This one-day workshop will focus on the challenges shared between observational astronomy and modern microscopy workflows. Advances in instrumentation, computation and data management for both microscopy and astronomy suggest opportunities for the broader scientific community to learn from the challenges common to both fields. The high-velocity, high-volume data generated by endeavors such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) or the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) will require new techniques and cyberinfrastructure such as that provided by the Pacific Research Platform to handle the data they will produce. Best practices developed in these contexts may be applied to other domains.

We will introduce some of the challenges in microscopy and provide a survey of the techniques available to astronomers to deal with the ever-increasing flow of data, such as adopting streaming workflows (versus file-based workflows), Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and GPU-accelerated analysis, as well as storage and data distribution, approaches that scale to the needs of a global community of researchers engaged in advanced microscopy imaging.


9:00 am: Registration

10:00 am: Keynote

Keynote Speaker Introduction: Camille Crittenden, UC Berkeley

Ilkay Altintas, Chief Data Science Officer, SDSC, UC San Diego

11:00 am: Panel: Challenges of Advanced Microscopy Workflows

Panel Moderator: Jeffrey Weekley, UC Merced

Joel Spencer, UC Merced

Shawn Newsam, UC Merced

Johannes Schoeneberg, UC Berkeley

12:00 pm: Lunch Roundtables

12:45 pm: Panel: AI in Astronomy

Panel Moderator: Shawfeng Dong, SLAC (formerly UC Santa Cruz)

Joshua Bloom, UC Berkeley

J. Xavier Prochaska, UC Santa Cruz

Christoph Lee, UC Santa Cruz

David Reiman, UC Santa Cruz

Warren Morningstar, Stanford University

2:00 pm: Panel: Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Engineering

Panel Moderator: Thomas DeFanti, UC San Diego

Shawfeng Dong, SLAC (formerly UC Santa Cruz)

Debbie Bard, NERSC/LBNL

Yee Ting Li, SLAC/Stanford University

Jeffrey Weekley, UC Merced

3:00 pm: Closing Remarks

Camille Crittenden, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute

3:15 pm: Adjourn

“It turns out that the challenges of peering into the universe are similar to those associated with peering into a microscope.”

-Larry Smarr, Principal Investigator of the Pacific Research Platform, Director, Qualcomm Institute.

Program Committee: Jeffrey Weekley (, Camille Crittenden (, Shawfeng Dong (, Lorie Mariano (, Mark Yashar (

Funding provided by CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced, in collaboration with the Pacific Research Platform. Funding provided by the National Science Foundation, award #ACI-1541349.


Stanford/SLAC Cryo-EM Computing and Storage, Yee-Ting Li

Deep Learning of Astronomical Spectroscopy, J. Xavier Prochaska

NERSC, AI and the Superfacility, Debbie Bard

Fast and Automated Analysis of Interferometric Images of h3 Gravitational lenses, Warren Morningstar

Deep Learning Applied to Galaxy Evolution: Identifying and Characterizing Star-Forming Stellar Clumps, C Lee


NERSC, AI and the Superfacility, Debbie Bard

Autoencoding RNN for Inference on Unevenly Sampled Time-series data – Josh Bloom

AstroGANS – David Reiman

PRP Distributed Kubernetes Cluster


Program Information:

Jeffrey Weekley, UC Merced,


Lorie Mariano, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, lorie@citris.uc-org