Publications by Chris Lintott


Space Warps II. New gravitational lens candidates from the CFHTLS discovered through citizen science

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 455 (2015) 1191-1210

A More, A Verma, PJ Marshall, S More, E Baeten, J Wilcox, C Macmillan, C Cornen, A Kapadia, M Parrish, C Snyder, CP Davis, R Gavazzi, CJ Lintott, R Simpson, D Miller, AM Smith, E Paget, P Saha, TE Collett, R Küng

We report the discovery of 29 promising (and 59 total) new lens candidates from the CFHT Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) based on about 11 million classifications performed by citizen scientists as part of the first Space Warps lens search. The goal of the blind lens search was to identify lens candidates missed by robots (the RingFinder on galaxy scales and ArcFinder on group/cluster scales) which had been previously used to mine the CFHTLS for lenses. We compare some properties of the samples detected by these algorithms to the Space Warps sample and find them to be broadly similar. The image separation distribution calculated from the Space Warps sample shows that previous constraints on the average density profile of lens galaxies are robust. SpaceWarps recovers about 65% of known lenses, while the new candidates show a richer variety compared to those found by the two robots. This detection rate could be increased to 80% by only using classifications performed by expert volunteers (albeit at the cost of a lower purity), indicating that the training and performance calibration of the citizen scientists is very important for the success of Space Warps. In this work we present the SIMCT pipeline, used for generating in situ a sample of realistic simulated lensed images. This training sample, along with the false positives identified during the search, has a legacy value for testing future lens finding algorithms. We make the pipeline and the training set publicly available.


Space Warps: I. Crowd-sourcing the discovery of gravitational lenses

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 455 (2015) 1171-1190

PJ Marshall, A Verma, A More, CP Davis, S More, A Kapadia, M Parrish, C Snyder, J Wilcox, C Macmillan, E Baeten, M Baumer, C Cornen, E Simpson, CJ Lintott, D Miller, E Paget, R Simpson, AM Smith, R Küng, TE Collett, P Saha

We describe SpaceWarps, a novel gravitational lens discovery service that yields samples of high purity and completeness through crowd-sourced visual inspection. Carefully produced colour composite images are displayed to volunteers via a webbased classification interface, which records their estimates of the positions of candidate lensed features. Images of simulated lenses, as well as real images which lack lenses, are inserted into the image stream at random intervals; this training set is used to give the volunteers instantaneous feedback on their performance, as well as to calibrate a model of the system that provides dynamical updates to the probability that a classified image contains a lens. Low probability systems are retired from the site periodically, concentrating the sample towards a set of lens candidates. Having divided 160 square degrees of Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) imaging into some 430,000 overlapping 82 by 82 arcsecond tiles and displaying them on the site, we were joined by around 37,000 volunteers who contributed 11 million image classifications over the course of 8 months. This Stage 1 search reduced the sample to 3381 images containing candidates; these were then refined in Stage 2 to yield a sample that we expect to be over 90% complete and 30% pure, based on our analysis of the volunteers performance on training images. We comment on the scalability of the SpaceWarps system to the wide field survey era, based on our projection that searches of 105 images could be performed by a crowd of 105 volunteers in 6 days.


THE MILKY WAY PROJECT: WHAT ARE YELLOWBALLS?

ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL 799 (2015) ARTN 153

CR Kerton, G Wolf-Chase, K Arvidsson, CJ Lintott, RJ Simpson


Misalignment between cold gas and stellar components in early-type galaxies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 447 (2015) 3311-3321

OI Wong, K Schawinski, GIG Jozsa, CM Urry, CJ Lintott, BD Simmons, S Kaviraj, KL Masters


Galaxy Zoo: the effect of bar-driven fuelling on the presence of an active galactic nucleus in disc galaxies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 448 (2015) 3442-3454

MA Galloway, KW Willett, LF Fortson, CN Cardamone, K Schawinski, E Cheung, CJ Lintott, KL Masters, T Melvin, BD Simmons


Galaxy Zoo: the dependence of the star formation-stellar mass relation on spiral disc morphology

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 449 (2015) 820-827

KW Willett, K Schawinski, BD Simmons, KL Masters, RA Skibba, S Kaviraj, T Melvin, OI Wong, RC Nichol, E Cheung, CJ Lintott, L Fortson


