Hello! I am an Astrophysicist and Data Scientist, and now a Climate Scientist in training as a PIVOT fellow, thanks to support from the Simons Foundation. I am spending the year at Columbia University's LEAP (Learning the Earth with AI and Physics), where I am learning how Data Science tools can be used to improve climate models and find climate solutions; I just obtained funding for my first proposal in Climate Science x AI, and I will be hiring a postdoc soon! More broadly, I am also reflecting on how scientists can foster a more responsible AI revolution and how principles of ethical AI can be translated into an actionable framework for scientists. Since October 2023, I have been a member of the Italian AI Advisory Council, tasked by the Italian government with proposing an updated national strategy for AI.
I am a Professor in the Physics Department at the CUNY NYC College of Technology and at the CUNY Graduate Center. I teach Astronomy and Machine Learning classes, and I wrote an introductory textbook on Machine Learning techniques for Physics and Astronomy for Princeton University Press that won the 2023 Chambliss Astronomical Writing award. With CUNY scholars Olga Privman and Jake Postiglione, I developed a free MOOC-style course on the same topic. Sign up here, and/or stay tuned for a Spanish version in upcoming months.
I am also a Visiting Scholar of the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute, a member of the CUNY Astro group, and a Harlow Shapley Visiting Lecturer for the American Astronomical Society. In 2023, I was honored to receive the Mentorship Award from Women Who Code, who also named me as one of 100 Technologists to Watch. In 2021, I was named one of 13 "Tecnovisionarie" Italian Women in AI by Women&Tech. In 2020, Wired (Italy) listed me as one of 50 women who are doing the history of Computer Science, which is certainly an exaggeration, but gave me a chance to say what I think about my idea of the ''new" physicist in this interview (original, in Italian, here). In 2018, I was named one of Italy's 50 most influential Women in Tech by InspiringFifty. In 2017, I was a recipient of the Feliks Gross Award for outstanding scholarship.
You can check out my Google Scholar profile and read my papers here, take a look at my (shortened) CV here, read a lovely recent piece about my Chambliss award here, or hear a Sep 2021 interview about MLxAstro in the Data Exchange Podcast here.
Woo-ooh! I received the 2023 Mentorship Award from Women Who Code, and they even made me a personalized video! This was a really moving moment for me and it will keep me motivated for years to come.
I went back to my very first postdoctoral grounds, at University of Pennsylvania, to give the Astrophysics/Cosmology seminar. It was very lovely to chat with old friends and I loved meeting the students!
Woo-oooh! Women Who Code included me in their first-ever list of Technologists to Watch. I love the work that they do to make tech more inclusive and welcoming to all, and hope to give a tiny contribution to the cause!
I am very excited to announce that we are now working on the Spanish version of our MOOC course in Machine Learning: Aprendizaje Automatìco para Fisìca y Astronomìa, together with a fantastic group of postdocs/students: Cecilio Rosario-Flores (CUNY), Genaro Suárez (AMNH), Lucia Perez (Princeton/CCA), and Manuel Pichardo-Marcano. Hope to announce the release of this FREE resource in the Summer!
I gave a few talks during this time: one at NYIT where I saw my lovely friend and former colleague Sophia Domokos, one (remote) at Georgia Tech, invited by the talented Snigdaa Sethuram, and finally the CCA colloquium ``Machine Learning with Pen and Paper", which you can find on YouTube.
I had a fantastic time giving some lectures on Machine Learning x Astronomy at the "Essential Cosmology for the Next Generation" conference... informally knows as Cosmology on the Beach!
I was awarded the PIVOT Fellowship from the Simons Foundation to shift my research field from Astrophysics to Climate Science. I will study for one year at Columbia's LEAP center under the mentorship of Profs. Pierre Gentine and Galen McKinley. I am super excited about this new chapter in my professional life!
Had an amazing time at the EAS conference in Valencia, where I also took Clara for the first time because of a last-minute childcare emergency. She was NOT impressed with my talks :D
Visited Roberto Trotta and the amazing Data Science group at my PhD alma mater, SISSA, for two weeks! It was an amazing experience and I got more research done and ideas in these two weeks than in... longer than I like to think.
First work trip in 2 years - Astronomy colloquium at the University of Minnesota, hosted by the wonderful Claudia Scarlata. Such a great feeling to meet with people again to discuss science, and I found an exceptional group of faculty, postdocs, and students. Came back exhausted but also energized!
On February 16th I gave my first in-person seminar (outside the home turf of CCA!) in 2 years, at Fordham University. It was so exciting to go visit a new place, meet new people, chat, grab lunch and coffee, and talk (with a mask) in front of many 3D people! Great questions from the students, and a lovely department!
The reviews for my textbook "ML x Phys/Astro" are in! Time to think about revisions!
I sent out to the publisher the first complete draft of my book! I am excited to work on a parallel MOOC course with the awesome Javioli team, including ACP majors and Honors Scholars Olga Privman and Jake Postiglione.
Congratulations to Dr. David Valcin, who successfully defended his doctoral thesis! Also a pleasure to work on the committee with lovely colleagues and friends - Matteo Viel, Licia Verde, and Mark Gieles.
