Andrew Connolly is helping to build the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope -- as well as tools to handle the massive datasets it will send our way.
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.