The DIRAC Institute in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington is seeking applicants with a strong research record in the development of statistical techniques or algorithms for analyzing large astrophysical data sets for two postdoctoral positions.
AstroML: The first position is to help in the development of the second edition of astroML (http://astroml.org) a popular Python-based machine learning package for astrophysics. New components we are incorporating within astroML include methodologies from deep learning and hierarchical bayesian statistics. Special emphasis will be placed on building a broader community and making astroML a sustainable open-source project. The successful candidate will lead these activities, including the application of the new codes to dataset available to UW researchers.
Time Series Data: The second position is to develop new approaches for analyzing astronomical time series data using modern computational frameworks. The goal of this framework will be to enable science with the ZTF and LSST data sets. Promising applicants should possess an interest in time domain science and experience or interest in the use of databases and large scale compute platforms such as Spark, Dask, or similar. Good Python skills, and experience with machine learning libraries, image processing of astronomical images, or astronomical databases are desirable.
The DIRAC Institute is a newly formed center for data intensive astrophysics at the University of Washington. The Institute consists of six faculty and senior fellows, and over 20 postdoctoral researchers and research scientists. It has active research programs in Cosmology, Solar System science, Milky-Way structure, the Variable and Transient universe, andAstronomical Software.
The University of Washington is a partner in the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) project, a new time-domain survey which will begin operations in early 2018. The UW is a founding partner of the LSST project, and leads the construction of its time domain and solar system processing pipelines. Other research activities at UW/DIRAC include topics in extragalactic science, as well as the understanding the structure, formation, and evolution of the Milky Way using large surveys (SDSS, WISE, PanSTARRS PS1, and others).
A Ph.D. degree in astronomy, physics, computer science, or a related subject is required. The initial appointment is for two years, renewable up to three years, and offers competitive salary and benefits. The appointments are available immediately and are expected to start no later than September 2018.
Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, description of research interests (with links to Github if relevant) and arrange for three letters of reference to be submitted to Nikolina Horvat at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “DIRAC postdoc application (your name)”. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled, to assure full consideration, please send your application by Dec 31st 2017
For detailed information about the benefits available through the University of Washington, including dental, medical and disability insurance, retirement, and childcare centers, see the University of Washington benefits page: https://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/benefits/.
The DIRAC Institute is a community of people with diverse interests and areas of expertise, engaged in the understanding of our universe through the analysis of large and complex data sets. We are an open, ethical, highly engaged and collaborative community based on trust, transparency and mutual respect. We believe in providing a welcoming and inclusive environment, in the importance of quality of life, in embracing diversity, in making a difference and having fun.
By Jonathan O’Callaghan on June 30, 2021
Read the full article in Scientific American.
The comet is also a taste of what is to come in the near future of solar system astronomy. In October 2023 a new telescope in Chile called the Vera C. Rubin Observatory will begin a 10-year survey of the entire overhead sky called the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). Thanks in part to its eight-meter mirror, Rubin will be able to discover much fainter objects than any of its predecessors, including many more expected large comets like this. “Typical telescopes find objects out to 50 or 60 AU,” says LSST team member Mario Jurić of the University of Washington. “With LSST, we can easily go out to 150 AU. We’re going to see things like [the Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet] maybe on a monthly basis.”
Observations and computer simulations of their orbits and interactions with planets yield insights into the asteroids’ dynamic lives. People tend to think of the solar system as a static environment, in which the orbits of the planets, asteroids, and comets have remained the same over its lifetime. But although its current architecture has existed for roughly the past 4.5 billion years, the solar system is far from the unvarying environment that we imagine.
Read the full article in Physics Today!
Dr. Sarah Greenstreet is a senior researcher with the B612 Asteroid Institute and the DiRAC Institute at the University of Washington. Her research interests include the study of orbital dynamics and impacts of small bodies in the Solar System.
Learn more about the first planetary defence mission on this year’s Asteroid Day LIVE
Asteroid Day is a global day of awareness and public education about asteroids. At science centers, schools, museums, universities, and community centers around the world events are being held to learn about the origin and composition of asteroids and how to deflect, detect and map their trajectories in our solar system to protect us from potential impacts and many more subjects relating to asteroids. There are thousands of events from around the world. A vision of self organized events around the world has come true with over 125 countries hosting events this year, on June 30th, 2021.
All the details and the event access links can be found HERE.