The discovery and characterization of exoplanets requires both superbly accurate instrumentation and sophisticated statistical methods, to extract weak planetary signals from dominant starlight, very large samples and noisy datasets. This meeting will bring together exoplanet and computational statistics experts to discuss and address key challenges, including:

  • detection of exoplanets using a variety of methods including radial velocity, astrometry, transits, direct imaging, and microlensing
  • detailed modelling of planetary signals to extract information on the planets’  orbital, bulk and atmospheric properties
  • inferring the properties of the underlying planet population from incomplete and biased samples from a range of surveys.

Invited speakers include leading statisticians and astronomers at the forefront of exoplanet detection and characterisation. The program will include sessions on:

  • planetary signals in sparse datasets
  • planetary signals in continuous light curves
  • high contrast imaging
  • planet populations
  • planetary atmospheres
  • statistician’s perspective

Although exoplanets are a particularly fertile ground for cross-disciplinary work, the increased importance of statistical methodology is a trend that extends across much of astronomy, and we hope to attract a broad spectrum of participants taking part in the IAU General Assembly.

To build on what we hope will be a productive exchange of ideas between the two communities, we will also organise a day of tutorials and hands-on experimentation with algorithms and software packages, outside the official IAU GA program, on Thursday 6th of August.  See Hack Day.

The focus meeting will be sponsored by the International Statistical Institute, International Astrostatistics Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the International Astronomical Union.

International Statistical Institute

Astrostatistics and Astroinformatics Portal

International Astronomical Union


Scientific Organizing Committee

Suzanne Aigrain (U. Oxford, UK) – chair
Andrew Collier-Cameron (U. St Andrews, UK)
Laurent Eyer (Observatoire de Geneve, CH)
Eric Feigelson (Penn State, US) – co-chair
Philip Gregory (U. British Columbia, CA)
Chris Koen (U. Western Cape, SA)
Michael Liu (U. Hawaii, US)
Oleg Malkov (Russian Academy of Science, RU)
Claire Moutou (U. Marseille-Provence / CFHT, FR)
Sascha Quanz (ETH Zurich)
James Berger (Duke U., US)

Local Organizing Committee

Michael Liu – chair (U. Hawaii)
Andrew Howard (U. Hawaii)
Janis Hagelberg (U. Hawaii)
Benjamin J Fulton (U. Hawaii)
Claire Moutou (CFHT)



FM8.1: Statistics for Exoplanetary Research
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM Introduction: Suzanne Aigrain, Eric Feigelson, Joseph Hilbe
10:30 AM – 11:15 AM Transit Timing Variations … , Eric B. Ford et al.
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM Overview of modern Bayesian … methods, James Berger

FM8.2: Planet Occurrence Rates and eta-Earth
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM Planet Demographics from Transits, Andrew Howard
2:30 PM – 2:45 PM Kepler Reliability [and] Occurrence Rate Steve Bryson et al.
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM The Occurrence of Earth-Like Planets … Will M. Farr et al.
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM Hierarchical inference for exoplanet… Daniel Foreman-Mackey


FM8.3: Planet Detection with Various Techniques
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM Bayesian planet searches in radial velocity data, Phil Gregory
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Wide Giant Planets are Rare: … Direct Imaging, Beth Biller
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM … Speckles … in High Contrast Imaging, Christian Marois
12:00 PM – 12:15 PM Planet Frequency … from MOA-II … , Daisuke Suzuki et al.
12:15 PM – 12:30 PM Astrometric exoplanet surveys … Johannes Sahlmann

FM8.4: Planet Detection with Various Techniques II, Room 312, Hawaii Convention Center
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM Dealing with activity in RV planet searchers, Isabelle Boisse
2:30 PM – 2:45 PM Estimations of uncertainties of frequencies, Laurent Eyer et al.
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM Significance of noisy signals in periodograms, Maria Süvege
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM Measuring the detection efficiency of the Kepler pipeline, Jessie Christiansen
3:15 PM – 3:30 PM Applying Gaussian processes to Spitzer/IRAC …, Thomas Evans


FM8.5: NASA’s Kepler Transit Mission
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM Advances in the Kepler Transit Search Engine …, Jon M. Jenkins
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Combining transit and radial velocity data …, Leslie A. Rogers
11:30 AM – 11:45 AM BART: A probabilistic and automated tool … Olivier Demangeon et al.
11:45 AM – 12:00 PM Validation of transiting planet candidates… Rodrigo F. Díaz et al.
12:00 PM – 12:15 PM Probabilistic mass-radius relationship… Angie Wolfgang et al.
12:15 PM – 12:30 PM Probabilistic stellar rotation periods … Ruth Angus et al.

