Letter From the Director

Welcome to the DiRAC Institute newsletter, winter edition!

One quarter into the new academic year, I’m excited to share with you new additions to DiRAC’s team, and some of the exciting work and discoveries made by our researchers.

We are very pleased to welcome two new DiRAC Postdoctoral Fellows, Azalee Bostroem and Pedro Bernardinelli. Azalee brings us the exciting world of supernovae research and applications of data science in astronomy, whereas Pedro’s work takes us to the outskirts of the Solar System in search of new (dwarf) planets and comets. You can read more about their research in this newsletter.

Read further about remarkable new machine-learning driven “supernova recognizer” by Kyle Boon. In his recently published paper Kyle introduced a new statistical model called ParSNIP, which can be distinguish different types of supernovae significantly better than other state-of-the-art methods. Kyle’s code is open source, ready to be used by researchers in the community.

Finally, we will tell you about a major, multi-year collaboration we started with Carnegie Mellon on astronomical software for LSST, co-led by our Prof. Andy Connolly and generously funded by Schmidt Futures. Through this work, a team of a dozen software engineers and scientists will work to create new software platforms to analyze extremely large astronomical datasets. These types of systems will allow us to truly harness the data from the upcoming Legacy Survey of Space and Time, and map and understand the structure of our Universe.

Mario Jurić

Professor, Department of Astronomy
Director, DiRAC Institute