LIGO Scientific Collaboration

Open Data Workshop #1

Sunday - Tuesday, March 25 - 27, 2018

Open Data Workshop

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has opened the field of gravitational wave astronomy through the direct detection of signals predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Advanced LIGO's first observing run (O1) saw the first detections of binary black hole mergers. Advanced LIGO and Virgo's second observing run (O2) included both binary black hole and binary neutron star mergers. Data around these discoveries are publicly available, along with associated software libraries. This workshop is designed for scientists and students pursuing research in this field, both inside and outside the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. It will offer participants a hands-on introduction to working with software tools developed by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo collaboration to access and process publicly available gravitational wave data.


The workshop will be held on the Caltech campus at in the Hameetman Auditorium of the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics. Cahill is a distinctive red building located at 1216 E California Blvd in Pasadena, CA.

Directions, parking maps, and hotel suggestions are listed on the "Visit Caltech" page.


A number of hotels are within walking distance or a short bus ride to Caltech. Some nearby options may be seen as Pasadena hotels listed in Google Maps or linked from the "Visit Caltech" page.


Pasadena is accessible from a number of airports, including LAX and the Bob Hope airport in Burbank.

From LAX, take the "Flyaway bus" to union station, and then take the Metro gold line to Pasadena. Super Shuttle, taxi services, and ride share services are also available.

If you have a car, visitor parking is available in campus parking structures. Structure #3, underneath the baseball fields, is closest to Cahill. Visitor parking permits may be purchased for $6 per day from an automated kiosk in the garage.


Registration details will be available on January 18, 2018. The workshop will be limited to around 50 participants. A nominal registration fee will be asked to cover the costs of provided snacks and meals.


The workshop will last two and a half days:
  • March 25 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • March 26 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • March 27 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
A detailed agenda will be posted when available. The workshop will include a mixture of lecture style presentations and hands-on programming exercises; participants are expected to bring a laptop computer. Some previous experience with python progamming and/or signal processing will be helpful, but not required.