The People behind the Challenge

We thank the NeurIPS 2022 organising team for their support.

Dr. Kai Hou (Gordon) Yip

University College London (coordinator,evaluator,beta-tester), is a Research Fellow at UCL ExoAI group focusing on designing ML & Explainable AI solutions for the modelling of exoplanet atmospheres. He is a coordinator of the Machine Learning working group within the ESA Ariel Space Mission consortium and an award holder for the Postdoctoral Enrichment Award from the Alan Turing Institute. During his PhD he has employed statistical methods to characterise planetary atmospheres. He also works on generative adversarial models for detecting and simulating ultra-low signal-to-noise observations of extrasolar planets. Link to personal website

Dr. Quentin Changeat

University College London (data provider), is a post-doctoral research fellow at UCL and an expert in modelling and data interpretation of exoplanet atmospheres. He is a leader in the analysis of data from the Hubble Space Telescope and has exploited this instrument to understand the chemistry and thermal structure of many exoplanets. Dr. Quentin Changeat is also the coordinator of the Spectral Retrieval working group for the future ESA telescope Ariel. In September 2022, he will join the Space Telescope Institute as an ESA Fellow to work on the analysis of exo-atmospheres with the NASA James Webb Space Telescope. The codes he developed will be used to generate the datasets of this data-challenge. Link to personal website.

Dr. Ingo Waldmann

University College London / The Alan Turing Institute (coordinator, evaluator), is an Associate Professor in astrophysics at UCL, deputy director of the Centre for Space Exochemistry Data (CSED), a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute and the principal investigator (PI) of the European Research Council project ExoAI. The ExoAI group focuses on designing and implementing machine learning approaches in the data analysis and modelling of exoplanet and solar-system data. He is leading the Machine Learning work of the European Space Agency Ariel mission consortium.x

Dr. Nikolaos Nikolaou

University College London (consultant, evaluator, beta-tester), is an Assistant Professor in Data Intensive Science. His background is in machine learning and especially feature selection, ensemble methods & cost-sensitive learning. His current interests involve causal inference, explainable machine learning methods for astrophysics and pharmaceutical & medical applications. He was the main organiser of our 2019 ECML-PKDD Data Challenge and a co-organiser of our 2021 ECML-PKDD Data Challenge. Link to personal website.

Dr. Ahmed Faris Al-Refaie

University College London (consultant, evaluator, beta-tester), is the Head of Numerical Methods of UCL-CSED and has been building high performance scientific software for the last 8 years. He is the head developer of the TauREx 3 platform, a fast, modulular, GPU-enabled, parallel radiative transfer simulator that has gone on to be used in over 40 publications in the last 2 years.

Dr. Billy Edwards

Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (data provider), is a post-doctoral fellow at CEA. His work has a general focus on exoplanets but with particular emphasis on spacecraft capability and operations studies. He works on modelling the performance of the JWST, Ariel and Twinkle (http://www.twinkle-spacemission.co.uk) space missions, exploring their expected capabilities and optimising target selection. We will base our simulated planets on his Ariel target list.

Mr. Mario Morvan

University College London (beta tester, evaluator), is a PhD candidate at the UCL Centre for Doctoral training in Data Intensive Science. His focus is on developing innovative deep learning techniques to denoise astronomical time series and characterise exoplanet transits from various space-based missions. Mr. Morvan provided the baseline model for our 2019 and 2021 ECML-PKDD Data Challenge. Link to personal website.

Dr. Angelos Tsiaras

Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (data-provider), is a senior research fellow at UCL. He is a leading expert in data analysis for Hubble Space Telescope data. He is the lead author of the first detection of a potentially habitable atmosphere around a temperate super-Earth [22] and he authored the largest self-consistent catalogue of exoplanet atmospheres to-date. Dr. Tsiaras is leading the data generation effort. He is one of the co-organiser of our 2019 and 2021 ECML-PKDD Data Challenge. Link to personal website.

Prof. Giovanna Tinetti

University College London (consultant), is a professor in astrophysics at UCL and the Principal Investigator (PI) and science lead of the Ariel space mission and scientific lead of the Twinkle Space Mission. Additionally, she is the PI of the ExoLights group at UCL working on Bayesian inverse retrievals of exoplanet atmospheric data and atmospheric modelling. Prof. Tinetti is the director of UCL’s Centre for Space Exoplanet Data (UCL-CSED). Link to personal website.

Dr. Catarina Alves de Oliveira

European Space Agency (consultant), Catarina is a Science Operations Development Manager, she is responsible for the definition, design and implementation of the ESA contribution to science operations of the Ariel and SMILE missions. She is responsible for quality control of the simulation product from ArielRad.

Prof. Pierre-Olivier Lagage

Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (In- strument model provider), is a research director at CEA. He is co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) of the MIRI instrument on board of the JWST and is leading the MIRI European consortium program dedicated to JWST observations of exoplanet atmospheres. He is also co-PI of the Ariel mission and leads the Ariel science group in charge of the synergies between JWST and Ariel. He is the director of the CEA’s astrophysics department (staff around 200 people).

Prof. James Cho

Center for Computational Astrophysics Flatiron Institute, Simons Foundation, is a Research Scientist at CCA and Professor at Queen Mary University in London. His work focuses on modelling exoplanet atmospheric dynamics. In particular, he pioneered in the development of numerical methods to simulate complex exoplanet climates.

Dr. Clare Jenner

Distributed Research utilising Advanced Computing (DiRAC) (consultant on HPC facility), is Deputy Director of the STFC DiRAC High Performance Computing Facility. She directs the facility’s training programmes supporting the prestigious DiRAC user-community’s educational, research and innovation activities. She will be providing advice on HPC resource management.

Dr. Jeyan Thiyagalingam

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, is the Head of Scientific Machine Learning (SciML) Research Group at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK), and a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute UK (consultant on ML methodologies). The SciML group is one of the UK’s premier AI for Science research groups, specialising on developing and applying AI/ML techniques for a wide range of problems across a range of scientific domains, including astronomy. He is also one of the general chairs for the MLCommons Science Working Group, an international body that leads AI Benchmarking initiatives to shape the AI landscape, especially with the focus on science. He also leads the AI Benchmarking for Science initiative across various US-UK national labs.