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Novel Statistical Inference Methods and Tools from Astrophysics.

  • Speaker: Dr Roberto Trotta, Imperial College London.
  • Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2015 from 14:00 to 15:00
  • Location: Room 151, Birkbeck Main Building

In the last two decades, astrophysics and cosmology have become data-driven fields. Already today, our knowledge about the Universe is not limited by the amount of data we can acquire, but by our ability to interpret them statistically and extract answers to the questions that matter to us: What is the Universe made of? Where did it come from? What will its fate be?

In this talk I will briefly review how the pursuit of the answers to some of the most fundamental scientific questions ever has led astrophysicists to develop statistical tools and algorithms with much wider applicability than the research for which they were invented. From structured Bayesian models to model selection tools, from object detection to classification problems, I will delineate how the emerging discipline of astrostatistics can help solve real world problems.


Roberto Trotta is a theoretical cosmologist at Imperial College London, where he studies dark matter, dark energy and the Big Bang, and an STFC Public Engagement Fellow. Named as one of the 100 Global Thinkers 2014 (Foreign Policy, Nov/Dec 2014), Roberto is a passionate science communicator and the recipient of numerous awards for his research and outreach, including the Lord Kelvin Award of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the Michelson Prize of Case Western Reserve University. His award-winning first book for the public, "The Edge of the Sky: All you need to know about the All-There-Is", endeavours to explain the Universe using only the most common 1,000 words in English. @R_Trotta