Dr Michelle Lochner will present the NASSP colloquium with a talk entitled, "Cosmology in the Era of Mega Data"
Upcoming instruments like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will usher in a new era of "Mega Data" in astronomy. In this talk, I will highlight some of the challenges presented in particular by LSST, and how modern techniques in machine learning and statistics can be used to solve them. I will show how machine learning can be used to automatically classify the thousands of supernovae LSST will discover, and how it could be used to classify the 10 million transients LSST is expected to detect per night. I will also discuss how MeerKAT and LSST could be used in concert to get the most out of cosmology, especially by combining the HI information from MeerKAT with the photometric galaxy information from LSST using sophisticated statistical techniques.
Michelle Lochner got her PhD at the University of Cape Town before moving to University College London for a two-year postdoc. She has now returned to South Africa to take up a Resident Researcher position jointly held between the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and the Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA). She is broadly interested in developing new techniques that enable precision cosmology and has worked on statistical and machine learning applications in the fields of supernova cosmology, radio interferometry and radio spectroscopy. She is an active member of the LSST collaboration as well as a member of several of the MeerKAT working groups.