crazy diversity of stars; cosmological anomalies

At CampHogg group meeting (in the new NYU Center for Data Science space!), Sanderson (Columbia) talked about her work on finding structure through unsupervised clustering methods, and Price-Whelan talked about chaotic orbits and the effect of chaos on the streams in the Milky Way. Dun Wang blew us all away by showing us the amazing diversity of Kepler light-curves that go into his effective model of stellar and telescope variability. Even in a completely random set of a hundred light-curves you get eclipsing binaries, exoplanet transits, multiple-mode coherent pulsations, incoherent pulsations, and lots of other crazy variability. We marveled at the range of things used as "features" in his model.

At lunch (with surprise, secret visitor and Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt), I had a long conversation with Matt Kleban (NYU), following my conversation from yesterday with D'Amico. We veered onto the question of anomalies: Just as there are anomalies in the CMB, there are probably also anomalies in the large-scale structure, but no-one really knows how to look for them. We should figure out and look! Also, each anomaly known in the CMB should make a prediction for an anomaly visible (or maybe not) in the large-scale structure. That would make for a valuable research program.

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