Suggest a science breakout session for the Rubin PCW 2022

The PCW Science Organizing Committee (SOC) welcomes suggested topics for breakout sessions during the Rubin 2022 Project and Community Workshop, Aug 8-12 in Tucson AZ [more information and registration link to come soon, your patience is appreciated].

Please post your suggestions as a reply in this thread, or start a New Topic in this category with the title “Suggested Breakout Session: <Your Idea Here>”. If you’re interested in chairing the session yourself, please indicate that! The SOC will be in touch.

For inspiration, take a look at the 2021 or 2020 PCW agendas and/or consider:
What would you like to learn about Rubin Observatory and the Legacy Survey of Space and Time?
What Rubin- or LSST-related science have you been working on and would like to discuss?

Anyone may participate in suggesting and discussion potential breakout session topics, even if they’re not yet registered or unsure of whether they will be able to attend.

Timeline: The SOC will be continuously reviewing breakout topic proposals, and would appreciate having lots of options in by May 31 to allow sufficient time for creating the workshop schedule and for sessions chairs to be identified and fulfill their duties. However, please do continue to suggest topics after that date, because those that can’t be fit into the workshop schedule can become the basis for the Unconference* session on Wednesday afternoon.

Use the bell button at upper right on this forum page in order to “watch” the Rubin 2022 PCW forum category and receive notifications about new PCW-related posts.

*What is an Unconference?

The last 1.5 hour block on Wednesday afternoon is an Unconference, with no pre-scheduled breakout sessions. Over the first three days of the meeting, attendees use a suggestion board to post ideas for emergent breakout topics and vote for the ones they would like to attend. During the coffee break immediately before the time block, the SOC matches the available conference room sizes to the suggested topics based on votes. It’s usually a pretty fun and popular event!

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Is there a deadline for this?

I’ve added a “timeline” to the above post to clarify, thank you.

I would like to propose a session on follow-up telescope facilities, and the preparations underway at a number of observatories to prepare to observe Rubin targets. Examples include the AEON observatories (Gemini, SOAR, LCO) and a number of In-Kind proposal teams.

I would like to suggest that a representative of the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer be one of the invited speakers, as this facility will be well placed for Rubin follow-up and would like to receive input from the community on likely science use-cases


Second session proposal: with LIGO/Virgo/Kagra O4 and O5 runs coming up now is a great time to discuss plans for Rubin’s role in Multi-messenger Astrophysics and how this is going to be organized in the community.


Another proposal: can we please have a session to connect the Science Collaboration software developers with RSP developers and optionally broker alert and/or IDAC developers as well? Right now many of us are at the stage of SRD writing, tentative prototyping and so on, and there is a lot of confusion about e.g. how can we minimize functionality duplication, what kind of data access will be available to us, how to secure data rights compliance, etc.


I strongly recommend that the PCW dedicate significant time to the discussion of survey strategy. This should include both updates from the SCOC and the MAF teams regarding their latest work and the most recent OpSim experiments but also feedback on those experiments from the community. Since this topic is of universal interest I strongly recommend that these session(s) should facilitate remote participation.


I would like to propose/participate/help organize two related sessions:

  1. Difference Image Analysis. Performance, use cases. Template generation with an eye toward Commissioning plans and coordination. Both Project and Community members could present recent interesting results and performance, and identify interesting new ideas and technical blockers.
  2. Broker coordination and use with Science collaborations and general users. Also hear about updates and remaining open questions about what will be in LSST Alert Packets as that design converges. Updates on ELASTICC challenge could be well placed here although ELASTICC itself might merit its own session.

@RShA , thanks very much for your suggestion. Could you (or anyone else in this thread!) expand a bit more on the types of software being prototyped, and the confusion being encountered? At last year’s PCW we had separate sessions with RSP developers, Alert Brokers, and IDAC developers – and perhaps we will repeat those this year. I’m thinking about whether the content needed to address these issues you raise might be worked into such separate sessions, or whether one big “Cross-System Developer Session” might be more effective.

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The DESI survey is by far the largest wide-area spectroscopic survey ever done, and the DESI instrument is and will remain the most competitive instrument for large-scale spectroscopic surveys for the remainder of this decade. Further spectroscopic observations will help to realize the primary science goals of Rubin LSST, and other surveys as well as advance cosmological constraints on growth of structure and inflation through three-dimensional clustering measurements.

The Astro2020 Decadal Survey Report notes that it is essential to sustain and advance instrumentation on existing telescopes, with highly multiplexed spectroscopy as one of three key areas for mid-scale programs. Continued investment in DESI after the approved five-year program is specifically identified as a priority for the second half of the decade. The “Enabling Flagship Dark Energy Experiments to Reach their Full Potential” whitepaper submitted to Snowmass noted the advantages of coordinating surveys to enhance the science goals of each and discusses extended “Rubin Observatory Imaging to Enable a DESI-2 Survey”.

The DESI collaboration would like to present areas where changes to the nominal LSST footprint and cadences could yield better science outcomes when combined with continued observations by DESI.

We would be interested in chairing the session.

