2015 ANITA workshop and Astroinformatics School

Dear ANITA Members,
The 2015 ANITA Workshop and Astroinformatics School will be hosted by the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, at the ANU. Please see details below.

Regards,
Cathryn, on behalf of the Organising Committee

_____________________________________________

2015 ANITA Workshop and Astroinformatics School
The Australian National University
Workshop: Monday February 9th – Tuesday February 10th, 2015
School: Wednesday February 11th – Friday February 13th, 2015
Organising Committee: Geoff Bicknell, Amanda Karakas,
Alexander Heger, Krzysztof Bolejko, Camila Correa
Program and accommodation details to come.
______________________________________________

ANITA Google Hangout: What is gravitational wave astronomy?

Dear ANITA and ASA members.

Next Wednesday 20th August at 1pm (AEST) ANITA will hold its next online lecture:

What is gravitational wave astronomy, and what can it do for me?
Dr. Paul Lasky, University of Melbourne.

All are welcome to join! The target audience will range from undergrad to postdoc, however anyone interested is sure to get something out of it.

For more details (including lecture notes and slides closer to the day) click here.

Thanks, and see you there!
Darren Croton & Chris Power

ANITA Town Hall Meeting

ANITA will hold a Town Hall Meeting during the ASA Annual Scientific Meeting at Macquarie University. The meeting will be held during lunch (1pm-2pm) on Wednesday July 23 in the Price Theatre. Come along and hear about the latest Chapter activities, the announcement of the 2015 ANITA Workshop and Astroinformatics School, and a vote on the ANITA proposal for a Theoretical Astrophysics Institute or a National Fellowship program.

ANITA Google Hangout: A New Window on Inflation: Cosmological Perturbations and Gravitational Waves

Dear ANITA and ASA members.

Next Wednesday 11th June at 1pm (AEST) ANITA will hold its next online lecture: “A New Window on Inflation: Cosmological Perturbations and Gravitational Waves”, by David Parkinson from the University of Queensland.

This lecture will be of particular interest to those who wish to better understand the recent BICEP2 results.

All are welcome to join! The target audience will range from undergrad to postdoc, however anyone interested is sure to get something out of it.

More details (including lecture notes and slides) are available at: http://anita.edu.au/lectures/

Thanks, and see you there!
Darren Croton & Chris Power

ANITA Google Hangout: An astronomers introduction to databases and SQL

Dear ANITA and ASA members.

Next Monday 28th April at 2pm (AEST) ANITA will hold its next online lecture: “An Astronomers Introduction To Databases And SQL”, by Paul Hancock from Curtin University.

All are welcome to join! The target audience will range from undergrad to postdoc, however anyone interested is sure to get something out of it.

More details (including lecture notes and slides) are available at: http://anita.edu.au/lectures/

Thanks, and see you there!
Darren Croton & Chris Power

ANITA Google Hangout March Lecture: “Density Estimation and Clustering”

Dear ANITA members.

We’d like to announce the next in our ongoing Google Hangouts on Air lecture series.

Speaker: Sanjib Sharma, University of Sydney
Title: “Density Estimation and Clustering”
Date: Wednesday 12th March 1pm (AEST)
Where: The internets

Abstract: Estimating density of a given set of points and identifying clusters are two important techniques to reveal hidden information in data. With recent advances in technology, today we have data which is both large (number of objects per data set) and rich (amount of information in each object). This poses a unique challenge for data mining. In multi dimensional spaces, not all the algorithms work equally well. Also, not all algorithms are computationally efficient for analyzing large amounts of data. In this lecture, I will discuss various algorithms and highlight their strengths and weaknesses. I will then concentrate on a few algorithms that work well in multi dimensional spaces and are also fast and efficient to be applied on large data sets. I will also show a few applications of these algorithms to astronomy.

The lecture will be broadcast over Google’s Hangouts on Air. Lecture slides and links will be available closer to the day at http://anita.edu.au/lectures/density-estimation-and-clustering-sanjib-sharma/.

Looking forward to “seeing” you there!
Darren Croton & Chris Power

ANITA Google Hangout – Computational Bayes – Wednesday 1pm (AEDT) 16th October 2013

Dear ANITA and ASA members.

Wednesday 16th October 2013 at 1pm (ADST) ANITA will hold its next online lecture, the third in a series of four from Aaron Robotham.

All are welcome to join! The target audience will range from undergrad to postdoc, however anyone interested is sure to get something out of it.

