My personal life relented slightly and I got to Hawaii for a bit of the 235th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. It is great to see the whole community (or a very large part of it) in one place at one time; I'm still a believer in these meetings, after all these years (I've been attending pretty regularly since 1994). Oh no, has this become “old-fogey research blog”?
Because I arrived today I only saw a few talks, one of which was my student Storey-Fisher (NYU), who explained how we can estimate the two-point correlation function without binning the data into bins. She did a good job of summarizing the benefits, which are legion: We lower the bias and the variance over the traditional methods, and we can work in function spaces that are appropriate to our science questions, for just two examples. I can't wait to be submitting this paper.
Her talk was followed by an excellent talk by Shajib (UCLA) about gravitational lensing and the Hubble-Constant controversy. He showed that the lensing results are falling in line with the late-time supernova-based Hubble Constant measurements, not the CMB and BAO measurements. And his biggest systematic in his time-domain analyses is (as expected) the foreground “mass sheet” degeneracy. He is getting close to achieving one of the dreams of this field (that I have had with Phil Marshall, for example), which is to automate the fitting of non-trivial strong gravitational lens systems, including lensing galaxy, and multiple source galaxies. Beautiful stuff.
And at this meeting there was so much more, almost infinitely more!