SACHI Seminar – Alyssa Goodman: Visualization and the Universe

BEGIN members are invited to join the SACHI seminar by Prof Alyssa Goodman.


Event details

  • When: 12th October 2018 12:00 – 13:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b

Visualization and the Universe: How and why astronomers, doctors, and you need to work together to understand the world around us
Astronomy has long been a field reliant on visualization. First, it was literal visualization—looking at the Sky. Today, though, astronomers are faced with the daunting task of understanding gigantic digital images from across the electromagnetic spectrum and contextualizing them with hugely complex physics simulations, in order to make more sense of our Universe.   In this talk, I will explain how new approaches to simultaneously exploring and explaining vast data sets allow astronomers—and other scientists—to make sense of what the data have to say, and to communicate what they learn to each other, and to the public.  In particular, I will talk about the evolution of the multi-dimensional linked-view data visualization environment known as glue and the Universe Information System called WorldWide Telescope.  I will explain how glue is being used in medical and geographic information sciences, and I will discuss its future potential to expand into all fields where diverse, but related, multi-dimensional data sets can be profitably analyzed together.  Toward the aim of bringing the insights to be discussed to a broader audience, I will also introduce the new “10 Questions to Ask When Creating a Visualization” website,
Speaker biography: Professor Alyssa Goodman, Harvard University
Alyssa Goodman is the Robert Wheeler Willson Professor of Applied Astronomy at Harvard University, and a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution. Goodman’s research and teaching interests span astronomy, data visualization, and online systems for research and education. Goodman received her undergraduate degree in Physics from MIT in 1984 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard in 1989. Goodman was awarded the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize from the American Astronomical Society in 1997, became full professor at Harvard in 1999, was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009, and chosen as Scientist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation in 2015. Goodman has served as Chair of the Astronomy Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and on the National Academy’s Board on Research Data and Information, and she currently serves on the both the IAU and AAS Working Groups on Astroinformatics and Astrostatistics. Goodman’s personal research presently focuses primarily on new ways to visualize and analyze the tremendous data volumes created by large and/or diverse astronomical surveys, and on improving our understanding of the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy. She is working closely with colleagues at the American Astronomical Society, helping to expand the use of the WorldWide Telescope program, in both research and in education.

Principal Prof Mapstone opens the Bell Edwards Geographic Data Institute

On Mon 3 Sept Prof Sally Mapstone, the Principal of the University, opened the Bell Edwards Geographic Data Institute (BEGIN) in an event that showcased the research of BEGIN members. The institute is named after the father of Tony Edwards, a long-term friend and supporter of the SGSD, who was also present. The event started with a guest keynote by Prof Mike Batty, the Bartlett Professor of Planning at University College London and Chair of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA).
BEGIN is a network of data researchers in SGSD and the event consisted of presentations of research on varied topics, from geographic information science to glaciology and palaeoecology. The event concluded with a showcase of posters, prepared by BEGIN PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.

Prof Mapstone with Prof Mike Batty (left) and Tony Edwards (right).

Steering committee of BEGIN, director Prof Doug Benn (right) and associate directors Dr Urska Demsar and Dr Jed Long.

Kick-off workshop – 3 September 2018

We are hosting a kick-off workshop on Monday 3 Sep 2018 to officially open our new research network, the Bell Edwards Geographic Data Institute (BEGIN).

The aim of the institute is to bring together all staff, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students in the School of Geography & Sustainable Development who work with geographic data and to provide a platform to promote collaboration, teaching and outreach. The Institute will encompass such varied disciplines as Geographic Information Science, Remote Sensing, Glaciology, Sedimentology and Palaeoecology and the kick-off workshop will showcase the work that we do in these areas.

We are delighted that the institute will be opened by the Principal of the University of St Andrews, Prof Sally Mapstone. We are further delighted to confirm a keynote address by Prof Mike Batty from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London, as our first iPOWER speaker of the 2018/19 academic year and the first BEGIN speaker ever.

Final programme