Virtual seminar on Computational Imaging for Scientific Discovery: From Cloud Physics to Black Hole Dynamics

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Dr Aviad Levis

Our Liverpool Virtual Seminar Series on Data Intensive Science will continue on Tuesday 13th December 2022 at 4pm GMT. The seminar will be given by Dr Aviad Levis, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Computing and Mathematical Sciences Department, Caltech who will present “Computational Imaging for Scientific Discovery: From Cloud Physics to Black Hole Dynamics”.

Seminars in this series cover R&D outside of the data intensive science CDT’s core research areas and give an insight into cutting edge research in this area. At the end of the talk there will be a Q&A session with the speaker.


About the talk

Imaging plays a key role in advancing science, from revealing the internal structure of clouds to the first visual evidence of a black hole. While both examples come from very different systems, they illustrate what can be achieved by integrating imaging with modern computational approaches. Computational imaging combines concepts from physics, machine learning, and signal processing to reveal hidden structures at the smallest and largest of scales.

In this talk, Dr Levis will highlight how peeling away layers of the underlying physics leads to a spectrum of algorithms targeting new scientific discoveries. He will focus on the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT); a unique computational camera with the goal of imaging the glowing fluid surrounding supermassive black holes. In May of 2022, the EHT collaboration revealed the first images of the black hole at the centre of our galaxy: Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). These images were computationally reconstructed from measurements taken by synchronized telescopes around the globe.

While images certainly offer interesting insights, looking toward the future, we are developing new computational algorithms that aim to go beyond a 2D image. For example, could we use EHT observations to recover the dynamic evolution or even the 3D structure? Our hope is that in the not-too-distant future these new and exciting prospects for black-hole imaging will enable scientific discovery and even provide a glimpse into the very nature of space-time itself in our galaxy's most extreme environment.


About the speaker

Dr Levis works as a Postdoctoral scholar in the Computing & Mathematical Sciences department at Caltech. Currently, as part of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, his work focuses on developing novel computational methods for imaging black hole dynamics.

Dr Levis obtained his BSc in Electrical Engineering from Ben-Gurion University in Israel before going on to complete a PhD at the Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Technion at the Israel Institute of Technology. His PhD thesis was titled ‘Volumetric Imaging of the Natural Environment’. Notably, his Ph.D. research into 3D tomography of clouds has paved the way for a novel interdisciplinary space mission (CloudCT) funded by the ERC. While studying he gained many awards including a fellowships for academic achievement. He also undertook internships at Google and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory while studying. In his current post he now holds a postdoctoral fellowship for nurturing future faculty members.


How to attend

Participation is free, but you need to register to attend this and other webinars in the series. For more information and how to register please follow this link. Once registered, you will receive the Zoom connection details on the morning of the online seminar.


The seminar details

Speaker: Dr Aviad Levis (Caltech)

Seminar title: "Computational Imaging for Scientific Discovery: From Cloud Physics to Black Hole Dynamics"

Date/Time: Tuesday 13th December at 4pm GMT