A Prize Winning Search for Hidden Figures in STEM

A Prize Winning Search for Hidden Figures in STEM

January 20, 2017 - Congratulations to Maria Patterson, a Research Scientist at the University of Washington’s Department of Astronomy working in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Data Management Science Pipelines group.  Maria is a runner-up in the “Search for Hidden Figures Contest", a contest sponsored by PepsiCo and 21st Century Fox, to find the next generation of women who will lead the way in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.   From a total of 7,000 applicants, two grand prize winners and 10 runners-up were selected.  Maria creatively programmed her winning video from open source code and open data.  

Maria joined the LSST team in August 2016. She worked on characterizing galaxy outer disks for her thesis before completing a postdoc at the University of Chicago's Center for Data Intensive Science, where she worked on cloud-based pipelines for automated analysis of NASA satellite imagery and architectures for scientific data commons.  

Maria currently works with the LSST’s data management group at the University of Washington on the alert production pipeline.  The UW group is developing the alert production pipeline, building algorithms and tools for the automated detection of astronomical transient phenomena and subsequent alert distribution to enable fast follow-up observations.  Maria is passionate about open science and diversity in computing and is active in several women’s organizations as an editor for AASWomen, an organizer for PyLadies Seattle, and a volunteer for the Anita Borg Institute and its Filipinas in Computing group.

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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