Science, and society in general, is experiencing fundamental change. First is the explosion of data inundating everything from Astronomy to Zoology. Second is the severe impact of the economic recession and the federal budget deficit. Taken together, these challenges illuminate the need for new approaches in both research and education. A number of scientists at Illinois are tackling these challenges, and in the process are creating new opportunities. As a demonstration, I will present research being done within the Astronomy department on applying machine learning tools to quantify the dark universe. I will conclude by discussing how we are rethinking our curricula to allow students to acquire the skills necessary to work in the data-rich future.
Professor Robert Brunner has been Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2008. He received his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Johns Hopkins University in 1998. His areas of research focus include Observational Cosmology, Quasars/AGN, Time Domain Astronomy, and Practical Informatics.
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Siebel Center 4405, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL