single transits, surfaces, and variance

[I have been out on vacation; hence the lack of posts recently.]

Out of the blue came an email from So Hattori (NYUAD), who has found many single transits (long-period planet candidates) in the Kepler data. This is awesome! Foreman-Mackey and I discussed the goals for Hattori's project, and its relationships with Foreman-Mackey's current project (which has found a Saturn analog and has some occurrence rate results).

In the morning, I spent time with Leslie Greengard discussing various matters related to the description (on a computer, say) of continuous (and infinitely differentiable) surfaces. There are some outstanding problems, which seem like simple math problems but are unsolved. This has nothing to do with anything I am working on, but I could get hooked. Of course my position is that the determination of a surface given control points ought to be cast as an inference problem!

The remainder of the day was spent planning and outlining my argument in my “Inference of Variance” project: How the question of inferring the variance of a process (that generated some points or data, say) is related to the problem of cosmological parameter estimation, and how we can help the latter with work on the former.

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