September 4, 2018 - The LSST 2018 Project and Community Workshop, held in Tucson August 13-17, provided a valuable opportunity for face-to-face interactions between geographically distributed LSST project team members and participants from the LSST science community. This year’s annual gathering boasted the highest registration to date, with more than 300 people attending the meeting. Photos from the event are available in the LSST Gallery.
Special guests at LSST 2018 included an enthusiastic group of student interns, whose participation was sponsored by the LSST Corporation. Each of the students gave a brief presentation of their LSST-related summer research at the workshop’s introductory plenary on August 13, and a poster session held that evening provided a forum for them to discuss their work with other workshop attendees. The LSST Corporation is seeking funding to continue to bring students to the annual LSST workshop.
An added feature at this year’s meeting was an integrated workshop, held August 14-16, on the impacts of blending on LSST science. In this workshop, participants from across the LSST community pooled their combined expertise in order to assess our current understanding of blending issues, and to explore strategies for addressing them.
Nobel Laureate Prof. Barry Barish, and Dr. Leanne Guy, LSST Data Management Scientist, were the keynote speakers at Tuesday’s plenary session. Both speakers described their experiences on other large projects (LIGO and Gaia, respectively), commenting on successes--and lessons learned—and how those might be applied to LSST.
At Wednesday morning’s plenary session, seven project members gave brief presentations about themselves and their work with LSST in a segment titled, “Lightning Stories.” Introduced at last year’s annual meeting, these popular talks highlight the diversity of expertise—and personalities—that make up the LSST team. After the talks, audience members were invited to share their own stories in the LSST Storytime Domain, a video recording booth facilitated by the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) team. Footage from these videos will be edited for future use in EPO products, which are currently being developed.
This year’s public talk took place on Thursday evening, and was attended by an estimated 350-400 people. The presentation began with a brief project overview, framed for a public audience, by LSST Project Manager Victor Krabbendam. Victor then introduced Dr. Phil Marshall, who gave an inspiring talk titled “Exploring the Final Frontier with LSST.” LSST Education Specialist Ardis Herrold wrapped up the evening with a spirited presentation about the history of astronomy education, and how LSST is poised to revolutionize its future.
The dates for the LSST 2019 Project and Community Workshop were announced at the closing plenary; next year’s meeting will take place August 12-16 in Tucson. The venue for next year’s workshop will be announced when it is confirmed.