Foreman-Mackey gave his PhD Candidacy exam talk today and passed, of course. He talked about hierarchical Bayesian modeling of exoplanet populations, which is his ambitious thesis topic. I don't think I have ever had a student better prepared to do an ambitious project with data! He also has an eleven-month-old arXiv-only paper with 25 citations already. In the morning, Fadely and I looked at results from Fadely's patch-based, nearest-neighbor-based image calibration system. It is fast and seems to be doing the right thing, but we don't understand all of the details or what we expect for the dynamics of the optimization. Late in the day, Fadely showed me some experiments that suggest that in pathological situations, it can converge to something that looks like the wrong answer.

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