FM8.6: Characterizing Exoplanetary Atmospheres
2:00 PM – 2:15 PM A population-based Habitable Zone perspective Andras Zsom
2:15 PM – 2:45 PM Reliable extraction of spectra … Neale Gibson
2:45 PM – 3:15 PM Overcoming degeneracies in exoplanet spectra Björn Benneke
3:15 PM – 3:30 PM Measuring transmission spectra from the ground Andres Jordan et al.

FM8.7: Approximate Bayes and Concluding Remarks
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM Approximate Bayesian Computation Jessi Cisewski
4:30 PM – 4:45 PM Analyzing … via unsupervised learning techniques Kai L. Polsterer et al


PyTransit & LDTk: fast & easy transit modelling and limb darkening profiles in Python – Hannu Parviainen
MACULA: Fast Modeling of Rotational Modulations of Spotty Stars – David Kipping
Simple ABC: A Python Package for Approximate Bayesian Computation – Robert C. Morehead
Stellar Property Modelling and Transit False Positive Analysis: ‘isochrones’ and ‘vespa’ – Timothy Morton


Poster no.
Abstract no.
Poster Title
12255539AlvesOn metallicity distribution for planet-hosting stars
22250123AngerhausenThe First Exoplanet Transit Observations with SOFIA
32243577ArtigauPlanets on ultra-wide orbits
42257888BakerPreparing for Bayesian analysis of WFIRST microlensing capability.
52249592BaluevPlanetPack3: a software tool for exoplanets characterization from radial velocity and transit data
62249613BaluevModelling nonstationary Doppler noise in exoplanetary radial velocity data
72249624BaluevHow amateur observations can be used in the exoplanetary science?
82256208BarclayThe Five Planets in the Kepler-296 Binary System All Orbit the Primary: An Application of Importance Sampling
92257303BarrosFirst K2 mutiplanatary system showing TTVs
102242125BeattyPreliminary Hot Jupiter Statisitcs From the KELT-North Transit Survey
112242523BennettThe Use of Lens Mass and Distance Measurements in the Statistical Analysis of Microlensing Exoplanet Data
122257887Berta-ThompsonPreparing for TESS: What to Expect
132251679BottNew Measurements of Polarised Light from Exoplanets
142254789BovairdAn artificial Kepler dichotomy? Implications for the coplanarity of planetary systems
152257643BrogiExoplanet Atmospheres at High Spectral Resolution
162258195BrydenTracing Planet Orbits with WFIRST
172256961BuchhavePrecisely measuring the density of small transiting exoplanets with particular emphasis on longer period planet using the HARPS-N spectrograph
182254945CaceresKepler AutoRegressive Planet Search: Motivation & Methodology
192257423CaceresKepler AutoRegressive Planet Search: Initial Results
202255463CatanzariteInferring Planet Occurrence Rates With a Q1-Q17 Kepler Planet Candidate Catalog Produced by a Machine Learning Classifier
212258421ChristiansenMeasuring the Detection Efficiency of the Kepler Pipeline: The First Results from a Simulated Transit Experiment Spanning the Full Observation Baseline
222258444ClarkeImage Artifact Flagging in the Kepler Pipeline
232257510CoughlinThe First Uniform Kepler Q1 - Q17 Planet Candidate Catalog
242251686DavieThe spectral library of the AAPS
252258506DesertComparative Exoplanetology From Atmospheric Surveys
262255996DouThe Direct Imaging Search of Exoplanets from Ground and Space
272258113EmilioPresenting new exoplanet candidates for the CoRoT chromatic light curves
282256647EvansApplying Gaussian processes to Spitzer/IRAC transit lightcurves
292258352Foreman-MackeyThe search for single exoplanet transits in the Kepler light curves
302253010ForsEvrystats for Evryplanets: planets from the first all-sky gigapixel scale telescope
312255500GoelStatistics and Machine Learning based Outlier Detection Techniques for Exoplanets
322256141GrunblattMeasuring the Mass of Kepler-78b Using a Gaussian Process Model
332257056HartmanAnalyzing Exoplanet Time-Series Data with the VARTOOLS program
342257179HartmanThe Challenge of Exoplanet Population Statistics From Ground-Based Transit Surveys
352257971HoffmanA Transit Inversion Search of the Kepler Field
362248703HuColors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions
372248719HuCharacterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres with Visible-Wavelength Phase Curves
382159630HuangHAT-P-56b: A bright highly inflated massive Hot Jupiter around An F star in K2.0 field
392258258HuitsonFirst Results from a Gemini/GMOS Transiting Exoplanet Atmosphere Survey
402257999IngallsKernel Regression Techniques for Enhancing Spitzer Photometric Precision
412220227JiangTracking the Planet-Planet Interactions by Statistics: The Period-Ratio and Mass-Ratio Correlation
422258530JonesOccurrence rate of low-mass planets around nearby M dwarfs
432255364KhalafinejadSearching for exo-planetary atmospheric sodium around the active star, HD189733 with UVES
442235864KippingMACULA: Fast Modeling of Rotational Modulations of Spotty Stars
452252303KorhonenActivity induced detection limits for Earth-sized planets from radial velocity studies
462258223KrickSpitzer IRAC Sparsely Sampled Phase Curve of WASP-14b
472258271LawLGS-AO Imaging of Every Kepler Planet Candidate: the Robo-AO KOI Survey
482228628LeeThe Pulsating sdB+M Eclipsing System NY Virginis and its Circumbinary Planets
492248472LiTransit Model Fitting in Processing Four Years of Kepler Science Data: New Features and Performance
