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February 2014  •  Volume 7 Number 1

Before you read through the fullest LSST E-News ever, take note of this late breaking news: The LSST Construction Project will hold a workshop the week of August 11 - 15, 2014 in Tucson, AZ to allow technical teams involved in building LSST to interact with each other and the broader community. Members of LSST Science Collaborations and other eventual LSST users are encouraged to organize concurrent meetings and coordinate with the Project Office to build agendas that include appropriate amounts of interaction with LSST team members. Additional information will be forthcoming but at this point we ask that you Save the Date: August 11 - 15, 2014!

From the Director, Steven Kahn

Members of the LSST Project Team and Final Design Review Committee, December 2013.

The New Year is off to a good start, with the passage of the Omnibus Spending Bill and the subsequent signing by the President. There is language specific to LSST within the Explanatory Statement associated with the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies portion of the Bill. The Bill appropriates a healthy level of $200M for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC), sufficient to fund all projects already under construction with the remaining funds available to the LSST construction start. Read more...

From the Project Manager, Victor Krabbendam

The LSST M1/M3 shipping container patiently waits for its contents in a Tucson, AZ, parking lot.

In addition to the successful completion of the Final Design Review, the LSST subsystems have remained busy and achieved significant milestones. The LSST Project Office continues to grow to support the upcoming construction effort. In Tucson there were a number of organizational changes recently, including the addition of Bo Xin as Systems Analysis Scientist and Chuck Gessner as Head of Safety. Another project-wide meeting to include the science community is being planned for August of 2014, bringing together scientists and technical teams for a week of intense interaction. Read more...

DES/LSST Workshop Announced

LSST and the Dark Energy Survey have announced a joint workshop at Fermilab March 24-27, 2014 to share information about tools and lessons learned and to discuss future synergistic activities. The first three days of the workshop will be filled with talks on topics of broader interest; the final day (Thursday) will be available for smaller, more focused meetings. The chairs of the Scientific Organizing Committee request that suggestions for Thursday topics and participants be emailed to them ( and Note also that in addition to invited talks, the SOC may accept a limited number of contributed talks.

For more information and to register please visit The registration period ends March 1, 2014.


2014 Feb 7 - The University of Washington will host a campus conversation on Data Sciences initiatives on campus, including the a new 5-year partnership with UC Berkeley, NYU, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to build a distributed Data Science Environment to advance data science research and practice across all disciplines. Join University of Washington President Michael K. Young, University of Washington Provost Ana Mari Cauce, University of Washington Vice Provost for Research Mary Lidstrom, along with representatives of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to learn about several major initiatives within UW's eScience Institute, which supports data-driven discovery in all fields. For more information, visit

Boy Scouts and Systems Engineers Agree, Be Prepared!

LSST Systems Engineering Manager George Angeli.

As a scoutmaster for many years, LSST Systems Engineering Manager George Angeli discovered that wrangling the varied interests and attention spans of 29 Boy Scouts to participate in organized outdoor activities bears much in common with integrating complex, diverse technical elements into a synergistic whole. He considers the collaboration, coordination, and leadership lessons learned through scouting to be valuable supplements to his professional training and experience. All of these experiences, including 12 years working for extremely large telescope projects, prepared him for his current role with LSST, a position he began in January 2013. Read more...

SMWLV Science Collaboration Meets at AAS

Science Collaborations

The Stars, Milky Way, and Local Volume (SMWLV) LSST Science Collaboration (SC) took advantage of the January 2014 AAS Meeting to schedule a Splinter Meeting. More than 30 SC members attended this meeting and made progress toward the Collaboration’s goal of developing roadmaps to guide our activities for the next few years. Read more...

LSST Team Members Write (AAS) Best Seller

Two of four co-authors, LSST Project Scientist Zeljko Ivezic (left) and LSST Simulations team member Jacob VanderPlas, stand ready to sign copies for fans of their new book at the January 2014 AAS meeting in Washington, DC.

Three LSST team members held a successful book signing event for their recently published book Statistics, Data Mining, and Machine Learning in Astronomy, A Practical Python Guide for the Analysis of Survey Data during the January 2014 meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Washington, D.C. Zeljko Ivezic, Andrew Connolly, and Jacob VanderPlas collaborated with co-author Alexander Gray on the book, which provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the cutting-edge statistical methods needed to efficiently analyze complex data sets from astronomical surveys such as PanSTaRRS, DES, and LSST. Read more...

LSST Project Office Grows by Two

Bo Xin (left), System Analysis Scientist, and Chuck Gessner, Head of Safety, bring their expertise as new full-time members of the LSST Project Office team.

The LSST Project Office (LSSTPO) added two new staff members in December. Bo Xin joined the Systems Engineering Team as System Analysis Scientist, and Charles (Chuck) Gessner became full-time Head of Safety. Both have previous long associations with the LSST project. Read more...

LSSTC Adds Two New Institutional Members

At the close of 2013, the LSST Corporation (LSSTC) added two new institutional members, Northwestern University (NU) and University of Oxford. Northwestern’s admission was approved at the Board of Directors’ face-to-face meeting October 2; Oxford was admitted at the Board’s December meeting. Both universities offer the expertise of leading researchers in scientific areas synergistic with LSST’s mission. The additions bring LSSTC institutional membership to 40 universities, planetaria, national observatories, national laboratories, and industry leaders. Read more...

AURA Workforce and Diversity Committee Meets at STScI

Members of the AURA Workforce and Diversity Committee (WDC) met in Baltimore at the Space Telescope Science Institute December 12 & 13, 2013. This AURA governance committee works to develop and maintain a positive, inclusive work environment at all AURA Centers as well as provide opportunities for underrepresented groups, institutions, and geographic areas to contribute to AURA’s mission and the overall field of astronomy. As LSST moves into construction, we're strengthening our commitment to develop a culture that promotes respect, communication, fairness, and inclusion throughout the project. Read more...


LSST is a public-private partnership. Funding for design and development activity comes from the National Science Foundation, private donations, grants to universities, and in-kind support at Department of Energy laboratories and other LSSTC Institutional Members:

Adler Planetarium; Argonne National Laboratory; Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL); California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon University; Chile; Columbia University; Cornell University; Drexel University; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; George Mason University; Google, Inc.; Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Institut de Physique Nucleaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3); Johns Hopkins University; Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) – Stanford University; Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Inc.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL); Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); National Optical Astronomy Observatory; National Radio Astronomy Observatory; Northwestern University; Princeton University; Purdue University; Research Corporation for Science Advancement; Rutgers University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Space Telescope Science Institute; Texas A & M University; The Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; The Pennsylvania State University; The University of Arizona; University of California at Davis; University of California at Irvine; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Michigan; University of Oxford; University of Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh; University of Washington; Vanderbilt and Fisk Universities

LSST E-News Team:

  • Suzanne Jacoby (Editor-in-Chief)
  • Robert McKercher (Staff Writer)
  • Mark Newhouse (Design & Production: Web)
  • Emily Acosta (Design & Production: PDF/Print)
  • Additional contributors as noted

LSST E-News is a free email publication of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project. It is for informational purposes only, and the information is subject to change without notice.

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