Bhuvnesh Jain, Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Natural Sciences and Co-Director of the Penn Center for Particle Cosmology, talked to Omnia, the magazine of Penn's School of Arts and Sciences, about what drew him to astrophysics as a child and the important role that big data and data analysis has played in cutting edge research in astronomy and cosmology today.
"There is more space than ever to be creative, though it has a different flavor. It takes a blend of developing a gut feeling for the subject, as before, and querying massive datasets in new ways, often by developing clever algorithms. Interestingly, it’s sometimes the undergraduate students who ask the most creative questions. So, even though we have advanced technology and big data now, it is no less important to see the problem with fresh eyes and ask bold questions," Jain said.