space, space, sports, and black holes

Group meeting today was a pleasure. Laura Norén (NYU) talked about ethnography efforts across the Moore–Sloan Data Science Environments, including some analysis of space. This is relevant to my group and also the NYU Center for Data Science. She talked also about the graph of co-authorship that she and a team are compiling, to look at the state of data-science collaborations (especially interdisciplinary ones) before, during, and after the M-S DSE in the three member universities and also comparison universities. There was some excitement about looking at that graph.

Nitya Mandyam-Doddamane (NYU) showed us results on the star-formation rates in galaxies of different optical and ultraviolet colors. She is finding that infrared data from WISE is very informative about hidden star formation, and this changes some conclusions about star formation and environment (local density).

Dun Wang talked about how he is figuring out the pointing of the GALEX satellite by cross-correlating the positions of photons with the positions of stars. This fails at bright magnitudes, probably because of pile-up or saturation. He also showed preliminary results on the sensitivity of the detector, some of which appear to be different from the laboratory calibration values. The long-term goal is a full self-calibration of the satellite.

Dan Cervone (NYU) spoke about statistics problems he has worked on, in oceans and in sports. We talked about sports, of course! He has been working on spatial statistics that explain how basketball players play. We talked about the difference between normative and descriptive approaches. Apparently we are not about to start a betting company!

Daniela Huppenkothen spoke about the outburst this summer of V404 Cygni, a black hole that hasn't had an outburst since 1989. There are many observatories that observed the outburst, and the question (she is interested in) is whether it shows any oscillation frequencies or quasi-periodic oscillations. There are many spurious signals caused by the hardware and observing strategies, but apparently there are some potential signatures that she will show us in the coming weeks.

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