African VLBI Network Training Site


Invited Talk: Friday 24 May 2019 - Dr Nadeem Oozeer


24 May 2019 09:00 - 10:00

Title: Radio Surveys in the Era of AI

Author: Dr Nadeem Oozeer
              Commissioning Scientist
              South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)

Radio surveys enable the construction of unbiased and complete samples of source populations. For any survey it is desirable to have nearly uniform sensitivity across the sky. This gives a more reliable overall view of the sky and a more homogeneous sample. Using their statistical properties, one can study/infer cosmological evolution. The unbiased and homogeneous samples from surveys are essential for testing models of source evolution.

In addition, they provide a list of sources with well-defined criteria and define interesting regions of the sky which can be chosen for further studies depending upon the scientific objectives in mind. Most classification schemes for Galactic and Extragalactic objects have emerged from surveys and have henceforth evolved by imaging a given sample of objects from the survey at multi-wavelengths, most often with higher resolution and sensitivity, and also by obtaining polarimetric and spectral line information.

With the deluge of data coming from new generation telescopes such as MeerKAT and ASKAP, data reduction and analysis are facing many challenges. Machine learning and Artificial intelligence are providing solutions for; source detection, classification and anomaly detection. In this talk, I will summarise some commonly used radio surveys and Machine learning tools and techniques currently being used at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO).


More about the author:


Nadeem Oozeer grew up on one of the beautiful African islands, Mauritius. He began his journey of discovery in 1998 with a BSc. (Hon.) in Physics. His degree paved the way to a Master’s thesis focusing on the deconvolution techniques of radio images from the Mauritius radio telescope. Tuned to the radio wavelength, he pursued a PhD looking at multi-frequency observations of extragalactic radio sources.

Aside from his research, he also felt a strong push to share his knowledge with the community around him and uplift the state of STEM education. This drive led to several teaching positions in Physics, Mathematics and Computational Science at various secondary schools as well as at the University of Mauritius. In 2009, he was awarded a Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA) fellowship to pursue a postdoc at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Observatory (HartRAO) which led him to his position as Commissioning Scientist for the SKA SA, as of March 2011.

Dr Oozeer continued his scientific involvement with the public through the Human Capacity Development (HCD) programme of SKA SA. He has been awarded various grants to expand teaching and research in radio astronomy via the Joint Exchange Development Initiative (JEDI). His fields of interest include Machine Learning, Education and Public Outreach (EPO) in Africa and transformational HCD as well as multi-wavelength extragalactic astronomy.

When he is not pondering and sharing the mysteries of the cosmos, he enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing or playing football, as well as occasionally jumping on a plane to discover the world with his son, exploring new cultures, meeting new people and experiencing new food.


Inspirational quote: 

“Every hour of every day I’m learning more 

The more I learn, the less I know about before 

The less I know, the more I want to look around 

Digging deep for clues on higher ground… “ UB40