502258465LineweaverUsing a generalized version of the Titius-Bode relation to extrapolate the patterns seen in Kepler multi-exoplanet systems, and estimate the average number of planets in circumstellar habitable zones
512252234LiuDetecting Habitable Planets via Astrometry in Current Planetary Systems
522254053MaroisTLOCI: A Fully Loaded Speckle Killing Machine
532242117Martinez GomezDetecting Associations Between The Exoplanets and Their Host Stars Through the Distance Correlation Measure
542243387MartioliA statistical study of quantities that affect the precision of near infrared photometry for the detection of secondary eclipses
552255909MillhollandAn analysis of the massless planet approximation in transit light curve models
562258010MontetThe View from 20 AU: The Occurrence Rate of Giant Planets around M Dwarfs
572248369MontgomeryArchitectures of Planetary System - Snapshots in Time
582257552MorcosThird Bodies of Multiple Systems as an Exoplanet (A Quantization Method)
592257552MoreheadUsing Approximate Bayesian Computation to Probe Multiple Transiting Planet Systems
602254042MorelloA new data analysis technique for Spitzer transit observations
612253586MortonAutomated Astrophysical False Positive Analysis of Transiting Planet Signals
622256025MuldersSmall, Numerous and Close-in: The Population of Planets around Low-mass Stars.
632254039MullallyA New Metric to Decide if a Photometric Signal is Transit-Shaped
642254039MullallyA New Metric to Decide if a Photometric Signal is Transit-Shaped
652258428MullalyAutomated Centroid-based False Positive Detection of Kepler Planet Candidates
662255590NelsonFrequentist and Bayesian Orbital Parameter Estimaton from Radial Velocity Data Using RVLIN, BOOTTRAN, and RUN DMC
672258240NelsonModel comparison using Bayes factors computed from MCMC samples: evidence for four planets orbiting GJ 876
682253202NgoFriends of Hot Jupiters: Trends in directly imaged companion fraction
692257364NishikawaContrast enhancement with pre-coronagraph and dark-hole
702257814OfirSearching for circumbinary planets with CB-BLS
712257842OfirOptimal BLS: Optimizing transit-signal detection for Keplerian dynamics
722241608OpitzSearching for Binary Y dwarfs with the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS)
732257512PinfieldSifting planetary mass objects at the limits of the WISE survey
742243478PlacekThe Detection and Characterization of Exoplanets With EXONEST
752226991PlavchanProject NIRRVS: Precise Near-Infrared Radial Velocity Surveys
762235132RameauPlanets in MYND: a direct imaging survey to probe the occurence of giant planets on wide-orbits around massive, young, nearby and dusty stars
772252365RocchettoA statistical look at the retrieval of exoplanetary atmospheres of super Earths and giant planets
782257697RogersCompositional Constraints on the Best Characterized Rocky Exoplanet, Kepler-36 b
792257919RoweUnderstanding Kepler’s Objects of Interest.
802258500SaarThe Radial Velocity Signature and Line Diagnostics Arising from Realistic, Rotating Stellar Plage Models
812235233SarkisRevising the Transit Depth-Metallicity Correlation of Kepler's Giant Candidates
822255166SchlaufmanHow Bayes' Theorem and Machine Learning Reveal the Origin of Hot Jupiter
832250007SeaderA Computationally Efficient Statistical Bootstrap Test for Transiting Planets
842256882ShanM-dwarf Multiplicity Statistics from Kepler — A Surprising Bountifulness of Sub-Year Low-Mass Binaries?
852253503SheetsStatistical Eclipses of Kepler Long Cadence Sub-Saturn Planet Candidates
862253424ShporerVisible-light orbital phase curves: Not so simple!
872255775SmithK2 Mission Light Curves
882255213SumiMOA-2013-BLG-605Lb: The Neptune analog
892247922TamuraSubaru Direct Imaging Survey of Wide-Orbit Exoplanets and Solar-System-Scale Disks
902257848TessenyiPlanetary populations with ARIEL: an ESA-M4 candidate mission for exoplanet atmosphere spectroscopy
912248122TodorovRetrieving the Compositions of Directly Imaged Substellar Companions: κ And b and HD 106906 b
922232337TraubExoplanet Population Distribution from Kepler Data
932257582TsiarasThe spectrum of the hot Jupiter XO-1b: an emblematic case to test HST/WFC3 spatial scanning
942257235TusnskiSearch for Exomoons and Rings with Kepler and CoRoT
952252899TwickenCharacterization and Validation of Transiting Planets in the Kepler and TESS Pipelines
962253590ValizadeganTowards Automatic Classification of Exoplanet-Transit-Like Signals: A Case Study on Kepler Mission Data
972256802VarleyRecovering the Signal: Comparison of data analysis methods used for exoplanet transit and eclipse spectra with HST WFC3
982256992WaldmannTowards an integrated statistical approach to explanetary spectroscopy
992226536WangStellar Multiplicity Rate of Planet Host Stars
1002254914WilsonCharacterising the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets using narrowband spectrophotometry
1012252119ZakharovSimulations of future polarization observations for exoplanet searches with gravitational microlensing
1022247705ZakhozhayThe new approach to identify a planet embedded in a disk
1032257254ZhouMicro-pixel Displacement Estimation for the Heterogeneous and Asymmetric PSFs of STEP
1042253923ZuckerNew Non-Parametric Approaches for Periodicity Detection in Sparse Data
1052253966ZuckerThe GATE Initiative (GAia Transiting Exoplanets): The Way to fully Exploit Gaia's Potential to Detect Transiting Exoplanets

