Building and Using a New Generation of Sky Surveys
Nicholas Law



Modern optical sky surveys like Pan-STARRs and the Palomar Transient Factory open new windows into a vast and dynamic sky, and their enormous datasets demand dramatic improvements in both data-mining algorithms and follow-up instrumentation. I will present new ways to search for transiting exoplanets in supernova-survey datasets and demonstrate a novel application of weak-lensing techniques to find and characterize very close binary systems in wide-field images. I will go on to describe our recently-commissioned robotic laser adaptive optics system, which is designed for high-efficiency follow-up of the thousands of targets discovered by large surveys. Finally, I will introduce a unique extremely-wide-field survey instrument that will take advantage of long, dark, Polar nights to obtain massively increased sensitivity to rare transient events.