dotAstronomy day two

There were nice talks in the morning showing off some great and useful astrophysics-related engineering. One highlight for me was Thomas Robataille (Harvard) showing off new ADS-related awesomeness. He mentioned the point that interfacing with ADS through command-line tools improves repeatability. Amen to that! Another highlight for me was Thomas Boch (CDS) showing off the next generation of insane CDS tools.

The afternoon was "Hack Day". Phil Marshall proposed that we make AstroTaches, a citizen-science platform for annotating (think "drawing moustaches on") astronomical images. Of course his first thought is for the purposes of deblending galaxy-scale strong gravitational lenses. We recruited Stuart Lowe (LCOGT), who is a javascript and HTML5 master, to make everything work in the browser, and we recruited Pamela Gay (Astrosphere), who has all necessary database, Amazon Web services, and Zooniverse foo. We got it all working, and then ran out of steam somewhere around 02:30 trying to do the data analysis on the back end!

[Note added later: The next day we won a runner-up prize in the Hack Day awards. Some of the submissions were incredible; one of them got press coverage. My favorite hack was a home-built pen-casting system (draw and record voice and drawing in real time to tell a story).]

1 comment:

  1. David - that pencasting pen was not home built. It's a commercial product. Costs about $200. Would have been a lot cooler if it were home made!