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Computer Science Seminar: The Cosmostatistics Initiative - Reshaping Interdisciplinary Science Development

  • 22 Apr 2019
  • 11:00 AM
  • University of Houston PGH 232

Computer Science Seminar

The Cosmostatistics Initiative - Reshaping Interdisciplinary Science Development

When: Monday, April 22, 2019
Where: PGH 232
Time: 11:00 AM

Speaker: Dr. Rafael S. de Souza, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Host: Dr. Ricardo Vilalta, University of Houston


The  Cosmostatistics Initiative (COIN)  was founded in 2014 with the goal of overcoming the cultural barriers preventing the daily collaboration between researchers from different fields. Most of its activities are developed within the COIN Residence Program (CRP), a non-structured meeting which utilizes a management model similar to technological start-ups. Our approach enables rapid innovation in data-science methodologies driven by scientific questions. Since its conception, COIN has grown to more than 60 researchers from six continents, from fields as diverse as astrophysics, statistics, computer science, epidemiology, biostatistics, and medical sciences. Moreover, the CRPs have proven to be one of the most productive events of its kind - producing 12 (and 2 other in preparation) refereed scientific papers, three software packages, four value-added galaxy catalogues, as well as discovery of more than 40 new stellar open clusters-- all of this, in its first 5 years. In this talk, I describe how CRPs are organized and how experiences like COIN can provide insights about the future of our current academic model.


Dr. Rafael S. de Souza is a researcher at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.  He is currently Vice-President of Astronomy of the International Astrostatistics Association (IAA) and Chair and founder of the Cosmostatistics Initiative. His book, "Bayesian Models for Astrophysical Data", received the Prose Award in 2018 for Best Book in Cosmology and Astronomy.