Past Events

  • 2015 Mar 31

    Seamless Astronomy Colloquium: Josh Peek, STScI


    Phillips Auditorium, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Building D)
    11:00am to 12:00pm

    Abstract: Astronomy has always been a science of catalogs: catalogs of stars, galaxies, quasars, and planets. While most of the light in the Universe comes from these dense objects in the darkness, the contents of the universe are largely diffuse. Dark energy, dark matter, plasma, and gas make up 99.8% of the mass-energy budget of the Universe and cannot be easily cataloged. If we want to understand how the objects in the universe came to be, we must appeal to the largely invisible diffuse phase that formed them. I will try to make sense of this conundrum in three ways.

  • 2014 Sep 16

    Seamless Colloquium: Hackable User Interfaces and The Future of Data Analysis in Astronomy


    Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Abstract:  The tools we use to investigate data affect the way that we do science -- we are constantly (if subtly) drawn towards questions that are easily answered by our analytical and software tools, and comparatively discouraged from research directions that are less-well matched to these tools. A crucial skill that most scientists learn early in their careers is how to identify the most fruitful scientific questions, given the current state of analysis techniques.

  • 2014 Aug 18

    Seamless Colloquium: Our perceptual limits in reading and interpreting visualizations


    Phillips Auditorium

    Abstract: Visualizations help us in interpreting and communicating complex concepts and rich data. However, we have a number of perceptual and cognitive limitations that counter-intuitively work against us when we work with visualizations. These limitations lead to critical mistakes, e.g., in interpreting patterns or simply reading information from a graphic. What are these culprits and how can we avoid them?

  • 2014 Jun 26

    Seamless Colloquium: Concerning Astrophotography


    Phillips Auditorium

    In this talk, Vicent Peris will review his works in the astrophotography and image processing disciplines. Working as astrophotographer at the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Valencia, he leads an astrophotography project at Calar Alto Observatory in southern Spain. This is the first astrophotography project in the world with access to the observational time of professional telescopes (about 50 night per year).

  • 2014 Apr 30

    Seamless Colloquium: Why the LSST will change astrophysics forever


    Pratt Conference Room, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street

    Abstract: As the flagship next-generation optical survey telescope, LSST promises to be a significant instrument for a range of research domains. In this talk I'll discuss why LSST is uniquely placed to transform the way that researchers collaborate around research software and data.

  • 2014 Feb 10

    Seamless Colloquium: Linking Visualization & Understanding in Astronomy


    Phillips Auditorium, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street
    Registration Closed2:00pm

    In 1610, when Galileo pointed his small telescope at Jupiter, he drew sketches to record what he saw. After just a few nights of observing, he understood his sketches to be showing moons orbiting Jupiter. It was the visualization of Galileo’s observations that led to his understanding of a clearly Sun-centered solar system, and to the revolution this understanding then caused.