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The project I am talking about is the Dash, a TVS SC portal to access, visualize and perform a ‘quick and dirty’ analysis of LSST time-series data. Simply put, we are developing a portal to select some sources according to user-specified criteria (coords, mag lims, etc), visualize the selected sample on a histogram/color-magnitude diagram/etc, refine the search according to what the user sees on the plot, inspect the light curves and what data are available for them (TVS-provided classifications, periods, etc) and so on.
For now, we are planning to use DR data only, but fetching data from the alert brokers might become an option in further versions of the Dash. But it is still a bit unclear to us how are we going to get access to the DR data (through RSP API? Through light IDAC API?), how can we ensure that everything is fine with data rights (originally we assumed that RSP will be providing authorization mechanisms), and also how in particular shall we follow the requirement from the SRS, the one about ‘coordination with the visualization software enabled by RSP, and other features as they develop in the RSP’. Also, to me, it seems likely that projects such as ours will be developed by other science collaborations as well (obviously, with their own scientific cases in mind), so it is likely that there will be questions that do not come to my head.


The “From Data to Software to Science” (DSS) meeting at the CCA organized by LINCC Frameworks brought together astronomers with expertise in key LSST science cases and Rubin data management to discuss the challenges in carrying out their science analyses given the scale and complexity of the LSST data set. One of the outcomes of the meeting was a set of six technical areas where the astronomy community could come together to develop science analysis tools and software infrastructure that would enable a broad range of LSST science (e.g. time series tools, catalog cross-matching services, photometric redshifts, image classification algorithms for postage stamp images). The SOC for DSS would like to propose a session that describes the science cases that arose at the meeting and the resulting needs for software and algorithmic development, followed by a discussion of the priorities for software development work, and how the community might work together on these priorities. A white paper from the DSS meeting will be available before the PCW to provide background for the discussion.

We would be interested in chairing the session


@MelissaGraham following up on your thread with @RShA, it would be interesting to hear what software is being developed (or what plans there are for development) through the IDACs and to get feedback from the RSP developers on interfaces, services, and the scalability of these services. From the perspective of the proposal for a session on the “From Data to Software to Science” meeting that talks about needs this might be a good follow on session so folks have visibility into what others are doing


A follow-up of the Satellite Constellation sessions from last year’s PCW at this year’s meeting would also be helpful.

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A session focused on giving a detailed update on the in-kind contribution process geared for the science community including highlighting what resources the US and Chilean researchers and in some cases the science collaborations will receive would be very helpful

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@connolly I had thought we might include in this session the goal of pairing use cases to computational resources provided by IDACs, but reading the description I think that might be too much. So perhaps we should propose that as a separate session.

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Thanks, everyone! These suggestions are excellent. The SOC has been busy reaching out to potential session chairs and firming up plans for sessions that incorporate all of these topics – more info to come soon.

Deadline confusion. I made a mistake in my first post, quoting a deadline of May 31, which (as many have noticed) is at odds with the deadline of May 16 mentioned in the announcement that registration had opened. We (the organizers) actually need to have a draft agenda put together by the end of May, and the May 16 deadline gives us two weeks to, e.g., confirm session chairs, match sessions to rooms, avoid double-booking people. BUT! Instead of inconveniencing our science community by shortening the deadline they were first given, the SOC will honor my mistake and all topics suggested here by the end of May will be given the same consideration. So please don’t hesitate. (And remember that, even later, emergent topics can be raised and covered during the Unconference.)

Suggestions via the forum vs. the PCW website. No one who has posted suggestions here, via the Forum, needs to also use the “Suggest a Session” page in the Rubin 2022 PCW website. Just use one or the other.

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I would like to propose a breakout session on science verification and validation plans and tooling that would be an open invitation for presentations from Rubin Observatory and Science Collaborations. This could be a venue for Rubin Observatory to describe analysis software that is being developed and the types of data quality and science performance metrics and visualizations that would be produced as part of Science Pipelines processing. It would also be a venue for the Science Collaborations to describe their expected workflows and tooling to scientifically validate the LSST data products for their specific science areas. @nsevilla expressed interest in this topic from the DESC side and it would be wonderful to hear from other Science Collaborations too. Please feel free to reply to this posting with suggestions.

Update based on comments:
I was thinking that this breakout session idea would be more related to software and workflows for data analysis rather than on-sky observing strategy during commissioning, but I am noting the suggestion from @mschwamb that there is interest to hear more about the on-sky observing strategy as well.

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A detailed proposal for an IDAC session:

Title: Connecting the Community to IDAC and SPC Resources

Background: The Rubin In-Kind program includes roughly a dozen Independent Data Access Centers (IDACs) and Scientific Processing Centers (SPCs). These contributions aim to provide computing and storage resources to the Rubin community, along with local access to subsets of the LSST data, to support compute-intensive scientific analysis. As will be described in a separate session, the workshop “From Data to Software to Science with the Rubin Observatory LSST”, organized by the LINCC Frameworks project, identified several areas, along with specific use cases, needing software development and hardware resource support. IDACs and SPCs have an opportunity to support these use cases through their hardware and development resources.

Goals: In this session, we will review the context outlined above and discuss the steps needed to pair specific user communities and use cases to individual IDACs and SPCs. In-Kind IDAC/SPC providers and community scientists are especially encouraged to attend.

Excellent suggestion @bechtol. I second this session idea. It would be great if in this session the community could hear about how the commissioning notes that were submitted a while ago are being incorporated into the commissioning plans being developed and when the community would know which of the proposed tests from those commissioning notes have made it into the commissioning plan.