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Madhulika Guhathakurta: "NASA FDL Overview and Status update"

Abstract: NASA FDL is an applied research accelerator based at NASA ARC and the SETI Institute, established to maximize the opportunity offered by proximity to technologies and capacities emerging in academia and the private sector - particularly Silicon Valley. Partners such as IBM, Intel, Nvidia, Lockheed Martin and Luxembourg Space Resources, have provided capital, expertise and vast computing resources required for rapid experimentation and iteration applied to data-intensive challenge topics.

FDL has successfully demonstrated the potential for interdisciplinary approaches at the Phd level, paired with public / private partnership in the field of narrow AI (machine learning, DNNs and a broad spectrum of other emerging techniques) to tackle challenges in topics such as planetary defense, heliophysics and lunar prospecting.

FDL researchers have already developed promising applications using Deep Learning (CNNs), machine vision, dimensionality reduction (t-SNEs), Variational Auto-Encoding (VAEs), adversarial approaches and bayesian optimization over extremely accelerated timeframes.

The FDL Steering Team is looking to replicate the success of 2016 and 2017 by repeating the formula with improvements to the format. The goal of FDL 3.0 is to further industrialize promising approaches of potential use to NASA, through deliberate ‘branching’ and building on the work of previous FDLs to sustain a growing community of expertise in artificial intelligence applications to the planetary sciences.

Bio: Madhulika (Lika) Guhathakurta
Lead Program Scientist, Eclipse 2017, NASA Headquarters
On Detail at NASA Ames, Program Scientist, New Initiatives

As a NASA astrophysicist, Dr. Madhulika Guhathakurta (also known as Lika) has had the opportunity to work as a scientist, mission designer, instrument builder, directing and managing science programs and teacher and spokesperson for NASA's mission and vision in the Heliophysics Division. Occasionally, she performs all of these roles in a single day. Before joining NASA Headquarters in December of 1998, Lika's career has focused on studying the importance of the scientific exploration of space in particular understanding the Sun as a star and its influence on the planet Earth, with research focus on understanding the magneto hydrodynamics of the Sun’s outermost layer, the solar corona.

Lika has been a Co-Investigator on five Spartan 201 missions on aboard space shuttles (STS-56, STS-64, STS-69, STS-87, STS-95) to study the solar corona in white-light and UV radiation and eight eclipse expeditions. She has led the Living with a Star Program for the past 15 years whose goal is to understand and ultimately predict solar variability and its diverse effects on Earth, human technology and astronauts in space, also known as "Space Weather” and has been program scientist for STEREO, SDO, Van Allen Probes, Solar Obriter, Parker Solar Probe and other missions. She created an international consortium of space agency collaborations known as “International Living With a Star” and led the effort to make “Space Weather” as part of United Nations Committee on the Peacefule Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). She has partnered with the American Museum of Natural History in New York and NASM in DC to produce full dome planetarium and 3D IMAX shows that are being exhibited internationally and used by teachers to excite the next generation of space scientists and helped create graduate level textbooks in heliophysics.. She is also the lead scientist for the 2017 Eclipse and presently on detail to NASA Ames Research Center exploring concepts for new initiatives.

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