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We’re all in the physics department, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Astronomy, along with a┬ámajority of scientific fields, is currently undergoing a revolution due to computing advances. As we enter this new era of ‘big data’ we face extraordinary challenges in using the vast amounts of information intelligently. My research interests involve building software for the analysis of images from the latest and upcoming telescopes. In particular I am interested in measuring various aspects of galaxies and the problem of ‘deblending’ where two or more galaxies overlap on the sky. I also work on building a multi-wavelength database over large areas of sky and combining inhomogeneous data in general.

I am a Daphne Jackson research fellow at the University of Sussex working on morphology and photometry of resolved galaxy images. I am interested in building software which will be useful in analysing upcoming data from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Chile and the space based Euclid.

Blog

Can artificial intelligence tell if somebody is lying?

For the last three months, I have been working with researchers from across the physical sciences at the University of Sussex on some software to classify videos of court cases as either deceitful or truthful. Building on work by Yusufu Shehu, we have constructed a neural network (a type of software partly inspired by neurons …

LSST meeting, Tucson USA, 13-17 August 2018

I spent the week in Tucson Arizona for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) annual meeting. They had a special focus meeting on deblending which is particularly relevant for me. It was great to see the work being done on the pipeline deblender SCARLETT (Melchior et al. 2018 – https://arxiv.org/abs/1802.10157). My work on deblending is …

Research

I am interested in galaxies, particularly in optical and infra-red images. I am also interested in data science in general and building frameworks for managing the huge amounts of information produced by modern instruments.

I aim to develop a multipurpose python code to implement all this research. The resulting package, Resolved Galactic Photometry can be found on GitHub in an early stage here.

A more speculative and long term aim I have is to combine my PhD knowledge of chemistry with astronomy in some way. I think dust models may be a particularly interesting area. Dust in itself is arguably the dullest subject in the Universe but it is extremely important in many areas of astronomy, not least the calculation and interpretation of cosmological parameters.

Publications can be found here.

Blog

Can artificial intelligence tell if somebody is lying?

For the last three months, I have been working with researchers from across the physical sciences at the University of Sussex on some software to classify videos of court cases as either deceitful or truthful. Building on work by Yusufu Shehu, we have constructed a neural network (a type of software partly inspired by neurons …

LSST meeting, Tucson USA, 13-17 August 2018

I spent the week in Tucson Arizona for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) annual meeting. They had a special focus meeting on deblending which is particularly relevant for me. It was great to see the work being done on the pipeline deblender SCARLETT (Melchior et al. 2018 – https://arxiv.org/abs/1802.10157). My work on deblending is …

Contact

You can email me at raphael.shirley at sussex.ac.uk.