Dr Ugo Becciani visits IDIA

The Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive and the Astronomy Department at the University of Cape Town (UCT) will host Dr Ugo Becciani from the Catania Astrophysical Observatory, Italian Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) in Catania (Sicily).

As part of the visit Dr. Becciani will give a talk at the UCT entitled “Towards Astronomical Big Data Analysis – Visual Analytics, Machine Learning and Future Perspectives at Catania Astrophysical Observatory“. More information on the logistics and abstract of the talk are below.

Date: Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Time: 15h00
Venue: Room 5.40, Astronomy Seminar Room, Level 4, RW James Building, Upper Campus, University of Cape Town

Catania Astrophysical Observatory (OACT), part of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), hosts a group of computer scientists and astrophysicists involved in the development of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) as well as in the scientific exploitation of SKA precursors such as MeerKAT and ASKAP. Our ICT research group is one of the most active within INAF in the areas of development and deployment of High-Performance Numerical Codes, Visual Analytics and Data Analysis tools.

Recently, and in view of our Big Data theme, we started working on the application of Machine Learning applied to ASKAP surveys and initiated a collaboration with the University of Malta to use machine learning for the detection of compact radio sources. Our research group has developed a new source finder, named Caesar, which has been used in the context of the ASKAP EMU survey to tackle these challenges. Post-processing tools, exploiting machine learning techniques, are currently being designed to complement Caesar source extraction capabilities in the area of spurious source identification and source classification.

At the same time we started our activity in an H2020 project NEANIAS where we lead the Astrophysical community to develop services for Data Management and Visualization for complex images data and metadata. VisIVO is an innovative framework that offers a unique integrated ecosystem for data exploration, visualization and visual analytics operations. It includes mobile and desktop applications and services for collaboration using science gateway technologies.

Another important project is MOSAICO funded by Italian Ministry of Economic Development to develop innovative methods for image processing, machine learning with prototypical architecture based on GPU and FPGA.

The aim of the seminar is to open up new research collaborations with South African scientists and discuss some of the exciting job opportunities in store for graduate students who may wish to join our research team.


About Dr. Ugo Becciani

Dr. Ugo Becciani is a senior INAF Research Astronomer. He is a member of the board on the Scientific Unit ICT – INAF and has been PI and CoPI of several research projects on different computational astrophysical topics, advanced studies in supercomputing and parallel computing (HPC), visual analytic, data exploration, grid computing, virtual observatory. He is responsible of ESA-GAIA mission for HPC on AVU-GSR, Board member of LOFAR-IT project, Board member of Cometa Consortium, Group Leader of OACT Research Group on ICT in Astrophysics. He is involved on SKA project for the design of the DISH-LMC, task leader on H2020 AENEAS (to study the European SKA regional center) and WP leader on Erasmus+ 3DTeLC to develop VR tools for the geohazard community.