Project With David Stenning

Bayesian Analysis of Stellar Evolution

Open Clusters are gravitationally-bound groups of stars that formed at roughly the same time from a common molecular cloud. This makes them interesting objects for astrophysical study as their physical properties provide insight into the formation and evolution of our Milky Way galaxy. However, actually inferring their physical properties is statistically challenging; state-of-the-art methods, built into a software suite known as BASE-9, utilize Bayesian techniques and sophisticated Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) routines for model fitting. This project will use BASE-9 to analyze many open clusters, and the student will develop skills in Bayesian inference and MCMC, also gaining insight into the exciting emerging field of astrostatistics.