The Millennium Scientific Initiative’s Institute of Astrophysics (MAS) solicits applications for up to four postdoctoral positions to work on novel astrophysical and astrostatistical topics/problems related to large time-domain surveys. The positions are within the Astrostatistics/Astroinformatics group led by Prof. Susana Eyheramendy, Francisco Forster and Pablo Estevez and the Transients group led by Franz Bauer, Alejandro Clocchiatti, Andres Jordan and Giuliano Pignata.
MAS is a large interdisciplinary research center comprised of astronomers, statisticians and computer scientists located across several Chilean universities. One of it’s key projects is ALeRCE, the first public astronomical alert broker which is systematically classifying alerts. To date, ALeRCE has classified tens of millions of objects from ZTF (and soon ATLAS) using machine learning, with classification probabilities updated in real-time as new data arrives. ALeRCE has robustly classified >200,000 variable stars and >25,000 AGN, and found >2,000 supernova candidates which have been reported to the astronomical community. The ALeRCE project fosters an exciting, dynamic, and collaborative team environment currently comprised of 8 faculty, 3 postdocs, 6 software engineers and >10 students.
On the Astrostatistics side, we are seeking to appoint 2 creative scientists with interests in the application of probabilistic, statistical and machine learning methods to astrophysical data and theory in the context of the ALeRCE. Researchers with experience in machine learning applied to classification problems, ideally with at least some experience in astronomy, are strongly encouraged to apply. On the Transients side, we are looking to appoint 2 tenacious scientists who can exploit the extragalactic transients (SNe, TDEs, AGN) discovered through ALeRCE via archival, follow-up and ensemble studies.
Dependent on skillset and interests, selected candidates will work on some of the following topics: improving our classifiers; expanding our training sets for supernova, variable star, and AGN classes; inferring physical parameters combining external models with real data; proposing for, organizing and managing follow-up campaigns (e.g., via our direct involvement in ePESSTO and SOXS, as well as essentially all telescopes installed in Chile), producing astrophysically relevant results based on the follow-up of the ZTF and other telescope streams; helping develop and streamline ALeRCE’s Target Object Manager (TOM); working with the ALeRCE development team to implement new / streamline existing features and alpha/beta-test various working portions of ALeRCE.
The starting dates for the positions are negotiable, but can begin as early as mid-April 2020. The appointments are nominally for 2+ years, with renewals yearly for up to four years, contingent upon satisfactory progress and availability of funding. The fellow will receive a competitive salary and benefits, as well as a research budget including travel and hardware.
Interested researchers should send as PDF by email to Prof. Susana Eyheramendy the following: CV (including publication list); description of research interests (max of 3 pages). Applicants should also request for at least 2 letters of recommendation to be sent directly from the writers to the same. We will begin reviewing applications on March 31, 2020, but late applications will be considered. Questions should be directed to Dr. Francisco Forster.