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COIN is inaugurated

In order to promote the development of a new family of tools for data exploration in cosmology, I hereby invite you to join the IAA COsmostatistics INitiative (COIN). The objective is to bring together researchers with expertise in cosmological simulations, large scale surveys analysis, data-mining, statistics and machine learning. The general goal is to construct and tune advanced tools for data exploration; for instance, techniques such as manifold learning, dimensionality reduction, unsupervised and supervised learning. Such tools shall be tested in the controlled environment of cosmological simulations for subsequent application to large surveys. The group is led by Rafael de Souza (Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute)

Specific Targets

• Production of common basic entrance materials, as tutorials, bibliography, online courses, web pages, schools for beginners and students;

• Support and trigger theoretical research which might be of interest also to non-cosmologist, statisticians, mathematicians etc.

• Define a common coding language (even if someone does not code in the common language, we could, e.g. translate some pre-build script, etc).  I suggest  R (with wraps for python, C, etc.), since it is a powerful tool for statistics and we can make use of a variety of  well tested libraries. The end-product should be a set of user-friendly codes for specific tasks, and perhaps launch a cosmostatistics package in the future. 

• Write white papers discussing the challenges of data exploration in the next decade for data-exploration in cosmology and extragalactic astrophysics in order to stimulate   joint application for grants.

• Tighten the collaboration and exchange of  staff and students between the participant institutions.

Once the tools are developed and tested, researchers with more observational oriented skills would work together with theorists in order to test it on real data and look for new problems. 

The general concept of the group is still in its earlier stages, and it can be significantly enhanced by the feedback of the community. We are looking forward to fruitful discussions from those willing  to start this endeavor.

If you are interested to join the project, please send an email to