ASTRO: Opening Workshop: August 22 – 26, 2016

Application deadline is July 1, 2016.


This workshop will be held at the Hamner Conference Center in Research Triangle Park.


A vast range of statistical problems arise in modern astronomical and space sciences research, particularly due to the flood of data produced by both ground-based and space-based astronomical surveys at many wave-bands. A resurgence of interest in statistical and applied mathematical methods has emerged among astronomers and astrophysicists as they seek insights into the physical phenomena underlying such complex data. Researchers often confront problems for which the common approaches in astronomy either inadequately utilize known methods or require the development of new methods. Although, astronomy was responsible for many important statistical concepts and methods in the past few centuries, in contrast with the biological and social sciences, the statistical needs of physical scientists have been neglected during past decades.

Questions: email

Schedule and Supporting Media

Speakers Bios Titles/Abstracts

Printable Schedule



Monday, August 22, 2016
Hamner Conference Center RTP

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:45-9:00 Opening Remarks Sujit Ghosh, SAMSI; G. Jogesh Babu, PSU Ghosh Babu
9:00-10:00 “Science and Statistics in Time Domain Astronomy and Cosmic Demographics” Tom Loredo, Cornell; Eric Feigelson, PSU Part I Part II
10:30-11:30 “Introduction to Exoplanet Data” Bekki Dawson, PSU PDF
11:30-12:30 “Multidimensional Clustering, Model Comparison, Measurement Uncertainty, Selection Effects etc., in GW” Will Farr, U Birmingham PDF
1:30-2:30 “Transients: Gotta catch ‘em all” Ashish Mahabal, Caltech; Matthew Graham, Caltech PDF
2:30-3:30 “Hierarchical Modeling of Exoplanet Populations” Angie Wolfgang, PSU PDF
3:45-4:15 “Disentangling Overlapping Astronomical Sources using Spatial, Spectral, and Temporal Information” David Jones, SAMSI PDF
4:15-4:45 Panel Discussion Jessi Cisewski, Yale;Sujit Ghosh, SAMSI;Jogesh Babu, PSU

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Hamner Conference Center RTP

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
9:00-12:00 Chair of Morning Session Tom Loredo, Cornell
9:00-10:00 “Separating Stellar Activity from Doppler Shifts” Paul Robertson, PSU PDF
10:30-11:30 “Constructing Flexible Likelihood Functions for Spectroscopic Inference in the Systematics-Dominated Regime” Ian Czekala, Harvard PDF
11:30-12:00 “Using Bayesian Computing to Solve a Complex Problem in Astrophysics” David Stenning, SAMSI PDF
12:00-12:15 Panel Discussion Eric Feigelson, PSU; Jessi Cisewski, Yale
1:15-4:45 Chair of Afternoon Session Jeff Scargle, NASA
1:15-2:15 “Gravitational Wave Astronomy with Ground-based Detectors” John Veitch, U. Birmingham Part I Part II
2:15-3:15 “Pulsar Timing Arrays and Detection of Nanohertz Gravitational Waves” Jim Cordes, Cornell PDF
3:45-4:45 “Characterization of GW Transients” Ben Farr, U. Chicago PDF
4:45-5:15 Panel Discussion James Long, Texas A&M; Justin Ellis, Caltech; Illya Mandel, U of Birmingham

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Hamner Conference Center RTP

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
9:00-12:00 Chair of Morning Session Will Farr, U of Birmingham
9:00-9:30 “Inference for non-Stationary, non-Gaussian, Irregularly-Sampled Processes” Robert Wolpert, Duke PDF
9:30-10:00 An Introduction Computer Model Calibration with an Application to Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics Derek Bingham, Simon Fraser University PDF
10:30-11:30 “Beyond Stationary Gaussian Processes: An overview of model based non-Gaussioan time series analysis – AR, ARIMA, ARfIMA, GARCH, …” Soumendra Lahiri, NCSU PDF
10:30-11:30 “Bayesian Estimates of Time Delays between Gravitationally Lensed Stochastic Light Curves and Time Delay Challenge II” Hyungsuk Tak, SAMSI PDF
12:00-12:15 Panel Discussion Eric Ford, PSU; Jeff Scargle, NASA; Eric Feigelson, PSU
1:15-3:15 Chair of Afternoon Session Eric Ford, PSU
1:15-2:15 “Statistical Challenges in Cosmology” Elisabeth Krause, Stanford PDF
2:15-3:15 “Hierarchical Bayesian Models for Type Ia Supernova Cosmology” Kaisey Mandel, Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
3:45-5:00 Lightning Talks: 2-5-minute talks by participants presenting posters Moderator: Sujit Ghosh, SAMSI
5:00-7:00 Poster Session and Reception

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Hamner Conference Center RTP

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
9:00-12:30 Chair of Morning Session Jessi Cisewski, Yale
9:00-10:00 “Nonparametric methods for Irregularly Spaced Non-Gaussian Spatial Data Analysis” Soumendra Lahiri, NCSU PDF
10:30-11:30 “Time Series Explorer: Bayesian Blocks with Generalized Profiles and in Higher Dimensions” Jeff Scargle, NASA and Tom Loredo, Cornell PDF
11:30-12:30 “Multi-Epoch Source Detection” Tamas Budavari, JHU
12:30-12:45 Panel Discussion Ashish Mahabal, Caltech; Matthew Graham, Caltech; Bekki Dawson, PSU; Will Farr, U Birmingham
1:45-4:30 Working Groups Sujit Ghosh, SAMSI; Jogesh Babu, PSU
2:45-3:45 Working Group I: Uncertainty Quantification and Reduced Order Modeling in Gravitation, Astrophysics, and Cosmology Moderator: Derek Bingham, Simon Fraser
Working Group II: Synoptic Time Domain Surveys Moderator: Ashish Mahabal, Caltech
Working Group III: Time Series Analysis for Exoplanets & Gravitational Waves: Beyond Stationary Gaussian Processes Moderator: Ben Farr, University of Chicago
Working Group IV: Population Modeling & Signal Separation for Exoplanets & Gravitational Waves Moderator: Eric Ford, PSU
Working Group V: Statistics, Computation, and Modeling in Cosmology Moderators: Joe Guinness, NCSU / Elisabeth Krause, Stanford
4:30-5:00 Discussion

Friday, August 26, 2016

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
9:00-10:00 Wrap-up and Formation of Working Groups
10:00-12:00 Initial Working Group Meetings