University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Wednesday, May 2nd 2012
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Chris Lintott, Director of Citizen Science, Adler Planetarium; Department of Physics, University of Oxford
Subject: Bulgeless galaxies, unusual planets and ancient texts: research results from 600,000 citizen scientists
Student Awards will be handed out during Colloquium; Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics after colloquium

Citizen science - the involvement of hundreds of thousands of people in the research process -is a radical response to the challenge of dealing with the greatly increased size of modern data sets. Zooniverse.org is the most successful collection of online citizen science projects which have enabled more than 600,000 online volunteers to contribute to a dozen research projects. Zooniverse Project lead Chris Lintott (University of Oxford) will discuss the results from several of these research projects. In particular, Dr Lintott will discuss the growth of black holes in bulgeless galaxies (Galaxy Zoo) and the discovery of previously unknown planets in data from NASA's Kepler space telescope (Planethunters.org). Present and future developments of the Zooniverse platform will be discussed, including the development of a Bayesian machine learning framework to assess volunteer behaviour and thus direct effort more efficiently. Such efforts are critical in coping with data from the next generation of experiments, including the LSST and SKA.

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