A computational pipeline for crowdsourced transcriptions of Ancient Greek papyrus fragments

Proceedings - 2014 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE Big Data 2014 (2015) 100-105

AC Williams, JF Wallin, H Yu, M Perale, HD Carroll, AF Lamblin, L Fortson, D Obbink, CJ Lintott, JH Brusuelas

© 2014 IEEE. In the late nineteenth century, two excavators from the University of Oxford uncovered a vast trove of naturally deteriorated papyri, numbering over 500,000 fragments, from the city of Oxyrhynchus. With varying levels and forms of deterioration, the identification of a papyrus fragment can become a repetitive, long, and exhausting process for a professional papyrologist. The University of Oxford's Ancient Lives project aims to accelerate the identification process through citizen science (or crowdsourcing). In the Ancient Lives interface, volunteer users identify letters by clicking on a location in the image to designate the presence of a letter. To date, over 7 million letter identifications from users across the world have been recorded in the Ancient Lives database. In this paper, we present a computational pipeline for converting crowdsourced letter identifications made through the Ancient Lives interface into digital consensus transcriptions of papyrus fragments. We conclude by explaining the usefulness of the pipeline output in the context of additional computational projects that aim to further accelerate the identification process.


Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries

JOURNAL OF VICTORIAN CULTURE 20 (2015) 246-254

G Dawson, C Lintott, S Shuttleworth


PHAT STELLAR CLUSTER SURVEY. II. ANDROMEDA PROJECT CLUSTER CATALOG

ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL 802 (2015) ARTN 127

LC Johnson, AC Seth, JJ Dalcanton, ML Wallace, RJ Simpson, CJ Lintott, A Kapadia, ED Skillman, N Caldwell, M Fouesneau, DR Weisz, BF Williams, LC Beerman, DA Gouliermis, A Sarajedini


Perspective: Constructing scientific communities: Citizen science in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries

Journal of Victorian Culture 20 (2015) 246-254

G Dawson, C Lintott, S Shuttleworth

© 2015 Leeds Trinity University. This Perspective article reflects on the recent launch of Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries (http://conscicom.org), a collaboration between the Universities of Oxford and Leicester in partnership with the Natural History Museum, the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Royal Society. It is a multi-strand project, bringing together historians, literary scholars, and contemporary science practitioners, which has been awarded a large grant in the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Science in Culture theme. At its heart lie questions about public involvement in science, the amateur/professional divide, and the possibilities of drawing on understanding of the role of journals in the science and information revolution of the nineteenth century in order to enhance science participation in the digital age.


Ideas for Citizen Science in Astronomy

ANNUAL REVIEW OF ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS, VOL 53 53 (2015) 247-278

PJ Marshall, CJ Lintott, LN Fletcher


Galaxy Zoo: Are bars responsible for the feeding of active galactic nuclei at 0.2 < z < 1.0?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 447 (2015) 506-516

E Cheung, JR Trump, E Athanassoula, SP Bamford, EF Bell, A Bosma, CN Cardamone, KRV Casteels, SM Faber, JJ Fang, LF Fortson, DD Kocevski, DC Koo, S Laine, C Lintott, KL Masters, T Melvin, RC Nichol, K Schawinski, B Simmons, R Smethurst, KW Willett


Defining and Measuring Success in Online Citizen Science: A Case Study of Zooniverse Projects

Computing in Science and Engineering IEEE 17 (2015) 28-41

J Cox, EY Oh, B Simmons, C Lintott, K Masters, G Graham, A Greenhill, K Holmes

Although current literature highlights a wide variety of potential citizen science project outcomes, no prior studies have systematically assessed performance against a comprehensive set of criteria. The study reported here is the first to propose a novel framework for assessing citizen science projects against multiple dimensions of success. The authors apply this framework to a sample of projects that form part of the online Zooniverse platform and position these projects against a success matrix that measures both contribution to science and public engagement levels relative to other projects in the sample. Their results indicate that better-performing projects tend to be those that are more established, as well as those in the area of astronomy. Implications for citizen science practitioners include the need to consider the impact of core competencies on project performance, as well as the importance of relationships between the central organization and science teams.


