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Being an astrophysic grad student with mathematical background, I have recently become interested in the field of astrostatistics. I know that this is a quite new field that combines astrophysics, statistics and data mining due to the huge amount of data that our telescopes are able to generate. We need sophisticated tools to be able to process it.

I want to learn more about this topic, so I want to ask for some good books or resources on this subject. I have a course on general statistics and I am not at all afraid of abstract mathematical reasoning.

Could you please recommend something in this line?

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  • $\begingroup$ Some books on Bayesian statistics, machine learning, and a statistical language like IDL and/or R would be a good start. $\endgroup$ – lemon Oct 27 '16 at 9:50
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Profs. Eric Feigelson and Jogesh Babu at Penn State are widely seen as "Godfathers" of astrostatistics. Every year, they run the Summer School in Statistics for Astronomers which I attended in 2014. The summer school's web page is publically accessible, and lecture slides and materials for exercise sessions in R with code and instructions. These sessions are connected thematically to some of the lectures, and all exercises consist of functioning code which can be run at home in e.g. RStudio. The lectures are a great introduction to a wide variety of techniques in astrostatistics, and it is easy to get one's hands on the gears in the exercises, but of course lecture slides are a bit superficial.

If one wants to go more in depth, the course materials also contain a long suggested reading list. Feigelseon & Babu are also the authors of a graduate-level astrostatistics textbook, which is built around real-life examples often encountered in astronomy, and which also contains a number of exercises in R.


EDIT: If you are more interested in the data mining/machine learning side of things, try AstroML, a combination of software module, text book and online resources like Jupyter notebooks etc. - the book costs what books cost, but many online resources are free.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, I managed to get the book you mention and it seems good. I'd love to see any other comment but thanks to you I have plenty of material to check because of the suggested reading lists :) $\endgroup$ – Javier Oct 30 '16 at 13:51

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