Big Bang, big data, big computers

Observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation have transformed modern cosmology propelling it into high-precision, data-driven science it is today. CMB data analysis has been a cornerstone of this transformation and it continues in this role preparing currently to meet its possibly ultimate challenge as posed by ever-growing in size and complexity forthcoming data sets required by new science goals posed for the field. These include providing key pieces of information about the very early Universe: Gaussianity of the initial conditions, the presence of the primordial gravity waves, as well as constraints on the large-scale structure formation and possibly properties of dark energy. The sophistication of the involved data models is matched by precision levels, which have to be attained to deliver robust detections and result in firm conclusions. The overall challenge is indeed breathtaking and, without a doubt, the success will be only possible if the data analysis effort becomes truly interdisciplinary and capitalizes on the latest advances in statistics, applied mathematics, and computer science – all of which constitute veritable foundations of the contemporary data analysis work.

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