More details (including lecture notes and slides) are available at: http://anita.edu.au/lectures/

——————————–
Title: Computational Bayes
Speaker: Aaron Robotham (aaron.robotham@uwa.edu.au)

Abstract: Having established the basic concepts of a Bayesian approach to data analysis, in this lecture we will go further and apply it to more complicated problems that require the use of computers. This will lecture will cover Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and more specifically Metropolis Hastings sampling. We will be making use of R in this lecture, and at this stage a basic degree of familiarity is assumed. To get back up to speed the keen student may want to read back through the notes from the “Introduction to R” lecture (also on ANITA).
——————————–

ANITA Google Hangout Lecture 3 – Wednesday 1pm (AEDT) 9th October 2013

Dear ANITA and ASA members.

This coming Wednesday at 1pm (AEDT) ANITA will hold its next online lecture. All are welcome to join! The target audience will range from undergrad to postdoc, however anyone interested is sure to get something out of it.

More details (including lecture notes and slides) are available at: http://anita.edu.au/lectures/

We look forward to seeing you there!

————————–
Title: Bayes Theory
Speaker: Aaron Robotham (aaron.robotham AT uwa.edu.au)

Abstract: For those who don’t know, R is a very powerful statistical programming language. This lecture will be the second in a series of four, which together will build a full Bayesian framework with applications to astronomy using R. In this lecture we investigate the basic foundations of Bayes Theory, with emphasis on worked practical examples. The lecture concludes with two famous statistical problems, which the attentive student should be able to tackle with their new Bayesian toolkit.
————————–

The 7th annual ANITA workshop announced

The 7th Annual Theory Workshop of the Australian National Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (ANITA), will be held on the 21st and 22nd of February 2013 at the School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland, Brisbane. Website and registration will be available soon. Please save the date in your calendars!

 

ASA/ANITA Astroinformatics summer school

The ANITA meeting will be preceded by a 3 day astroinformatics summer school, from the 18th-20th Feb. (This is the inverse of the usual arrangement, where the school had previously followed the Workshop). The school with cover techniques and resources for use in astrophysics. Topics covered will be similar to the last school, which included:

  • Unix and unix-like operating systems
  • Python
  • Virtual observatory tools
  • Databases and SQL
  • TOPCAT and PyRAF
  • MPI Programming and HPC

The summer school is open to all advanced undergraduate, honours and PhD students as well as active Astronomy and Astrophysics researchers within Australia and New Zealand. However, numbers are limited and so when allocating spaces priority will be given to students. Registration and website will be available soon.

Looking foward to seeing you there.

On behalf of the SOC
(Tamara Davis, David Parkinson, Holger Baumgardt and Signe Reimer-Sorensen)
and the ANITA steering committee

 

Strategic Plan for Theoretical Astrophysics Released

It is with great pleasure that the steering committee announce the release of the ANITA Strategic Plan for Theoretical Astrophysics 2012-2015.

This Strategic Plan makes the following key recommendations to the astronomy theory community as we move towards the next Astronomy Decadal Plan.

  • Priority 1: The theory community should pursue the development of a named Theory Postdoctoral Fellowship program to attract the best and brightest young international theorists to Australian shores, and retain the best already in Australia.
  • Priority 2: The theory community should explore building a National Centre for Theoretical Astrophysics, which could be a virtual institute comprised of numerous distributed theory groups from around the nation, and sharing many common resources and funding.
  • Priority 3: The theory community should work to increase active linkages with the observational community on projects of common interest, especially those that enhance theory’s influence in priority areas of Australian science.

In addition, we also recommend the following:

  • ANITA should engage in the development of theory related student education to better equip pre- and current PhD students for the rigours of research.
  • ANITA should consider an early career researcher mentoring program for junior theorists and include this as part of its yearly mission.
  • ANITA should encourage interaction between local theory groups through the sharing of colloquium speakers, visitor and student exchanges, and joint organisation of local workshops.
  • Where appropriate, Australian theory should explore opportunities to form closer ties with our Asian counterparts given the growing importance of Asia to Australia’s broader national interests.
  • Australian theory groups should be encouraged to seek out international projects for collaboration, to build linkages and create long-term opportunities.
  • ANITA should work to raise awareness of gender and work/life balance issues, and coordinate with the Women in Astronomy Chapter of the ASA in this task.

The Strategic Plan can be downloaded here (34MB, or here for a lores version 1.7MB).