The DIRAC Institute in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington is searching for a Research Associate to help develop and exploit next-generation tools for processing the time-domain alert stream produced by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF; https://www.ztf.caltech.edu/).
ZTF is currently conducting a wide-area, high-cadence survey of the Northern Hemisphere sky. Each night, ZTF identifies hundreds of thousands of time-varying sources and streams them in near real-time to science users for filtering, classification, and follow-up. ZTF's alert distribution system, which builds on open-source tools used in industry, was designed at the UW and serves as a precursor for the larger alert stream expected from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
In this position, you will develop new tools for the ZTF alert stream, use them in your own scientific research, and help others to do the same. Your will contribute to open-source software packages and facilitate hackathons and data challenges. An interest in developing expertise in cloud computing, real-time stream processing, and distributed databases is welcome.
Fifty percent of your time will be available for personally-directed research. We particularly welcome applicants interested in Galactic compact objects, extragalactic transients, and/or classification and large-scale data challenges.
The DIRAC Institute (http://dirac.astro.washington.edu) is a recently 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. Current areas of research focus include observations of transient and variable objects, solar system science, study of the structure and evolution of the Milky Way, and engineering new tools for handling astronomical data. We seek to be an open, ethical, inclusive, and collaborative community based on trust, transparency and mutual respect.
The University of Washington is a partner in the ZTF collaboration and a founding partner of the LSST project. The UW leads the construction of the LSST time domain and solar system processing pipelines. In addition to its involvement with ZTF and LSST, the department has a major share in the Apache Point 3.5m telescope.
A PhD or foreign equivalent in astronomy, physics, computer science, or a related subject is required. Experience in Python and strong communication skills required. The initial appointment is for two years and offers competitive salary and benefits.
Applicants should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a research statement (maximum length 3 pages, addressing both current work and future directions), and contact information for three letters of recommendation. We encourage candidates to highlight work and achievements related to data-intensive astronomy (e.g., open-source software development, conference organization, development of teaching or outreach materials, equity work, etc.).
Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled; to ensure full consideration, please send your application by January 15, 2019.
University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergraduate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.