From Galaxy Zoo to LSST: Citizen Science in the Age of Big Data

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Date/Time:Monday, 14 Oct 2019 from 4:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:Phys 0005
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Professor Chris Lintott, University of Oxford

Abstract: Citizen Science projects such as Galaxy Zoo (launched in 2007) have demonstrated that hundreds of thousands of volunteers can make significant contributions to research. Project Principal Investigator Chris Lintott will review the latest results from the project, covering both studies of large populations of barred galaxies and discoveries of unusual objects such as 'Hanny's Voorwerp', a galaxy-scale light echo. Galaxy Zoo inspired the creation of the Zooniverse platform, which now hosts nearly 100 projects - using recent astrophysical examples, including searches for supernova and strong lenses, Lintott will argue that there will be a place for volunteer classification well into the next decade, despite the development of increasingly advanced artificial intelligence.

Bio: Chris Lintott is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a research fellow at New College, working on topics from galaxy evolution, transient detection and machine learning. As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team who run the world's most successful citizen science projects, allowing more than a million people to discover planets, transcribe ancient papyri or explore the Serengeti. A passionate advocate of the public understanding of science, he is best known as co-presenter of the BBC's long running Sky at Night program. The American version of his book, The Crowd and the Cosmos, will be published by Oxford University Press in January 2020 (after all the spellings are adjusted).