Last day of #AstroHackWeek! What a week it has been, for me, anyway. So many projects. In the final wrap-up session, I was just blown away by each hack and accomplishment. You can get some feel for it at the hackpad. That site is subject to change and editing, so it isn't a static result, but you should still get a sense of the awesome.
In the wrap-up, Matt Mechtley (ASU) surprised me by showing that our molecular reconstruction does not depend extremely sensitively on the assumption that the molecules are viewed from an isotropic direction distribution! That is, he generated data with a (very strong) dipole pattern in the direction distribution, not aligned with any symmetry of the molecule, and we still reconstruct well. That bodes very well for the method.
Earlier in the day, I discussed with Dalya Baron (TAU) what directions to move in on the molecular imaging project. She decided to move the model towards the proper diffraction imaging model, with the photons generated not by the molecule directly in real space but by the squared norm of the Fourier Transform of the molecule. Because our methodology depends on having correct, analytic derivatives of a marginalized likelihood, this requires taking our derivatives through a sum of products of Fourier Transformed basis functions and their complex conjugates. Oddly, Baron wants to figure that out and code it up! (Oh, and unit tests, of course.) I'm impressed, and excited about the results. Watch this space.