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hometown: Palmanova, UD, Italy
degree: Ph.D. The Ohio State University
career: Innovation Scientist
workplace: Space Telescope Science Institute
A revolution is underway in Astronomy and Astrophysics. This decade will witness the completion of massive, wide-area, multicolor imaging and spectroscopic surveys of the local and distant Universe from ground and space facilities. These surveys will deliver massive amounts of data to astronomical data centers, and the international astronomical community at large. // To remain competitive and continue enabling outstanding discoveries and state of the art science, astronomical institutions must develop the tools to reduce and analyze these massive, multidimensional datasets, while at the same time learn how to expand the infrastructure to take advantage of them. One of the keys to success, besides an in-depth knowledge of the observatory and the science questions to be answered, is efficiency in data mining and computations. Data curation will become an even more valuable instrument in the astronomerís toolbox. Without the proper use of novel tools to store, serve, analyze and visualize the data (with a short turn around time for results), we risk ending up with sophisticated data warehouses that are simply repositories for new datasets with no value added to the scientific enterprise. Success will depend on our ability to understand today the wide reach of the creative use of new tools and technologies to enable new scientific opportunities for missions with ever decreasing budgets. // Over the past 9 years, I have been involved in leading some of the most talented groups of individuals at the Space Telescope Science Institute. As Hubble Chief Engineer for Data Management Systems, I oversaw the backbone of Hubble data management operations from data acquisition to delivery. As Development Manager for the Community Missions Office I lead the development of relations with industrial partners, not only to spur in-house innovation, but most importantly to make sure the astronomical community could take advantage of synergistic partnerships with computer science, math, and statistics departments. Those partnerships are becoming a critical factor in any large collaboration and cannot be overlooked, nor their importance underestimated. // In 2010, I joined the Multi-mission Archive at Space Telescope its Archive Scientist. Here I lead innovation in data visualization, data mining, and research tools. In a few days I will join the James Webb Space Telescope team as their Innovation Scientist where I hope to have the opportunity to tackle new and bigger challenges, and to offer my unique blend of skills to advance science.