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Information about Harvard and the World Wide Telescope

Researchers and educators at Harvard have been excited to be partnering on many aspects of WWT with Microsoft. Alyssa Goodman, Professor of Astronomy at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and Founding Director of Harvard's Initiative in Innovative Computing, was so inspired by Curtis Wong's early description of the WWT concept that she has become a day-to-day consultant to the project. In addition to consulting on WWT features and data sets, Goodman has created a tour called "Dust & Us" that gives a new perspective on how important dust, which we normally think of as a nuisance, is to creating planets like the one upon which we live.  Goodman, Wong, and MSR NextMedia Group's WWT lead developer Jonathan Fay are also partnering with WGBH to integrate WWT seamlessly with a variety of media (including video) over the coming year. (Sample WGBH/NOVA links for Dust & Us Tour are online now.)

Roy Gould, a noted education researcher in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics' Science Education group, has been working with Wong to hone the WWT's educational approach. Just how thrilled Gould is with WWT's educational potential is well-evidenced by his ebullient presentation of WWT earlier this year at the TED conference. Together, Wong, Goodman and Gould have spent many hours discussing how WWT puts data back into their natural context, which allows students, amateurs, and professional astronomers alike to make sense of the Universe in so many new ways. Goodman and her research colleagues at Harvard are very excited about the potential WWT holds for the professional community as a so-called "Virtual Observatory" tool, and she is taking a sabbatical next year to focus on that potential. Gould is already making plans to integrate WWT into upcoming museum exhibits, including one on Black Holes. 

Other scientists and educators at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics  and the Initiative in Innovative Computing who are especially familiar and/or involved with the World Wide Telescope project include Gus Muench, Pepi Fabbiano, Martin Elvis, Michelle Borkin, Eli Bressert, Douglas Finkbeiner, Robert Kirshner, Megan Watzke, and Kimberly Kowal Arcand.

Link to NECN Video Interview about The WWT

Alyssa Goodman talks about WWT on ABC News

Screenshot of Alyssa Goodman's Dust and Us WWT Tour www.pbs.org/nova/wwt/dust.html