I was promoted to Full Professor! Woot woot! A nice beginning for my 10th (!) year at CUNY.
Congratulations to Dr. Wouter Dobbels, who successfully (privately and publicly) defended his Ph.D. thesis today. Great job, and a lovely experience to get back in touch with his supervisor, Marteen Baes, and learn about how the process works in Belgium. Sad that I couldn't physically be there - one day...
Super honored to be I named one of 13 "Tecnovisionarie" Italian Women in AI by Women&Tech, and to have my wonderful mentor, colleague, and friend Licia Verde introduce me and write the citation!
Excited to participate as panelist and session chair at a "Meeting in a Meeting" on Machine Learning in Astronomy, organized by the super-resourceful Aritra Ghosh (Yale), at the 238th American Astronomical Society meeting.
Talks talks talks! I'll be talking about learning about galaxies with ML and Bayesian model selection at the Trieste Observatory/Univ Trieste on January 18, at the CIERA Institute of Northwestern University on January 19, and at UC Santa Cruz on February 4.
We presented our work "Debunking Generalization Error or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Training Set" (can you tell I am very proud of the title?), with Chris Lovell and Emille Ishida, at the NeurIPS workshop "ML x Physical Sciences". Find it also on arXiv!.
Andy Lawler and I put on arXiv the paper "Detecting episodes of star formation using Bayesian model selection" resulting from his dissertation. Read more about it in the Research page, or find it on arXiv!
Back home in New York... it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Looking forward to going back to the virtual classroom, will be teaching one undergraduate course and one graduate course (my first!) in ML x Physics and Astronomy.
The time has come to leave Barcelona, and I have a lot of conflicting emotions, but above all, a lot of gratitude for the people who welcomed me and made me feel at home: Licia Verde and everybody in her research group at UB.
I was honored to be one of the committee members for Nicola Bellomo's Ph.D. graduation (advisor: Licia Verde). I learned a lot by reading his thesis, and loved meeting my fellow committee members Paolo Pani and Gianfranco Bertone.
Super excited to share that I've signed a contract with Princeton University Press to write a textbook on Machine Learning methods for Physics and Astronomy (or any discipline where the scientific method rules!) I'm scared and excited at the same time. If I say no to an invitation in the next 9 months, please know it's not personal :)
My next adventure brings me to my alma mater, Pisa, where I'll give the social dinner talk at the Scientific Data Analysis School at the Scuola Normale. Can't wait to be back, talk and listen science, and see many old friends!
I headed to Milan to give an invited talk and participate in the wonderful conference "The art of measuring galaxy physical parameters. I wasn't able to stay for the whole week, but I learned a lot and came back with a ton of new ideas!
Group member Andy Lawler successfully defended his Ph.D. in Statistics. He's my first official graduate! :) Congrats Dr. Andy!
My article (in Italian) about Astronomy and Machine Learning was published in Asimmetrie, the outreach publication of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics, in an issue devoted to data. Give it a read and subscribe to the magazine, it's free!
I gave a seminar at the LPC of Clermont-Ferrand and spent two lovely days discussing science and life with the talented Emille Ishida. What a treat!
I just arrived at University of Barcelona for sabbatical! Excited to spend the academic year doing research and to be hosted by the amazing Licia Verde.
I have been awarded $5,000 in Google Cloud platform credits! Group member and Ph.D. candidate Andy Lawler and I will use them to deploy several flavors of nested sampling algorithms to do model selection on galaxy star formation histories.
Group member Hashir Qureshi is off to his training apprenticeship at Amazon. Amaz(on)ing!
I am teaching a summer school and leading a workshop/hackaton series in Machine Learning x Astronomy at the Center for Computational Astrophysics of the Flatiron Institute. All the school materials are on GitHub and lecture recordings are here on the YouTube channel of the Simons Foundation.
Group member Harpreet Gaur starts her Data Science internship at Microsoft Research. Woot woot!
Honorary group member Christopher Lovell successfully defended his Ph. D. thesis. Congrats Dr. Lovell! We miss you!
I am giving the Physics and Astronomy seminar at the University of Delaware, hosted by the great Federica Bianco.
I am honored to be the Keynote speaker for the Finals Round of the New York City Science and Engineering Fair at the American Museum of Natural History.
My review paper on Machine Learning in Astronomy is on arxiv and I gave a talk about it at the DarkMachines monthly group meeting.
I'm super excited to have been named one of Italy's ``Inspiring 50", the 50 most influential Italian Women in Tech. Read the official press release here or the articles on Wired and Repubblica (in Italian).
I gave a keynote talk titled "Putting the Science in Data Science" at the Chief Data Officer Summit in New York on Dec 12.
I gave an invited review on Machine Learning in Astronomy at the IAU meeting "Challenges in Panchromatic Modelling of Galaxies with Next Generation Facilities".
I ran a tutorial session at Strata NYC on "Learning Machine Learning with Astronomy Data",
together with City Tech students Hashir Qureshi and Harpreet Gaur and graduate student Andy Lawler.
I talked about my Strata talk and other ongoing projects where I use Machine Learning and Astronomy with Sam Charrington at "This Week in ML/AI". Listen to the podcast here.