Overview of the project

Project leader; Nadir Hashim, hashim.nadir@ku.ac.ke
Project location: Nairobi, Kenya

Project description:
There is a rapidly growing interest in astronomy and astrophysics in Kenya and the East African region. One of the SKA nodes will be located in Kenya and an observatory for optical astronomy has already been commissioned at Entoto in Ethiopia. These developments provide great opportunities for local students and researchers to get involved in as well as initiate their astronomy research projects. However, there are very few experts in astronomy and astrophysics in the east African region, and even less expertise in how to process, understand, and exploit astronomical data.

We propose to hold a summer school at Kenyatta University focusing on statistical data analysis and data mining in astronomy. This will be achieved through lectures and hands-on exercises given by international experts. The target group is students at the MSc and PhD level from the East African region (Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda) although students from across the world are also welcome.

Building on what they learn at this workshop, East African students will be able to make valuable contributions to astrophysics with a minimum of hardware resources, by applying advanced data analysis and interrogation methods on modest computing resources to the numerous astronomical data sets which are publicly available. We believe that this will set an important foundation for the establishment of long term expertise in astronomy in East Africa.

The main objective of this project is to transfer fundamental knowledge and skills in astronomy to postgraduate students in Kenya and the region. This will enable them to actively participate in international research projects as well as initiate research projects of their own, also in collaboration with international partners. Astronomy is a small field, and such international connections are essential if East African astronomy is to thrive and grow

About the project leader:
Dr. Nadir Hashim is a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics of Kenyatta University. He has experience teaching Physics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.