Data science for physics and astronomy scoping workshop

Time: 10:30 - 16:30

Venue: The Alan Turing Institute, 1st floor of the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

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Introduction

Fundamental research in physics and astronomy routinely produces some of the world's largest and most complex datasets, with huge discovery potential. Recent examples include the direct detection of gravitational waves, the discovery of the Higgs boson, and the identification of earth-like exoplanets. The success of many projects depends critically on the ability to extract information rapidly and/or with high precision and accuracy. These disciplines are therefore prime exploiters of modern data science concepts and algorithms, but they also push the boundaries of data science applications. Challenges include inference from large and low signal-to-noise datasets, mining for rare events/objects, decision/classification with extremely high data rates, machine-learning assisted modelling, extremely large simulations, and much more.

To tackle the data deluge, there is an urgent need for knowledge exchange between research fields, as well as with data science, statistics, and computer science practitioners. Great benefits can be expected from pooling ideas and resources and from efficient lines of communication between these fast-moving fields. Moreover, physics and astronomy researchers need to establish funding lines specifically for data science methodology and applications to remain internationally competitive.

About the event

This hands-on workshop will bring together physics and astronomy researchers, data science practitioners, as well as industry partners and public sector funders at The Alan-Turing Institute to discuss current challenges and opportunities in data science for physics and astronomy, launch new interdisciplinary collaborations, and work towards a more permanent forum for data science knowledge exchange.

Draft agenda

Monday 2 December

10.30-11.00 - Registration, tea & coffee

11.00-11.30 - Welcome, practicalities, scope of meeting

11.30-13.00 - Problem pitches/self-intro

13.00-14.00 - Lunch

14.00-14.30 - Splinter group allocation

14.30-15.30 - Breakout session I

15.30-16.00 - Coffee break

16:00-17.00 - Breakout session I

17.00-18.00 - Closing

Tuesday 3 December

9.30-10.00 - Registration, tea & coffee

10.00-10.30 - Status reports from splinter groups; road blocks, mergers, splits, etc.

10.30-11.30 - Breakout session II

11.30-12.00 - Cofffee break

12.00-13.00 - Breakout session II

13.00-14.00 - Lunch

14.00-15.00 - Reports from splinter groups

15.00-15.30 - Coffee break

15.30-16.30 - Next steps, concluding remarks