The Department of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley seeks applications for a project scientist position in the area of data intensive astronomy, anomaly detection and GPU-accelerated signal rocessing, in support of the Breakthrough Listen Initiative.
On July 13, 2015, UC Berkeley signed a contract with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation to carry out a major new research program called the “Breakthrough Listen Initiative.” Breakthrough Listen employs telescopes around the world to conduct the most comprehensive, intensive and sensitive search for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence ever undertaken. Deploying the necessary instrumentation for the search involves designing and constructing new high-speed digital electronics and novel signal processing software, able to process terabit-scale data streams. The work also involves deploying, testing, and operating these electronics and software on the world’s largest telescopes, and leveraging them to conduct sensitive and methodical searches for artificial emission. Breakthrough Listen instrumentation and data products can also be used to study natural astrophysical objects in novel ways. The incumbent will be expected to serve as a key scientist of the Breakthrough Listen Initiative, including assisting with the development of novel instrumentation, algorithms, and observing techniques at GHz bandwidths. Incumbent will also interact with staff engineers, monitor project milestones, and ensure that necessary capabilities are in place to execute the Breakthrough Listen Initiative science program. The incumbent will design and execute observing strategies and signal analysis methodology for the Breakthrough Listen Initiative, including target selection, interference mitigation, and statistical analysis. The incumbent will have opportunities to engage with the diverse scientific community at UC Berkeley and supervise the work of students and junior scientists.
This is a 100% time position, with an immediate start date. This position will allow up to 50% time to be spent on personal research and 50% in support of the science operations of the “Breakthrough Listen Initiative.”
The Breakthrough Listen Team has excellent access to a rich array of technical resources, including multiple state-of-the-art GPU clusters, many-petabyte storage and high-speed data access over both the commodity internet and research WANs. The group is in the process of deploying powerful and flexible digital backends at multiple radio telescopes, including a 12 GHz bandwidth baseband data processor at the Green Bank elescope and a 6 GHz bandwidth system at the Parkes telescope. As part of the College of Letters and Science, the Department of Astronomy offers undergraduate and graduate instruction in a wide variety of fields, including theoretical and observational astrophysics; infrared, optical, and radio astronomy; galactic structure and dynamics of stellar systems; high-energy astrophysics and cosmology; and spectroscopy.
A PhD or equivalent degree in Astronomy, Astrophysics, or related field is required at time of application.
Preferred qualifications: (By the time of application)
- Extensive experience with GPU-accelerated high-speed digital signal processing applied to astrophysical problems and signal detection in the time or frequency domain.
- Publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals involving the construction of custom high-performance astrophysical analysis pipelines.
Salary and Benefits:
$81,100 - 94,400 - Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualification based on classification.
UC Berkeley offers excellent health and welfare packages. It also has a number of policies and programs in place to support employees as they balance work and family. Information on available plans and eligibility can be found at: http://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/
To apply, please go to the following link: https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/apply/JPF01468
Applicants must submit: cover letter, curriculum vitae, summary of publications. A statement of research is optional but highly encouraged. Letters of reference will only be solicited of finalists.
All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality (http://apo.berkeley.edu/evalltr.html) prior to submitting their letters.
Position will remain open until filled.
Please direct administrative questions to Barbara Hoversten: firstname.lastname@example.org and scientific/technical questions to Dr. Andrew Siemion: email@example.com.
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of Californian discrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct.
The University of California, Berkeley has an excellent benefits package as well as a number of policies and programs in place to support employees as they balance work and family.