On Thursday and Friday, Bernhard, Rob, and I discussed about one of Rob's works on exoplanet detection. He has been working on it for awhile, and we will see if the current technique can be improved using more sophisticate machine learning techniques.
An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is basically a planet outside the Solar System. As far as I understand, an ultimate goal is to discover the Earth 2.0, those extrasolar planets that orbit in the habitable zone where it is possible liquid water to exist on the surface. The detection of exoplanets itself is very difficult, let alone the extraction of molecular composition of the planets, because planets are extremely faint compared to their parent stars.
This basically concludes my trip to NYC. I will be at ICML (Atlanta, Georgia) next week and looking forward to meeting many renowned machine learning people.