Seminar by G. Jogesh Babu, Penn State University

Time Domain Astronomy: Statistical Challenges
Event Date & Time
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Event Location
Bruininks Hall 220

222 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


The universe is teeming with objects that exhibit a wide range of variability in brightness at different wavebands leading to time series data. The majority of data from gravitational wave detectors, pulsar timing array, exoplanet surveys, the forthcoming data from Legacy Survey of Space and Time (from Vera C. Rubin Observatory), and multi-messenger astronomy, is in the form of time series. Scientific interpretation of astronomical time series is complicated by the instrumental effects, variety of variable astronomical phenomena, the non-Gaussianity of the uninteresting noise, and the often irregular cadence of observations. A brief review of statistical challenges in time-domain astronomy will be presented.


G. Jogesh Babu is Distinguished Professor of Statistics, Astronomy & Astrophysics, and Director of Center for Astrostatistics.

Jogesh Babu has diverse research interests in both statistics and probability, and in their applications to problems astronomy and astrophysics. He has contributed extensively to probabilistic number theory (Erdös Number 1), resampling methods such as bootstrap, nonparametric methods, and asymptotic theory. Babu's work in astrostatistics includes multivariate methods for satellite data on Gamma-ray bursts, faint source detection in multi-epoch data, analysis of astronomical datacubes, quantitative comparison of source properties to compare data with astrophysical theories, and regression methods to calibrate steps in the cosmic distance ladder. Babu and an astronomer colleague coined the term Astrostatistics in mid-1990s, when they published a book by the same name.

He has published over 150 papers and 9 books including the recently published textbook A Graduate Course on Statistical Inference.

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