Meeting Information

Mapping the Universe (SDSS)

January 21, 2015
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

Dr. Alexander SzalayDate: Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Speaker: Dr. Alexander Szalay, Professor of Astronomy, the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Topic: Mapping the Universe (SDSS)

Time and Location: 1:00 PM, with Q&A to follow; in a 1st floor conference room at the American Center for Physics (, 1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD — off River Rd., between Kenilworth Ave. and Paint Branch Parkway.

Abstract: The talk will present an overview of how the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has changed the way we do astronomy today. Today many other surveys in different wavelengths are also covering a large part of the sky, and astronomers can use large public databases as virtual telescopes. Future generations of astrophysicists will need a whole new set of skills, besides all the current ones. The ongoing paradigm shift due to the access to Big Data also goes beyond astronomy.

Biography: Dr. Alexander Szalay is the Alumni Centennial Professor of Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University, and Professor in the Department of Computer Science. He is the Director of the Institute for Data Intensive Science. He is a cosmologist, working on the statistical measures of the spatial distribution of galaxies and galaxy formation. He is a Corresponding Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004 he received an Alexander Von Humboldt Award in Physical Sciences, in 2007 the Microsoft Jim Gray Award. In 2008 he became Doctor Honoris Causa of the Eotvos University, Budapest. He enjoys playing with Big Data.