Talk from PhyStat 2003: Statistical Problems in Particle Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology, Stanford, Ca, USA, September 2003, 7 pages. PSN MOAT001.
astro-ph/0401404

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STATISTICAL CHALLENGES IN MODERN ASTRONOMY

E. D. Feigelson


Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Penn State University, University Park PA 16802, USA

G. J. Babu


Department of Statistics, Penn State University, University Park PA 16802, USA


Abstract. Despite centuries of close association, statistics and astronomy are surprisingly distant today. Most observational astronomical research relies on an inadequate toolbox of methodological tools. Yet the needs are substantial: astronomy encounters sophisticated problems involving sampling theory, survival analysis, multivariate classification and analysis, time series analysis, wavelet analysis, spatial point processes, nonlinear regression, bootstrap resampling and model selection. We review the recent resurgence of astrostatistical research, and outline new challenges raised by the emerging Virtual Observatory. Our essay ends with a list of research challenges and infrastructure for astrostatistics in the coming decade.


Table of Contents

THE GLORIOUS HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY AND STATISTICS

STATISTICAL NEEDS OF ASTRONOMY TODAY

ASTROSTATISTICS TODAY

THE VIRTUAL OBSERVATORY: A NEW IMPERATIVE FOR ASTROSTATISTICS

SOME GRAND METHODOLOGICAL CHALLENGES FOR THE COMING DECADE
Multivariate analysis with measurement errors and censoring
Statistical inference and visualization with very-large-N datasets
A cookbook for construction of likelihoods and Bayesian computation
Links between astrophysical theory and wavelets
Time series models for astrophysical phenomena

INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDED TO ADVANCE ASTROSTATISTICS

REFERENCES

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