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Rapid development of a web portal for cosmology data analysis

Principle goal: to design and implement a web portal using Rapid ( that allows advanced users to create new analyses and that allows all users to pick up and use these analyses on data from astronomy data archives.

Cosmology is undergoing a transformation. Our standard cosmological model is dominated by two components, dark matter and dark energy, that collectively account for 96% of the Universes total energy budget, and yet whose nature is entirely unknown. Dark matter and dark energy cannot be explained by modern physics, the illumination of the nature of these fundamental constituents of our Universe will mark a revolution in physics impacting particle physics and cosmology and will require new physics beyond the standard model of particle physics, general relativity or both.

To understand our dark Universe cosmologists have developed complex statistical tools that require information from many billions of galaxies. To create predictions using non-standard models that can then be used to predict the future outcome of experiments, or analyse cosmological data, many software packages have been developed. For example cosmomc (, LAMBDA (, iCosmo ( These represent the state-of-the-art in cosmology and yet and still based on simple web interfaces and have very limited capabilities. To cope with the huge challenge that cosmologist face in the coming decade and more advanced appraoch is required.

This project will involve two stages, both of which will be part of one web portal and will be created using Rapid. In the first stage, you need to recreate and enhance an existing web interface based on the current iCosmo pages to allow a more flexible approach to running different analyses. In the second stage, you need to implement a portal that will allow advanced users to upload their own cosmological model prediction code, which can then be shared with other users using the interface created in the first phase. For a demo of what this could look like check out

Project status: 
Degree level: 
Supervisors @ NeSC: 
Other supervisors: 
Thomas Kitching, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh
Subject areas: 
WWW Tools and Programming
Student project type: