Just to follow up on the tweet, and all of my typos aside
, YOUR help is much appreciated.
In the first year you, the Citizen Scientists, have viewed more than 2.37 million merger simulations. Out of those, over 36 000 were selected as potential matches to their respective targets. You have spent a cumulative total of 12.5 million seconds running the Merger Applet.
We expect to start publishing the results soon (yes, you've heard that before). There will be some more changes to the site as well (I promise this is not a broken record).
One recurring theme across the Zooniverse projects is that, despite the best plans, the tremendous response from the volunteers always exceeds expectations. So what may start out as an adequate approach for digesting the science results often turns out to be insufficient. In order to adapt on this project, we added the Merger Wars activity. Since its introduction, there have been more than 250 000 head-to-head match ups between simulation results. Each comparison helps us to decide which result is possibly closer to the ideal match to the target image.
These results in particular have caused us to shift the priority of some of our research goals. We started with the assumption that Citizen Scientists are better at evaluating merger simulation results than current automated methods. People do better than machines. The work done so far seems to show this to be true, again for current methods. However, with the quarter million comparisons generated so far, we feel we may be able to train an algorithm that can compete with all of us. We had hoped to gain an insight like this, but the timing of it was somewhat unexpected.
Just one of many directions our research has taken in response to all of your wonderful work.
Again, thank you, thank you!