Yabebal Fantaye

AIMS ARETE Research Chair, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

I am a cosmologist and a data scientist. I have specialized in testing the statistical nature of the Universe from the cosmic microwave background data (CMB). The CMB is the oldest electromagnetic signal that we can observe, and it carries pristine information about the formation of the Universe through the big bang process . The assumption of statistical isotropy and homogeneity of the universe is central to Einstein’s theory of gravity and its rigorous verification is critical. Apart from analysing cosmological data sets, I am also deeply involved in applying artificial intelligence, in particular deep convolutional networks, to extracting relevant data from satellite images of earth for monitoring African development progress. The research group I established a year ago is in the process of acquiring satellite images to test the hypothesis of correlation between morphological changes of African cities to official statistics on demography and health. These two components of my research has a significant impact both in advancing our knowledge of the Universe as well as providing alternative methods for monitoring Africa progress in achieving the sustainable development goals.