July 5, 2016 - LSST was well represented at the 2016 SPIE meeting on Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation in Edinburgh, Scotland last week with more than 40 LSST-related oral and poster presentations as well as an LSST booth in the exhibition hall.  LSST presentations will be made available through; press coverage about LSST from the meeting included this article in, based on Steve Kahn’s invited talk.  Victor Krabbendam, Frossie Economou, and Bill Gressler also gave invited talks in their respective areas of expertise. 

Many of the 2600 in attendance stopped by the LSST booth in the exhibition hall for an update on LSST construction and to look through the book of job postings, part of the LSST Hiring Campaign.  As the meeting took place immediately after the Brexit vote, there were also discussions of how to adjust for the considerable loss of EU funding received by scientists in the UK, particularly in Scotland.

LSST’s Andy Connolly gave a featured plenary presentation at the conference on the topic: Surveying the Sky with the LSST: Software as the Instrument of the Next Decade.  Andy described how software and algorithms play a significant role in this being such an interesting time to be in astronomy.  "Algorithms have transformed what we can get out of transit survey," Connolly said, enabling scientists to subtract the noise without subtracting the astrophysics. The more valuable resource today is not computation, but people who can write new algorithms -- as effective in advancing the field as Moore's Law has been for semiconductors. 

Andy’s talk complemented the Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy conference, in which Tim Jenness described the challenges of handling large amounts of data and efforts of the LSST team to join the Astropy community leveraging and contributing to those software packages within the confines set by current funding limits and methodologies.

The next SPIE Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation conference will take place in the summer of 2018 in Austin, TX.

Roddy the Piper led the way from the plenary auditorium to the exhibit hall for the opening of the sold-out exhibition ... with a stop for a photo opp.

Themes for the LSST exhibit were construction news, with the latest images from all aspects of the project, and “LSST is Hiring”, a message which generated a lot of interest.


Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Support Agreement No. 1202910, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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