2012 Summer School in Statistics for Astronomers

Project: Research project

Project Details


2012 Summer School in Statistics for Astronomers; June 4-8 2012; Pennsylvania State University, College Park

Astronomical research often involves imaging, photometric and spectroscopic surveys of the sky that produce terabyte to petabyte databases and billion-object catalogs. This type of research will be coming to fruition in the near future with a new generation of formidable telescopes and the federation of diverse astronomical datasets. While the promise is great, achieving the scientific goals depends critically on extraction of useful knowledge using statistical inference, and especially the use of advanced statistical methods. Observational astronomers are thus confronting a wider range of statistical challenges than ever before, while unfortunately most U.S. astronomers are not well trained in statistics, learning only elementary methods through books written by and for physical scientists. Such volumes usually treat only a narrow range of problems, providing inadequate conceptual foundations in mathematical statistics and little guidance in advanced applied statistics. Statistics is an available technology that must be tapped to advance the needs of astronomy and astrophysics.

The five-day 2012 Summer School for young astronomers in statistical inference will present concepts and methodologies at an intermediate level, using experienced instructors and an innovative curriculum. This is the latest in the series of intensive week-long Summer Schools in Statistics for Astronomers, initiated in 2005 by the group at Pennsylvania State. If maintained at a steady state, these Summer Schools will train about 10% of the nation's young astronomers, filling a critical lacuna in the US scientific workforce.

Effective start/end date3/15/122/28/14


  • National Science Foundation: $24,269.00


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