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Astroinformatics and Astrostatistics in Astronomical Research: Steps Towards Better Curricula

The AAS Working Group on Astroinformatics and Astrostatistics hereby proposes a Special Session for the 225th AAS meeting in Seattle which will highlight the importance of data analytics training in astronomy, both for the sake of astronomical research and in order to make astronomy graduates more employable.
When 07 January 2015
from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Where Seattle WA USA
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The session will consist of a panel discussion and three invited talks. We plan to allocate the 90 minutes as follows:

A short introductory talk to set the stage (10 min, speaker TBD). A panel discussion (50 min), with the following main topics

i) What Big Data skills are lacking in traditional training of astronomy and physics students; what fraction of new graduates should have such skills?

ii) Would the path toward `Tenure' be harder or easier for graduates specialized in Big Data skills?

iii) Are there examples of successful new courses and programs in Astronomy and Physics Departments which focus on Big Data, astroinformatics and astrostatistics? What are available resources and what is lacking? How can we share the curricular materials?

iv) Should we encourage our graduates to prepare for jobs in industry? What kind of skills can we help them develop, while maintaining research as the primary driver of Ph.D. programs?

v) How can we fund projects focused on development of methods and

ii) Would path towards ``Tenure” be harder or easier for graduates specialized in Big Data skills?

Discussion will be moderated, with a TBD moderator selected by this Working Group. We anticipate about 5 panelists, and plan to allocate time for comments and questions from audience. !

3) Allocate 30 minutes for two invited talks about astronomy-related Big Data jobs 

Conveners:

Aneta Siemiginowska (asiemiginowska@cfa.harvard.edu)

George Djorgovski (george@astro.caltech.edu)

Zeljko Ivezic (ivezic@astro.washington.edu)