the little APS on the prairie

I spent the day at the APS Prairie Section meeting in Lawrence Kansas. Two (of many) talks that made an impression on me were by Corso (Iowa), who described the calibration procedures for a new generation of CMS photo-multiplier tubes, and by Mohlabeng (Kansas), who showed that there is a statistically significant color--redshift term in the public supernovae sample. That latter result got people—including Suntzeff (TAMU) and Rudnick (Kansas)—talking about selection effects. Of course even if the effect is from selection, it needs to be modeled; modeling the effect does seem to change inferences about cosmological parameters. In the post-banquet spot, I talked about the challenges of doing inference with big data sets (slides here in PDF). That led to conversations late into the evening at the bar. Thanks, APS Prairie Section!

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