The LSST Corporation Data Science Fellowship Program

Project: Research project

Description

Northwestern University seeks funding of $730,395 over three years from the Gordon and Betty Moore
Foundation to expand a transformational pilot program that will supplement graduate education in astronomy
with in-depth training in the necessary skills for doing science with big data: the Large Synoptic Survey
Telescope Corporation Data Science Fellowship Program (LSSTC DSFP). The Moore Science Program’s
previous investments in field-leading astronomy projects and data-science initiatives and infrastructure make
Moore the perfect partner for this effort.
The LSST is currently the NSF’s flagship telescope project. LSST is under construction in Chile, with
operations set to begin in the next few years. By imaging the entire visible night sky to incredible depth
every few nights for a decade, LSST will produce a massive, unprecedented dataset. LSST achieved the
highest priority in the 2010 Astronomy Decadal Survey because of its potential to provide insight into a wide
variety of outstanding science questions: the population of the Solar System, the structure and evolution of
our Milky Way Galaxy, the nature of dark energy and dark matter, and the transient, time-variable universe.
LSST’s data will be transformative for the field of astronomy, not only because of its size and complexity,
but because these data demand new working practices, and computationally sophisticated methods of data
mining and analysis. Unfortunately, these practices and methods are not widely used by astronomers today;
currently, most astronomers must teach themselves how to develop software, and with few exceptions, lack
the skill set necessary to make efficient use of LSST’s coming data deluge.
We propose an tranformative, already-tested, effective program that supplements graduate education in
astronomy with in-depth training in the necessary skills for doing science with big data: the LSST Corporation
Data Science Fellowship Program (LSSTC DSFP). The DSFP is a two-year training program (consisting
of three, one-week sessions per year) designed to teach skills required for LSST science that are not
addressed by current astrophysics programs.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date11/10/1812/15/21

Funding

  • Gordon E. and Betty I. Moore Foundation (8006)

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