Using Big Data to Understand Galaxy Formation in our Neighborhood

David Nidever

Assistant Research Professor

Montana State University

How galaxies form and evolve remains one of the cornerstone questions in our understanding of the universe on grand scales. While much progress has been made by studying galaxy populations out to high redshift, there is a tremendous amount that can only be learned from near-field cosmology — that is, investigating nearby galaxies in detail using observations of individual stars.

In this talk, Dr. Nidever will highlight some of his recent achievements in this field that used large surveys to transform our understanding of the formation of our Milky Way galaxy and its largest satellite galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds. He will also discuss how he plans to take advantage of the next generation of large astronomical surveys and machine learning techniques to uncover the formation history of our galactic neighborhood.