Back to Cosmology, Data Analysis and Cardiff

Today is my first day back in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University. Although my job title, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics, is the same as it was when I was here in a previous incarnation it will be quite a different job and I’m going to be located in a different building (though not far from my old office). In fact my office is in a newly refurbished space connected with the Data Innovation Research Institute just on the other side of a car park from my old office. It looks like being an exciting time over the next few months and years as new staff across a range of disciplines join the Institute, expanding its research portfolio from astrophysics (especially gravitational wave research) into biomedical sciences and beyond.

Here’s a little video about the Data Innovation Research Institute, which is about conducting fundamental research into the aspects of managing, analysing and interpreting massive volumes of textual and numerical information:

But for the moment it’s been a day for administrative matters: taking my P45 to the Human Resources Department, getting my new Staff ID card, trying to get myself set up on the University computer network, and so on. Oh, and I’ve agreed to do some teaching in the Spring Semester, a Level 4 module on The Physics of the Early Universe. It will be nice to be teaching some cosmology again!




18 Responses to “Back to Cosmology, Data Analysis and Cardiff”

  1. Bryn Jones Says:

    Good luck in the new job. I hope everything goes excellently and that you enjoy the research.

    I looked at the website of the Data Innovation Research Institute. The website spells Bernard Schutz’s name wrongly. Good luck with changing that. One of the most difficult things I found in academia was getting central university websites to amend their content.

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes, I noticed that.

      I hope you saw that we also have Roger Whitaker to entertain us…

      • Bryn Jones Says:

        Yes. You will find Roger Whittaker’s singing, guitar playing and whistling very entertaining while you work. You’ll be pleased with his beard too.

      • Whittaker had a song called “(I’ve got to leave old) Durham town”, which might apply to some of your colleagues.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        That song appears to suggest, incorrectly, that the River Tyne runs through Durham town.

      • telescoper Says:

        The verse concerned goes

        “When I was a boy, I spent my time,
        Sitting on the banks of the river Tyne.
        Watching all the ships going down the line, they were leaving,
        Leaving, leaving, leaving, leaving me.”

        This seems to me to refer to a past recollection

      • Yes, but later he says that he needs to leave old Durham town.

        Maybe he didn’t understand what he was singing. πŸ™‚ Roger Whittaker actually had a successful career in Germany, singing in German, even though this was just phonetic, i.e. he didn’t know what he was singing. (I don’t know how common this is among other singers, especially opera singers, who often sing in different languages.)

      • telescoper Says:

        He may be in Durham now, but as a child was somewhere more interesting (ie Newcastle).

      • Actually, a quick web search shows that he now lives in France. He has lived in several countries in Europe and Africa.

        From Widipedia: “Whittaker’s original intent to set the song in Newcastle had been abandoned in favour of nearby Durham as “Durham” was a more facile song lyric. While focusing the song on Newcastle, Whittaker had set its second verse “on the banks of the river Tyne”, and as Whittaker had little or no familiarity with his chosen locale for the song he retained the verse with its Tyneside setting for the song’s finalized version set in Durham. In fact the Tyne flows eastwards through Newcastle but it is the Wear, 20 miles to the south, which flows through Durham.[5]”

        So maybe he has never been to Durham. πŸ™‚

      • telescoper Says:

        Well there’s no way he could see ever ships travelling along the Wear at Durham. It’s way too shallow!

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Can’t they spell “Weir” up there?

      • telescoper Says:

        There is a weir on the Wear at Durham, actually…

    • The website is now accessible, but extremely slow (and nothing else is, so it’s not a problem at my end). Doesn’t bode well for an institute specializing in Big Data. 😐

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    It sounds a great place to disseminate Bayesian ideas; enjoy the new job!

  3. Congratulations on your re-appointment at Cardiff and enjoy the teaching. Your structure of galaxies course at Nottingham was one of my favourites!

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