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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Establishing a Radio Astronomy Data Science Center at UW–Madison

This project will establish the UW–Madison as a vital hub and innovative partner with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and a consortium of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to establish a radio astronomy data science center. The project will put UW–Madison astronomers at the forefront of the next generation of radio astronomy surveys, engage the data science community at the UW–Madison, and allow the UW–Madison to take a leading role in preparing a new generation of diverse data scientists.

The NRAO is undertaking a multi-year project to image the entire sky visible from New Mexico using the Karl Jansky Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS) to provide the deepest look at the Universe at 2-4 GHz, allowing us to probe galaxy evolution, black hole growth, and the origin and evolution of large scale magnetic fields, all of which are at the forefront of modern astrophysics. The UW–Madison effort will be to aid in the processing and imaging VLASS data, developing and implementing tools to extract science out of the data, and developing and implementing tools that allow astronomers to use VLASS in conjunction with other astronomical datasets.

Principal Investigator:

  • Eric Wilcots
    Professor of Astronomy

Co-Principal Investigator:

  • Sebastian Heinz
    Professor of Astronomy


  • Keith Bechtol
    Assistant Professor of Physics
  • AnHai Doan
    Professor of Computer Sciences
  • Eric Hooper
    Scientist in Astronomy
  • Lauren Michael
    Scientist, Center for High Throughput Computing
  • Robert Nowak
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Lyndele von Schill
    Director of Diversity and Inclusion, National Radio Astronomy Observatory


  • Tony Beasley
    Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • Miron Livny
    Professor of Computer Sciences, Director of the Center for High Throughput Computing, Chief Technology Officer of the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
  • Snezana Stanimirovic
    Professor of Astronomy