ANITA Steering Committee Elections – 2015

Do you want to be part of shaping the landscape for theory in Australian astronomy? Do you have great ideas for connecting theorists and observers? Come and join ANITA’s Steering Committee!
ANITA will be holding its annual election to the ANITA Steering Committee in the week of March 23. The committee positions up for election are:

– 3 Ordinary Committee members (2 year term)
– 1 Student Representative (1 year term)

These positions are currently held by Sarah Maddison, Orsola De Marco, Chris Power and Camila Correa (student) and we thank them for their service to the Chapter. Note that these committee members, and any previous committee members can nominate in this election.

Please nominate yourself for a position on the committee! In the past year, ANITA has:

– contributed to the Decadal Planning process with an ANITA submission and follow-up responses
– hosted and provided online Google Hangout Lectures for the whole community
– organised the 2015 ANITA Workshop and Astroinformatics School, hosted by the ANU.

In 2015-2016, we have some more exciting developments. Please join us!

As Returning Officer, please send to me via email (cathryn.trott@curtin.edu.au) your name and a brief description of your interests in joining the ANITA Steering Committee, to be included in the election materials. To be eligible, you need to be an ASA Member, Fellow or Student Member.

Election timeline:
Monday March 9 – Friday March 20 Nomination period
Monday March 23 – Friday March 27 Election period
Week of March 30 Results announced.

Radio interferometry lectures – David Wilner, Harvard CfA – Google Hangout

David Wilner is the Associate Director of the Radio & Geoastronomy Division at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics, and an expert in circumstellar disks, the formation of planets, and the development of aperture synthesis techniques.

He’ll be giving us two lectures on consecutive weeks:

Title: Radio Astronomy and Interferometry Fundamentals
Date: 2pm (AEDT) Thursday 19th February
Link: http://anita.edu.au/lectures/radio-astronomy-and-interferometry-fundamentals-david-wilner/

Abstract:
Radio astronomy uses observations at radio wavelengths to study celestial objects. This lecture will provide a brief introduction to radio astronomy, including a description of common emission mechanisms and radio telescopes, and why multiple telescopes are linked as interferometers to make high resolution “aperture synthesis” images (a technique recognized by the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics). We will use pictures to develop intuition about the Fourier transform relationship between the sky brightness and visibility function that underlies radio interferometry. (A companion lecture will provide a pedagogical introduction to the process by which radio interferometric images are made.)

Title: Imaging and Deconvolution in Radio Interferometry
Date: 2pm (AEDT) Thursday 26th February
Link: http://anita.edu.au/lectures/imaging-and-deconvolution-in-radio-interferometry-david-wilner/

Abstract:
Observations with a typical radio interferometer provide incomplete and noisy samples of the Fourier transform of the sky brightness image that we’d like to analyze. This lecture will provide a pedagogical and practical introduction to the process by which radio interferometric images are made, including visibility weighting and tapering schemes and algorithm-based deconvolution methods to deal with inevitable missing samples. We will conclude with a brief discussion of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, an new radio interferometer with unprecedented imaging capabilities at millimeter wavelengths.

Head over to the ANITA Lecture page for more information on this and recordings of our past lectures: http://anita.edu.au/lectures/

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.
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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