Colloquium

When Theory Met Observation:

 How People and Data can Work Together to Understand Energetic Transients

The scale and scope of astronomical discoveries has accelerated tremendously over the past two decades as the direct result of Moore's law and high-impact observatories such as Hubble. However, despite the collection of vast quantities of data and the development of novel theories, many of the biggest problems in our field remain unsolved, such as the nature of dark energy, the mechanisms responsible for most of the observed supernovae, and the formation and growth of black holes. I will discuss an effort I have led in the transient community to agglomerate the magnificent data astronomers have collected over the past several centuries and deliver it to theorists in a form they can easily use, and also our ongoing efforts to provide observers with statistically-validated models they can compare to. I'll also explain how this free exchange of data, and the infrastructure it requires, naturally enables the public direct access to our scientific results, which is the primary goal of our profession and an aspect that is increasingly demanded by funding agencies.

Followed by wine and cheese in Pupin 1332.

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