Modern Statistical and Computational for Analysis of Kepler Data


This is a program of SAMSI, the NSF-supported Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute. SAMSI runs high-quality cross-disciplinary research workshops for many fields, including astrophysics. Travel funding for U.S. participants is often available.] The discovery of planets orbiting other stars (exoplanets) in the past two decades has demonstrated that nature often produces planetary systems quite different from our own. NASA's Kepler mission has been observing over 190,000 stars nearly continuously since 2009. Kepler's high-precision photometery is revolutionizing multiple subfields (exoplanets, astroseismology, variable stars, etc.), but also raising several new statistical challenges. This three week SAMSI mini-research program will provide a venue for astronomers and astrostatisticians to share experience with statistical techniques and to help existing best practices spread amongst the community. Simultaneously, this SAMSI min-research program will provide an opportunity for statisticians, mathematicians and computer scientists to interact much more closely with astronomers than is otherwise practical. We hope that the statisticians will be able to help the astronomers in improving their current statistical tools, and also in developing new techniques geared towards analysis of exoplanet data.

The first day (Monday, June 10, 2013) will consist of invited talks, designed to help participants understand the nature of Kepler data, and to provide an introduction to relevant statistical methods.

On the second day (Tuesday, June 11, 2013), participants will organize themselves into three working groups, for intensive research collaboration among astronomers and statisticians. During subsequent days, most of the participant's time will be devoted to collaborative research.

On the final day (Friday, June 28, 2013), program participants will present their results, as well as plans for continued collaboration beyond the SAMSI mini-research program.

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