Hack Day

As a complement to the official program of the focus meeting, we are organising a “Software / hack day” splinter session on August 6th. This session is to enable authors of software packages that are useful for the analysis of exoplanet datasets to present them, and participants to try them out with the authors on hand to help and advise them. The format will consist of short talks in the morning, and a free-form, hands on session in the afternoon.

The program of the morning session is given below, including download links to the software packages for those who want to come ready to test things out. All the authors will be on hand to talk to participants during the afternoon.

The splinter session will take place in room 324 at the Convention Center, from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
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ExoStats Video

The Exostats focus session was streamed live using Google Hangouts. Due to an initially poor interent connection the first few videos are of low quality. The remaining videos are of much better quality. All the videos are posted below. Alternatively they are also available on YouTube.

Statistics for Exoplanetary Research

Introduction by Suzanne Aigrain, Eric Feigelson and Joseph Hilbe:

Transit timing variations by Eric B. Ford:

Overview of modern Bayesian … methods by James Berger:

Planet Occurrence Rates and eta-Earth


Planet Demographics from Transits, Andrew Howard
Kepler Reliability [and] Occurrence Rate, Steve Bryson et al.
The Occurrence of Earth-Like Planets … Will M. Farr et al.
Hierarchical inference for exoplanet… Daniel Foreman-Mackey

Planet Detection with Various Techniques


Wide Giant Planets are Rare: … Direct Imaging, Beth Biller
Speckles … in High Contrast Imaging, Christian Marois
Planet Frequency … from MOA-II …, Daisuke Suzuki et al.
Astrometric exoplanet surveys …, Johannes Sahlmann

Planet Detection with Various Techniques II


Dealing with activity in RV planet searchers, Isabelle Boisse
Estimations of uncertainties of frequencies, Laurent Eyer et al.
Significance of noisy signals in periodograms, Maria Süvege
Measuring the detection efficiency of the Kepler pipeline, Jessie Christiansen
Applying Gaussian processes to Spitzer/IRAC …, Thomas Evans

NASA’s Kepler Transit Mission


Advances in the Kepler Transit Search Engine …, Jon M. Jenkins
Combining transit and radial velocity data …, Leslie A. Rogers
BART: A probabilistic and automated tool …, Olivier Demangeon et al.
Validation of transiting planet candidates…, Rodrigo F. Díaz et al.
Probabilistic mass-radius relationship…, Angie Wolfgang et al.
Probabilistic stellar rotation periods …, Ruth Angus et al.

Characterizing Exoplanetary Atmospheres


A population-based Habitable Zone perspective, Andras Zsom
Overcoming degeneracies in exoplanet spectra, Björn Benneke
Measuring transmission spectra from the ground, Andres Jordan et al.

Approximate Bayes and Concluding Remarks


Approximate Bayesian Computation, Jessi Cisewski
Analyzing … via unsupervised learning techniques, Kai L. Polsterer et al


The Focus Meeting proceedings will be published, along with the other FMs at the Honolulu General Assembly, in volumes entitles “Astronomy in Focus” by Cambridge University Press. As this format will not permit extended papers, we will also arrange for the deposition of additional material on a permanent online archive with links to the Astrophysics Data System. Details will be forthcoming.

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