AAS 217, day two

I gave my talk in a session that—being built around the NASA ADAP funding program—contained lots of nice discussion of engineering and code matters. John Moustakas (UCSD) spoke about PRIMUS, which is so impressive I am very proud to have played the tiny, tiny part I did. Gordon Richards (Drexel) showed that you can't reliably measure the accretion rate of a quasar without a lot of multi-band data; every quasar has oddities that make its optical accretion-rate estimate unreliable at the factor-of-few level. He also showed some nice systematics on the broad emission lines, which might be relevant to (or re-discovered by) my work with Hennawi and Tsalmantza on quasar redshifts.

In the afternoon, I met up with Christopher Stumm (Microsoft), in part to catch up and in part to lobby for writing up (for publication in the astrophysics literature) his integration of Astrometry.net into flickr. By performing this integration, he has built one of the most remarkable citizen-science platforms in existence. And he is a team of one!

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