2013 Summer School in Statistics for Astronomers

Project: Research project

Project Details


2013 Summer School in Statistics for Astronomers; June 3-7 2013; Pennsylvania State University, College Park

Modern astronomical research often involves organizing vast surveys of imaging, photometric and spectroscopic data producing terabyte to petabyte databases and billion-object catalogs. An alphabet soup of time-domain surveys underway in visible light, and a new generation of radio interferometric telescopes, will soon be producing enormous datasets. While the promise is great, the scientific goals cannot be achieved with the narrow suite of statistical methods and old-fashioned labor-intensive approaches in common use by the astronomical community. Modern statistical procedures implemented with computationally efficient algorithms are essential. However, due to the structure of undergraduate and graduate curricula, U.S. astronomers are generally not well trained in statistics. Most learn elementary methods through books written by and for physical scientists and covering only a narrow range of problems, providing inadequate conceptual foundations in mathematical statistics and little guidance to vast fields of applied statistics.

The five-day 2013 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 date2/15/131/31/15


  • National Science Foundation: $28,604.00


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