Join Our E-Mail List
Research Events
For the Public
Northwestern University

Gravity Spy Project
  • Gravity Spy is an NSF-funded interdisciplinary project incorporating citizen science, machine learning, social science, and aLIGO detector characterization
  • One major issue afflicting aLIGO’s ability to detect gravitational waves is poorly-modeled noise known as “glitches”
  • Gravity Spy will aid in the classification and characterization of glitches by combining human intuition and pattern recognition with the power of computers to process large amounts of data systematically
  • Zooniverse Project volunteers will morphologically classify glitches from the LIGO data stream, which are used to train machine learning algorithms for further classification
  • In addition to the characterization and elimination of problematic noise in the aLIGO data stream, Gravity Spy promotes gravitational wave science and involves the lay public in scientific progress

           Vicky Kalogera, Northwestern University
           Kevin Crowston, Syracuse University
           Shane Larson, Northwestern University, Adler Planetarium
           Josh Smith, California State University - Fullerton
           Laura Trouille, Adler Planetarium, Zooniverse

Northwestern University
           Sara Bahaadini - Machine Learning
           Emre Besler- Machine Learning
           Scotty Coughlin - Astrophysics, Data Science
           Vicky Kalogera - Astrophysics
           Aggelos Katsaggelos - Machine Learning
           Shane Larson - Astrophysics
           Neda Rohani- Machine Learning
           Mike Zevin - Astrophysics, Data Science

Adler Planetarium
           Laura Trouille - Citizen Science

California Institute of Technology
           Jess McIver - Astrophysics, Detector Characterization

California State University - Fullerton
           Josh Smith - Astrophysics, Detector Characterization

Syracuse University
           Kevin Crowston - Social Science, Human-Computer Interaction
           Mabi Harandi - Social Science, Human-Computer Interaction
           Corey Jackson - Social Science, Human-Computer Interaction
           Carsten Osterlund - Social Science, Human-Computer Interaction

University of Alabama at Huntsville Center for
Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research

           Tyson Littenberg - Astrophysics, Data Science

University of Illinois at Chicago
           Vahid Noroozi - Machine Learning

           Sarah Allen - Citizen Science
           Laura Trouille - Citizen Science

Media Round Up

This image shows a particular kind of glitch common in LIGO data called a "whistle." In this case, the origin of the glitch is known to be part of the electronic control systems. Features like this in the data can fool astrophysics search codes. The Gravity Spy project will help discover and classify glitches, and help make our computer search algorithms more adept at recognizing them in the data.