2012-11-14

third-order statistics, and more statistics

Bovy came into town for the morning and we talked various things, including skewness of quasar variability. He finds a signal that is slightly hard to explain. Our discussion segued into the applied-math-meets-astronomy meeting, with Goodman giving us hope that it might be possible to treat the density field in the Universe as a Gaussian process. When Bovy and I last talked about this problem (with Iain Murray of Edinburgh), we decided that the matrices were too large to invert. Goodman thinks that things may have evolved. At that same meeting, Hou showed us how he is refining the levels in his nested sampler. That seems to be enormously increasing the precision of his results; he has succeeded in building a precise nested sampler and we can see places where we can make further contributions to improve precision long-term. This is exciting and opens up new opportunities for our exoplanet projects.

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