Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Joseph Sirosh and Rimma Nehme show a SQL Server use case, walking us through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey:

Astronomers wanted a tool that would be able to quickly answer questions like: “find asteroid candidates” or “find other objects like this one”, which originally gave the motive to build the SQL-based backend. Indeed, right from the beginning Jim Gray asked Alex Szalay to define 20 typical queries astronomers might want to ask and then together they designed the SkyServer database to answer those queries. The anecdote is that the conversation went as follows:

Jim: What are the 20 questions you want to ask?
Alex: Astronomers want to ask anything! Not just 20 queries.
Jim: Ok, start with 5 queries.
[it took Alex 30 minutes to write them all down]
Jim: Ok, add another 5 queries.
[it took Alex 1 hour to write them all down]
Jim: Ok, now add another 5 queries.
[Alex gave up and went home to think about them]

Alex (said later): In 1.5 hours, Jim taught me a lot of humility!

Alex (said later): It also taught us the importance of long-tail distribution and how to prioritize.

This is my favorite part of the article.

Related Posts

Where Machine Learning And Econometrics Collide

Dave Giles shares some thoughts on how machine learning and econometrics relate: What is Machine Learning (ML), and how does it differ from Statistics (and hence, implicitly, from Econometrics)? Those are big questions, but I think that they’re ones that econometricians should be thinking about. And if I were starting out in Econometrics today, I’d […]

Read More

Solving Naive Bayes By Hand

I have a post that requires math and is meaner toward the Buffalo Bills than I normally am: Trust the ProcessThere are three steps to the process of solving the simplest of Naive Bayes algorithms. They are:1. Find the probability of winning a game (that is, our prior probability).2. Find the probability of winning given each input variable: whether Josh Allen starts the game, whether the team is […]

Read More

Categories

March 2016
MTWTFSS
« Feb Apr »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031