Mohammad Akhlaghi

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Dr Mohammad Akhlaghi

Professional title: 
Researcher
Primary Domain/Field of Expertise (Other): 
Astronomy/Astrophysics
Organization name: 
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)
Organization type: 
Government/Public Services
City: 
San Cristóbal de La Laguna
Country: 
Spain

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As an observational astronomer who studies galaxy evolution, I have to deal with various large data sets from many telescopes. In many branches of the Natural Sciences scientists are an active element in their studied phenomena (for example how particle physicists have to collide protons to study their substructure, or chemists, biologists, or even psychologists who actively test their subjects in various conditions), thus their fields can be classified as "experimental". But as astronomers, we can't actively collide galaxies with each other, or test alternate universes to study galaxy evolution, we are just passive observers. As passive observers, the proper recording and using of archival data has been a critical component of astronomy for centuries. This thus explains my interest in being a member of the RDA: we don't "see" the sky only through telescopes any more. Before it reaches our eyes, the data goes through a filter of databases and analysis software. Therefore the importance for understanding these elements of modern data analysis and archival is as important to an astronomer as understanding the optics of the telescope and camera. During my research, I have worked a lot on how to extract science out of data sets. For example I am the founder and maintainer of GNU Astronomy Utilities (Gnuastro, [1]), which is a large collection of software for astronomical data analysis. Also, my new project on a template for reproducible science and data lineage was awarded an RDA adoption grant [2]. [1] https://www.gnu.org/software/gnuastro [2] https://rd-alliance.org/blogs/adoption-grant-introductions-template-reproducible-shareable-and-archivable-data-analysis.html





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