Dr Dustin Lang

It is with tears in my eyes that I report the intellectually exciting and (obviously) successful PhD defense of my friend and student Dustin Lang today at Toronto. It was truly an old-school defense, with a lively debate among the committee (half astronomers and half computer scientists) and the candidate, filled with deep discussion of the problem at issue (Astrometry.net and all its engineering and scientific aspects) and also the problems of the future (roboticising, learning from, and making more principled all of astronomy and the physical sciences). Lang has only scratched the surface of this, of course, but it is a deep scratch he has made. I also learned, once again, even more clearly than ever before, that astronomers and computer scientists have a lot to talk about. The heartiest congratulations are due to Dr Lang.

Later in the day I spoke at CITA, which is just about the liveliest place for theoretical astrophysics in the world.


  1. Congratulations to Dustin and to you. I completely agree with you that astronomers and computer scientists do need to collaborate even more. Astrometry.net is an extraordinary demonstration of this.
    Do you think Dustin's thesis will be made public? It would be an awesome read.

  2. Alberto: Thank you and I agree! Yes, Dustin's thesis will be on the arXiv as a set of papers in the next few weeks; if you want a copy right now, email me or Dustin and we will send you a copy.