non-smooth potentials, hardware and software

I spent the morning at Yale with Geha and Bonaca. Bonaca is finishing a great paper that shows (duh) that fitting with a smooth, time-independent potential tidal stream data generated in a clumpy, time-dependent potential is biased. She shows, however, that it is not more biased than expected for other kinds of data (that is, non-stream data). One interesting thing about her work is that the closest smooth potential to the realistic cosmological simulation she is using is something triaxial, which is not integrable, which pleases the anti-action-angle devil inside of me.

I ate lunch with Debra Fischer's (Yale) exoplanet group (thanks!), discussing data analysis. Fischer is a big believer (as am I) that when she builds new hardware, she should do so in partnership with data analysis and software teams, so that hardware and software choices can inform one another. There is no separation between hardware and software any more. We discussed some simple examples, mainly on the experimental design side rather than strictly hardware, but the point applies there too.

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