An infrared study of local galaxy mergers

ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS 577 (2015) ARTN A119

A Carpineti, S Kaviraj, AK Hyde, DL Clements, K Schawinski, D Darg, CJ Lintott


HST IMAGING OF FADING AGN CANDIDATES. I. HOST-GALAXY PROPERTIES AND ORIGIN OF THE EXTENDED GAS

ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL 149 (2015) ARTN 155

WC Keel, WP Maksym, VN Bennert, CJ Lintott, SD Chojnowski, A Moiseev, A Smirnova, K Schawinski, CM Urry, DA Evans, A Pancoast, B Scott, C Showley, K Flatland


Misalignment between cold gas and stellar components in early-type galaxies (vol 447, pg 3311, 2015)

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 449 (2015) 1767-1768

OI Wong, K Schawinski, GIG Jozsa, CM Urry, CJ Lintott, BD Simmons, S Kaviraj, KL Masters


Validation of a priori CME arrival predictions made using real-time heliospheric imager observations

SPACE WEATHER-THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH AND APPLICATIONS 13 (2015) 35-48

K Tucker-Hood, C Scott, M Owens, D Jackson, L Barnard, JA Davies, S Crothers, C Lintott, R Simpson, NP Savani, J Wilkinson, B Harder, GM Eriksson, EML Baeten, LLW Wah


From clicks to publications: How the public is changing the way we do research

Proceedings of Science 18-20-October-2015 (2015)

L Trouille, C Lintott, L Fortson

Processing our increasingly large datasets (e.g., image, audio, video, multidimensional data, etc. poses a bottleneck for producing real scientific outcomes. Citizen science-engaging the publi in research-provides a solution, particularly when coupled with machine learning algorithm and sophisticated task allocation and retirement rules. Zooniverse is the most widely used an successful citizen science platform, with almost 1.5 million volunteers worldwide and havin supported over 50 projects across the disciplines (including ecology, archaeology, climate science oncology, physics, astronomy, and the humanities). To date, Zooniverse projects have produce over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Faced with a rapidly growing demand for citizen scienc projects, Zooniverse has launched a new 'Project Builder' interface which allows anyone to buil and maintain their own citizen science project using a set of browser-based tools.


Applying a random encounter model to estimate lion density from camera traps in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Journal of Wildlife Management 79 (2015) 1014-1021

JJ Cusack, A Swanson, T Coulson, C Packer, C Carbone, AJ Dickman, M Kosmala, C Lintott, JM Rowcliffe

© 2015 The Wildlife Society. © The Wildlife Society, 2015. The random encounter model (REM) is a novel method for estimating animal density from camera trap data without the need for individual recognition. It has never been used to estimate the density of large carnivore species, despite these being the focus of most camera trap studies worldwide. In this context, we applied the REM to estimate the density of female lions (Panthera leo) from camera traps implemented in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, comparing estimates to reference values derived from pride census data. More specifically, we attempted to account for bias resulting from non-random camera placement at lion resting sites under isolated trees by comparing estimates derived from night versus day photographs, between dry and wet seasons, and between habitats that differ in their amount of tree cover. Overall, we recorded 169 and 163 independent photographic events of female lions from 7,608 and 12,137 camera trap days carried out in the dry season of 2010 and the wet season of 2011, respectively. Although all REM models considered over-estimated female lion density, models that considered only night-time events resulted in estimates that were much less biased relative to those based on all photographic events. We conclude that restricting REM estimation to periods and habitats in which animal movement is more likely to be random with respect to cameras can help reduce bias in estimates of density for female Serengeti lions. We highlight that accurate REM estimates will nonetheless be dependent on reliable measures of average speed of animal movement and camera detection zone dimensions.


Galaxy Zoo: CANDELS barred discs and bar fractions

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 445 (2014) 3466-3474

BD Simmons, T Melvin, C Lintott, KL Masters, KW Willett, WC Keel, RJ Smethurst, E Cheung, RC Nichol, K Schawinski, M Rutkowski, JS Kartaltepe, EF Bell, KRV Casteels, CJ Conselice, O Almaini, HC Ferguson, L Fortson, W Hartley, D Kocevski, AM Koekemoer, DH McIntosh, A Mortlock, JA Newman, J Ownsworth, S Bamford, T Dahlen, SM Faber, SL Finkelstein, A Fontana, A Galametz, NA Grogin, R Gruetzbauch, Y Guo, B Haeussler, KJ Jek, S Kaviraj, RA Lucas, M Peth, M Salvato, T Wiklind, S Wuyts

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