Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - ASTROSTAT (Statistical data-mining in astrophysics)

Prof. Bob Nichol has spent the three years of his Marie Curie Excellence Chair at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom. During this time, Prof. Nichol has made five major achievements:

(1) created a world-class computational cosmology group that now includes t new staff (hired since 2004), 3 postdoctoral researchers and nearly 10 PhD students. This group has now secured long-term funding from the European Commission and United Kingdom funding agencies (STFC, RS, Leverhulme). Prof Nichol has also negotiated membership of this group in international surveys like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), Dark Energy Survey (DES) and LOFAR:UK, see He has helped create one of the best observational cosmology groups in the United Kingdom.

(2) Prof. Nichol has continued his personal research with the publication of 59 refereed papers during this period and involvement in important new cosmological surveys like 2SLAQ, SDSS Supernova survey and the analysis of galaxy data to measure the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe (ISW) effect and Baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO).

(3) He has helped train numerous students in computational and statistical techniques. In particular, he helped design and deliver a new course called 'scientific computing' in-conjunction with the School of Computing at Portsmouth. He has also helped train numerous ICG graduate students with his 'observational cosmology' lectures and through individual supervision and the Tuesday discussion groups.

(4) Prof. Nichol has engaged in public outreach through TV and printed media. He has been a guest on the BBC 'Sky at night' several times as well as interviewed on the radio in several European countries and the United States. His research has been featured in many papers over the three years of the grant.

(5) Finally, Prof. Nichol has been involved in several inter-disciplinary research initiatives in the United Kingdom. He has collaborated with scientists at the University of Portsmouth at the School of Computing and Department of Creative Technologies. He is also a member of the AstroGrid and EC VOtech projects. He has been responsible for creating the only European mirror of the SDSS data at Portsmouth.

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United Kingdom