The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Corporation

LSSTC Supported Activities

Upcoming Activities

Detecting the Unexpected: Discovery in the Era of Astronomically Big Data

27 February-2 March 2017; Location TBD

This workshop will focus on the problem of making new and surprising discoveries in astronomy when data sets are too large to examine with traditional tools. Workshop participants will explore three astronomical topics: the Galaxy beyond 3D, the time domain and transients, and big spectroscopy. Discussions will include how to make discoveries in these fields, focusing on three methods: citizen science, machine learning, and data integrated visualization. The workshop will have planned presentations, but also include “unconference” sessions and a hack day.

Contact: Joshua Peek (

LSSTC Support: $9,700

Blind Analysis for High-Stakes Survey Science: When, Why, and How?

13-15 March 2017; SLAC; Menlo Park, CA

Blind analyses are an effective way to reduce or eliminate experimenter's bias, the unintended biasing of a result by the scientists making a measurement. While blind analysis methods have become common in certain sub­fields of physics and astronomy, they are not yet widespread in the community of scientists preparing for LSST data and future CMB surveys. This workshop will bring together members of LSST science collaborations (DESC, transients, statistics) and CMB collaborations with interdisciplinary blinding experts, and blinding critics.

Workshop information:

LSSTC Support: $9,000

Workshop on LSST Detection of Optical Counterparts of Gravitational Waves

12-13 May 2017; Columbia University, Pupin Hall

A workshop will be held at Columbia University to begin the scientific preparation for the detection of optical counterparts of gravitational wave events with LSST. LSST is uniquely suited to find optical counterparts of gravitational waves. Gravitational waves have been detected at high significance by LIGO. Observation of optical counterparts of gravitational wave events, including mergers of black holes and neutron stars as well as other phenomena will provide a more precise measurement on the direction, redshift and other properties of the event, necessary for its full characterization. This is essential for testing cosmology, general relativity and probing the properties of matter at supranuclear densities in neutron stars. 

Contact: Morgan May at or Imre Bartos at for more information

LSSTC Support: $4,800

Supernovae: The LSST Revolution Workshop

31 May-2 June 2017; Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 

This workshop will bring together expert and young researchers working on all types of supernovae, with an aim of exploring key issues from the LSST survey perspective. A subsidiary goal of this session is to engage the public in urban and suburban Chicago through a public lecture highlighting the unique role of supernovae in understanding the evolution of the universe.

Application Deadline: March 7, 2017  

For further information contact: Vicky Kalogera ( or Michael Schmitt (

LSSTC Support: $30,000 ($7,000 from Simonyi-Gates Matching Grant)

Getting Ready for Doing Science with LSST Data

12-16 June 2017; IN2P3 Computing Center, Lyon, France

This workshop will cover a number of topics: Scientific performance of the LSST image processing stack, the processing or reprocessing of CFHT and Subaru HSC images, latest advances and methods in astronomical image processing in terms of photometry and astrometry, data management and data access in the LSST era, as well as more technical issues such as efficient use of parallel computing infrastructures. Expected participants include staff from LSST-DM (Data Management) as well as the LSST and DESC Science Working groups.


LSSTC Support: $15,000

Recent Activities

Enabling Dark Energy Science with the LSST Through Interactive Dark Energy Schools and Hack Days

13 February 2017; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA

To maximize the impact of the LSST on dark energy (DE) science, the Interactive Dark Energy Schools and Hack Days will continue in 2017. The DE school features interactive lessons on both technical and scientific topics relevant to the exploration of dark energy. The Hack Day supports small teams working together to design and develop solutions to immediate challenges. These training days are targeted to graduate students and postdocs -- those who will be early-to mid-career scientists during LSST operations. Major focuses of the programs include utilizing the results of current research in physics education, which emphasizes the importance of facilitating small-group discussions and problem-solving, as well as implementing best practices in code development, including pair coding and mentoring.

For information:

LSSTC Support: $17,500

Data Science Fellowship Program - Second Session

23-27 January 2017; California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

The second DSFP school will take place at Caltech in January. The program is a two-year training program for graduate students designed to teach skills required for LSST science that are not easily addressed by current astrophysics programs. 

LSSTC Support (year one of three year program): $145,448

DSFP Session 2 Wraps Up

The DSFP Fellows enjoyed some California sunshine while attending the Session 2 of the DFSP at Caltech in Pasadena the week of January 23, 2017.

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