LSSTC 2022 Enabling Science Wasabi Technologies Award Recipient

Amanda Wasserman

LSSTC/Wasabi Technologies Call for Proposals was available to fund a single LSSTC Member Institution, providing $25K for a graduate student, postdoc, or research scientist, including salary, tuition, and/or stipend, and direct costs towards travel, publications, etc.

Congratulations to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign!

Title: Improving LSST Spectroscopic Follow-up in the Time-Domain with an Active Learning Loop
PI Name: Prof. Gautham Narayan
Abstract: We will deploy and validate the Recommendation System for Spectroscopic Follow-up of Transients (RESSPECT) on precursor surveys for LSST
Total Budget Request ($US): $25,000
Period of Performance: Aug 16, 2022-Dec 31, 2023

Amanda Wasserman is a second-year graduate student who is part of the LSST commissioning team and is working to prepare for the incoming plethora of data. Over the next year, Amanda will be preparing a pipeline for selecting which transient events merit spectroscopic follow-up.

Currently, only about 8% of transients are being followed up on due to the expensive nature of taking spectroscopic data. As LSST will discover 10-100 times the number of transients while available spectroscopic time remains fixed, this fraction will fall to less than 0.1%. Thus, it is imperative that we have a pipeline to determine what is most important to follow up on.

Amanda will be implementing the active learning pipeline: the Recommendation System for Spectroscopic Follow-up (RESSPECT(link is external) (link is external)). She will deploy and validate RESSPECT(link is external) on public alerts from the Zwicky Transient Facility, the DECam Alliance for Transients, and the Young Supernova Experiment. The resulting pipeline will be well-prepared for LSST first light when the algorithm’s performance is tested on Rubin commissioning data and optimized for operations. Follow-up spectroscopy of LSST discovered transients not only reveals the class and redshift but is also key to understanding the physics behind explosive time-domain phenomena such as supernovae, kilonovae, and tidal disruption events.