The University of Southampton

Victoria Lepingwell

Postgraduate research student

I achieved my Master of Physics with Astrophysics (MPhys) from the University of Kent.

I am currently a Postgraduate Researcher - my research consists of applying machine learning to generate high-energy astronomy surveys and I also work on the INTEGRAL Galactic Plane Scan programme.

As my research spans across two fields, I have Professor Tony Bird as my astronomy supervisor and also Professor Steve Gunn as my machine learning supervisor. 

The aim of my research is to radically improve existing source detection algorithms by implementing a system that searches all points on the sky on all timescales for significant emission. This will involve looking at 'smarter’ ways to do surveys, and applying new data science and machine learning techniques, especially for transient detection.

I use supervised deep learning methods such as convolutional neural networks to detect and eventually classify both persistent and transient X-ray sources. To look for when one of these sources is in outburst I use unsupervised methods such as k-means clustering of time series subsequences which is using anomaly detection on the temporal data.

I also do outreach work with Southampton’s Astrodome, which is a traveling, inflatable planetarium, which we take to local schools. I have also demonstrated on undergraduate modules: Python labs (Evidence in Physics), Classical Mechanics and Waves, Light and Quanta.

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