Data-Driven Approaches to Searches for the Technosignatures of Advanced Civilizations

May 20 - 24, 2019
California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA 91125

Workshop Overview:

The focus of the study is new approaches toward the search for intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe.  Such a discovery would have profound scientific, cultural and societal impact.  In the era of the rapid advances in exoplanet studies, including searches for biomarkers, and the exponential growth of data, the time is right to revisit this challenge using a fresh, data-driven approach that would minimize the existing anthropocentric and cultural biases as much as possible.

We will explore the possible paths for a systematic exploration of observable parameter spaces derived from the modern sky surveys, using machine learning and other computational tools.  To this effect, we will address specific methods to conduct objective and unbiased searches for sources or signals that would appear anomalous in some well-defined way, and investigate the possible ways of separating those of possible artificial origins from the natural, albeit rare physical phenomena.

The outcome of this study would be an evaluation of the possible technical approaches to this problem that can be applied on the existing and forthcoming data sets and streams from large sky surveys, and the recommendations for the observing strategies that may increase the chances of the success.  These can be used as a basis for the larger proposals for the future studies.
As an added benefit, this study would also sharpen our methodology to look for the rare and/or as yet unknown natural phenomena that may be hidden in these vast data sets.

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Lodging for out-of-town attendees

There are a number of hotels (5 pages pdf, 181KB) that are close to the Caltech campus where we have a negotiated rate. (Please note that this negotiated rate does not guarantee you the lowest rate as there may be internet specials or AAA rates that may be better.)

Please note that with enough notice, you can reserve rooms for attendees at the Athenaeum, which has been recognized as a Platinum Club of America. Newly refurbished, it is conveniently located on the Caltech Campus. Contact Janet Seid if you would like to check the availability of this option.

Visa Requirements

For Visa requirement information and travel to the United States please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State.

Parking (for Visitors and for JPL Personnel)

For Visitors: From the Arroyo Parkway, turn right (east) on Del Mar Avenue. Proceed approximately one and a quarter miles. The Caltech campus will be on your right. Turn right (south) onto Wilson Avenue. Turn right into the North Wilson Structure and park in an unmarked spot. Buy a parking permit from the kiosk located inside the North Wilson Structure or request one ahead of time from KISS.

For JPL Personnel: JPLers may use their JPL hang tag for parking or request a special parking hangtag from the JPL parking office. Employees who do not have on-Lab parking privileges can obtain a hang tag created for this purpose from JPL parking coordinator Robert Kennedy (818-354-4586, Building 310-108B, 9/80 schedule). Please park in an unmarked spot in the North Wilson Structure located on Wilson Avenue.

Maps and General Information on Pasadena

Directions and Maps