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.

For a walking map with lunch options, download the workshop walking map.


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.

Public Transportation: From LAX, take the "Flyaway bus" to union station, and then take the Metro gold line to Pasadena. Note that not all locations in Pasadena are within walking distance to campus, so please plan ahead if you plan to use public transportation. Super Shuttle, taxi services, and ride share services are also available from LAX.

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.


The workshop will be limited to around 50 participants. The registration fee of $80 includes coffee breaks on all three days, and an informal lunch on March 25.

The workshop is now full, and registration has closed. If you have already registered, you should see your name in the list of expected attendees. Please send any concerns or questions to

Tentative Program

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.

See the Room Assignments for the location of your hands-on session.

Presentation Slides

March 25, Morning Session: Cahill Building, Hameetman Auditorium
  • 08:30 - Arrival and check-in, coffee and bagels
  • 09:00 - LIGO Detectors: Dave Reitze
  • 09:45 - LIGO Strain Data and Data Quality: Jess McIver
  • 10:30 - Coffee Break
  • 11:00 - Calibration: Alex Urban
  • 11:30 - Accessing data through GWOSC: Agata Trovato
  • 12:00 - Intro to gwpy: Duncan Macleod
  • 12:30 - Lunch provided on Cahill patio
March 25, Afternoon Session: E. Bridge / W. Bridge March 26, Morning Session: Cahill Building, Hameetman Auditorium
  • 08:30 - Coffee and bagels
  • 09:00 - CBC Overview: Alan Weinstein
  • 09:45 - CBC Search Pipelines: Alex Nitz
  • 10:30 - Coffee break
  • 11:00 - CBC Parameters Estimation: Katerina Chatziioannou
  • 11:45 - Skymaps and GCNs: Mina Cho
  • 12:30 - Lunch on your own
March 26, Afternoon Session: E. Bridge / W. Bridge March 27, Morning Session: Cahill Building, Hameetman Auditorium
  • 9:00-12:00 - Hands-on 3: Work flows or project collaboration Tutorials | Agenda
Workshop ends March 27 at 12:00

Workshop organizing committee

Beverly Berger, Eric Chassande-Mottin, Ben Farr, Jonah Kanner, Shane Larson, Duncan Macleod, Alex Nitz, Peter Saulson, Alan Weinstein