Citizen of the world

What question do I frequently get asked when I meet someone new? It is: Where are you from?  For me, this is a difficult question to answers! That is why my answer is always a question: Do you want to know where I come from or where I work?

You may ask yourself, it is a simple question, but for me it is not. I am a Venezuelan citizen who has lived in the UK, and now I am living in Spain; who knows where I will go next!

I have been studying (or working) in two different European cities, Leeds in the UK and Madrid in Spain, and not being an EU citizen has proved challenging at times. But I will not complain. So far, I have had a nice experience, legal challenges and a roller coaster of emotions, all that keep my days interesting.

STARRY has given me the opportunity to move between continents and countries, meet people from different places, helped me grow up more as a person, and created professional opportunities. Everything has not been perfect, but I have great support which has helped me through these days. I am grateful to be part of this project.

But well, to avoid difficult answers, I will say: I am a Citizen of the world, but I will never lose my essence (💛💙❤️).

Big Data and Conference Talk

The conference in Warsaw was very fruitful. I gave a talk on the first day that was very welcomed, with lots of questions and some interesting suggestions for improvement. The rest of the conference was very interesting, with plenty of talks that covered the topics of Star Formation and Gaia plus a bunch of other very interesting topics less related to the project. In the talk, I presented our first paper and a bit of our plans for the future. This future plans go through applying Big Data tools to Gaia data, and that is why I also decided to go to Tenerife to attend the annual Winter School which topic this year was “Big Data Analysis in Astronomy”.

The school was also extremely useful. I had the chance to present our work, ideas and preliminary results to experts in the field who advised us on our mistakes and on possible new paths and ideas to develop. They also took us on excursion to the Teide Observatory in Tenerife and to the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma. There, we visit many telescopes, some of them the largest of their kind in the world and many of them historical telescopes which made significant contributions to the history of astronomy. In particular, I found very interesting to visit the solar telescopes they have in Tenerife. In addition, we visit the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) where we had a public talk about Machine Learning.

In conclusion, these last months have been very productive and the output of the two meetings will have a large impact in the project. I have learnt different state-of-the-art techniques and algorithms to deal with large datasets and also understood how they can be applied to astronomy. The ideas given by our peers will be discussed and implemented. I am looking forward for presenting the new results to the community within the next year.