Astronomer Andrew Connolly begins by telling us that in 1781, English composer, technologist and composer Sir William Herschel noticed something unusual, a little bit of data that was wrong. This was the discovery of a new planet, Uranus. (“A name that has entertained countelss generations of children.”) Just last week NASA announced 517 new planets, almost doubled […]Continue reading
Why you should listenAndrew Connolly's research focuses on understanding the evolution of our universe, by studying how structure forms and evolves on small and large scales -- from the search for asteroids to the clustering of distant galaxies. He's a ten-year veteran of the Large Synoptic Sky Survey, and is now prepping for the unprecedented data streams we could expect from the under-construction Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
Set on an 8,800-foot peak in northern Chile, the LSST will have an 8.4-meter primary mirror, a 10-square-degree field of view and a 3.2 gigapixel camera. It will survey half the sky every three nights, creating about 100 terabytes of data every week. Astronomers, Connolly suggests, will need wholly new tools to wrangle this amount of data -- so he has been helping bring together computer scientists, statisticians and astronomers to develop scalable algorithms for processing massive data streams.
On sabbatical from the University of Washington, Connolly led the development of Google Sky, and he's now working with Microsoft to develop affordable digital planetariums.
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“We have to train the next generation in how to use these data sets, because they are ultimately the ones that are going to make the breakthroughs.” — Andrew Connolly
Andrew Connolly’s TED talk
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Communication is fundamental to how we relate and interact. But we receive signals from everywhere — other living creatures, the ecosystem, the earth itself, and the space beyond. In this session six speakers will explore how we send, and more importantly receive, those signals. Here are the speakers who appeared in this session. Click below […]Continue reading