I had my PhD in Cagliari in 2010, working on millisecond pulsar searches with Luciano Burderi and MHD simulations of accreting neutron stars in collaboration with the Cornell Group by Marina Romanova.
I then moved to Toulouse where I alternated software engineering to scientific work on ultraluminous X-ray sources and X-ray binaries with Didier Barret, using RXTE first and the newly launched NuSTAR.
I discovered the first pulsating ultraluminous X-ray source (pULX).
Since 2014, I’m back to Cagliari where I keep working on pulsars and ULXs and pulsating ULXs, and I give software support for the Sardinia Radio Telescope. in 2018-2019, I was Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Caltech, working with the NuSTAR group.
CICLOPS: CItizen Computing Pulsar Searches
Most periodicity search algorithms used in pulsar astronomy today are highly efficient and take advantage of multiple CPUs or GPUs.
The bottlenecks are usually represented by the operations that are not easy to automate, or that require an informed choice from an expert eye.
A typical case is the presence of radio-frequency interferences in the data, that often mimic the periodic signals of pulsars.
Another frequent issue is the need for visual inspection of hundreds or thousands of pulsar ``candidates'' that arise out of a number of preselected thresholds that are based on experience but often return a large number of false positives (or negatives).
CICLOPS is a citizen science project designed to transform the search for pulsars into an entertaining 3D video game.
We take advantage of the best gaming technologies on the market to build a distributed computing platform, running calculations with the user's CPUs and GPUs and using the unique human abilities in pattern recognition to find the best candidate pulsations.