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Thomas Killestein

About me:

I am a second year PhD student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick. My supervisor is Danny Steeghs, and I work as part of the GOTO team, searching for optical counterparts to gravitational wave-driven merger events. A key focus of my work is developing high performance deep learning classification algorithms for finding transient candidates in GOTO data, and leveraging the GOTO discovery stream to find and characterise unique and interesting astrophysical transients.


First-author publications:

Transient-optimised real-bogus classification with Bayesian Convolutional Neural Networks -- sifting the GOTO candidate stream (Killestein et al., 2021 -- accepted for publication in MNRAS)

For a complete record of all papers I've contributed, see this curated ADS library.

Contributed talks/posters:

NAM2021 AstroML session [talk]

NAM2021 Transients Diversity session [talk]

RAS SDM Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Applied to Astronomy 2 [talk]

Statistical Challenges in Modern Astronomy VII [poster]

LSST:UK All-Hands Meeting [poster]

Observing time awarded:

2021A: 8 nights on INT/IDS as PI, Probing the GW followup landscape via a systematic spectroscopic classification campaign


Research interests:
  • Detection and characterisation of astrophysical transients
  • Deep learning, Bayesian classification, contextual machine learning
  • Data-mining of large scale astronomical surveys
  • Pro-am collaboration in astronomy

Alongside my work with GOTO, I am also a member of the ENGRAVE and ePESSTO+ collaborations


Teaching and Outreach:

I was a problems class tutor for the first year modules PX145, PX148, and PX120 for 2 years, delivering a weekly problems class based on the course material and providing marking and support for the assessed problems sheets.

I have a lot of experience with science communication and am always keen to give outreach talks to schools and astronomy societies, on a variety of topics -- previously I've done talks on the solar system, exoplanets, asteroids, and astrophotography. Please contact me via email for more information!

Picture of Thomas Killestein (2021)

Write to:

Thomas Killestein,
Department of Physics,
University of Warwick,
Coventry CV4 7AL
UK
 

Contact details:

Email: t.killestein {at} warwick.ac.uk