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Andrew Connolly  


Andrew Connolly's research focuses on understanding the evolution of our universe, by studying how structure forms and evolves on small and large scales -- from the search for asteroids to the clustering of distant galaxies. He's a ten-year veteran of the Large Synoptic Sky Survey, and is now prepping for the unprecedented data streams we could expect from the under-construction Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

Set on an 8,800-foot peak in northern Chile, the LSST will have an 8.4-meter primary mirror, a 10-square-degree field of view and a 3.2 gigapixel camera. It will survey half the sky every three nights, creating about 100 terabytes of data every week. Astronomers, Connolly suggests, will need wholly new tools to wrangle this amount of data -- so he has been helping bring together computer scientists, statisticians and astronomers to develop scalable algorithms for processing massive data streams.

On sabbatical from the University of Washington, Connolly led the development of Google Sky, and he's now working with Microsoft to develop affordable digital planetariums.


Visualizing the cosmos: UW astronomer Andrew Connolly and the promise of big data
Andrew Connolly is a professor in the University of Washington Department of Astronomy. He is one of several UW professors working on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST, which will begin scanning the sky in 2022 from its location atop Cerro Pachón, a mountain in northern Chile...

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