXiv] Geneva-Copenhagen Survey, July 13, 2007’ »

Photometric Redshifts

Since I began to subscribe arxiv/astro-ph abstracts, from an astrostatistical point of view, one of the most frequent topics has been photometric redshifts. This photometric redshift has been a popular topic as the catalog of remote photometric object observation multiplies its volume and sky survey projects in multiple bands lead to virtual observatories (VO – will discuss in the later posting). Just searching by photometric redshifts in google scholar and provides more than 2000 articles since 2000.
Continue reading ‘Photometric Redshifts’ »

[ArXiv] Bayesian Star Formation Study, July 13, 2007

From arxiv/astro-ph:0707.2064v1
Star Formation via the Little Guy: A Bayesian Study of Ultracool Dwarf Imaging Surveys for Companions by P. R. Allen.

I rather skip all technical details on ultracool dwarfs and binary stars, reviews on star formation studies, like initial mass function (IMF), astronomical survey studies, which Allen gave a fair explanation in arxiv/astro-ph:0707.2064v1 but want to emphasize that based on simple Bayes’ rule and careful set-ups for likelihoods and priors according to data (ultracool dwarfs), quite informative conclusions were drawn:
Continue reading ‘[ArXiv] Bayesian Star Formation Study, July 13, 2007’ »

[ArXiv] Spectroscopic Survey, June 29, 2007

From arXiv/astro-ph:0706.4484

Spectroscopic Surveys: Present by Yip. C. overviews recent spectroscopic sky surveys and spectral analysis techniques toward Virtual Observatories (VO). In addition that spectroscopic redshift measures increase like Moore’s law, the surveys tend to go deeper and aim completeness. Mainly elliptical galaxy formation has been studied due to more abundance compared to spirals and the galactic bimodality in color-color or color-magnitude diagrams is the result of the gas-rich mergers by blue mergers forming the red sequence. Principal component analysis has incorporated ratios of emission line-strengths for classifying Type-II AGN and star forming galaxies. Ly╬▒ identifies high z quasars and other spectral patterns over z reveal the history of the early universe and the characteristics of quasars. Also, the recent discovery of 10 satellites to the Milky Way is mentioned.
Continue reading ‘[ArXiv] Spectroscopic Survey, June 29, 2007’ »

Recent Astrostatistics

In Spring 2006, SAMSI (Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute) program on Astrostatistics began with tutorials, followed by workshops and regular meetings of working groups (Exoplanets, Surveys and Population Studies, Gravitational Lensing, Source Detection and Feature Detection, Particle Physics). Workshop speakers/participants and working group members brought up many statistical challenges in astronomy and physics and had extensive discussions. Summaries and relevant materials are available from the websites (click the links; some materials such as journal papers are password protected).