CHILE 2014

Chile-Harvard Innovative Learning Exchange 2014


CHILE 2014 is a joint research effort between the Institute for Applied Computational Science (IACS) at Harvard University and the Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM) at the Universidad de Chile. From Jan 7-24, 2014, six students from each university worked in three teams to address real-world computational challenges drawn from a cutting-edge astronomical endeavor, the Dark Energy Camera.


The data for this project included raw CCD images from the Victor M. Blanco Telescope’s Dark Energy Camera (DECam) at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

  • 61 CCDs / 40 fields of view / 16 epochs over 4 nights
  • Over 1 TB of raw image data per night.
  • Unique combination of cadence, depth, wavelength, and field of view.
  • Allows the study of objects that vary in the U-band with time-scales of a few hours in a large volume of the Universe.


Develop fast, cost-effective computational methods to process and analyze DECam data and provide recommendations for followup observations.

Group Tasks

  1. Process raw CCD images - Identify sources and produce light curves.
  2. Classify variable stars from light curves into known groups.
  3. Recommend time and targets for future observations to enhance understanding.