Hamilton Amateur Astronomers: Astronomically Big Data with Pauline Barmby

Pauline Barmby
Friday, April 7, 2017 -
7:30pm to 9:30pm

This talk will focus on the past, present, and future of big data in astronomy. “Big data” is the hot new thing in finance, health care, advertising and more. But as one of the first observational sciences, astronomy has been dealing with big data for thousands of years. New and imminent facilities for capturing and storing astronomical observations will lead to what some call the “tsunami of data” in astronomy. Techniques like machine learning and citizen science are needed to get the most science out of these enormous datasets. Pauline Barmby will tell you about how big our big data in astronomy really is, and about some of the discoveries that it has enabled.

Pauline Barmby is an associate professor in Western’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and associate dean (graduate and postdoctoral studies) in Western’s Faculty of Science. She received her BSc in Physics and Astronomy from UBC (1995) and her PhD in Astronomy from Harvard University (2001). Barmby’s research uses telescopes all over the world and in space to capture detailed images of nearby galaxies to determine how their stars, gas, dust, and black holes affect each other. She is interested in the use of computer data-mining techniques and community-developed software to facilitate knowledge extraction from astronomical data. She received the Faculty of Science’s Florence Bucke Prize in 2014. Her non-astronomical interests include knitting, curling, and running.

Door Prizes
There will be a draw for door prizes at the meeting and a free door prize ticket to all who arrive before the 7:30 start time!

Food Share Donations
Donations of non-perishable food for the Hamilton Food Share program will be collected at this meeting. Please drop off any items at the drop-box located near the entrance of the auditorium. All donations are gratefully accepted. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve collected thousands of pounds of food since we began. Let’s keep up the great work as the need continues.

Who can attend: Everyone
Fee: Free
Reservations: Not required
Organized by: Hamilton Amateur Astronomers
Location: The Hamilton Spectator, 44 Frid Street, Hamilton, ON  L8N 3G3 (near the junction of Highway 403 and Main St. West)