Postdoctoral position in Very High Energy Astrophysics on VERITAS and CTA

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, November 5, 2021
Archive Date: 
Friday, December 31, 2021
To event remaining 34 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
Institution/Company: 
University of Minnesota
Department Name: 
School of Physics and Astronomy
Street Line 1: 
John T. Tate Hall
Street Line 2: 
116 Church Street SE
City: 
Minneapolis
State/Province: 
MN
Zip/Postal: 
55455
Country: 
United States of America
Announcement
Job Announcement Text: 

Postdoctoral Research Associate must have excellent analytical skills, excellent computer programming and hardware skills, the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, excellent organizational, presentation and writing skills, and demonstrated self-motivation and creativity. While based in Minneapolis, the successful applicant will be expected to spend time at the Whipple Observatory site in Arizona for work on both VERITAS (including observing shifts) and the prototype-SCT precursor CTA telescope.

Description:

The University of Minnesota has an opening for a research associate to work in the High Energy Astrophysics program. The researcher will work with Prof Lucy Fortson in the High Energy Astrophysics program in the School of Physics & Astronomy. The U of M is a collaborating institution on the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS), a ground-based gamma-ray observatory located at the FLWO basecamp of Mt. Hopkins, AZ. VERITAS probes the extreme physics of sources such as the jets of Active Galactic Nuclei, Starburst Galaxies and Supernova Remnants. The Minnesota group is also a member of CTA-US, the US team involved in the next generation gamma-ray array. The successful applicant would also be expected to contribute to the development of novel gamma-hadron separation techniques using machine learning. See detail on researcher duties below. The position would be open for three years (based on performance and funding).

Application Instructions:

We only accept on-line applications (https://hr.myu.umn.edu/jobs/ext/344126) The position will ideally start by April 1, 2022 but is flexible. Applications will be accepted until position is filled.

Provide a cover letter, curriculum vitae, the names and complete contact information for three references, a research experience statement and an interest statement.

Additionally, have three letters of reference sent to:

Professor Lucy Fortson
School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Minnesota
116 Church Street SE
Minneapolis MN 55455
[email protected]

Detail on Researcher Duties:
The researcher’s duties will include the following (full description on job site):

40% Science investigations of Active Galactic Nuclei: Analyze data related to VERITAS Blazar Science research program targets including analysis of data taken in other wavebands that complement the VERITAS data sets as needed. Prepare and submit relevant observing proposals. Prepare and submit manuscripts for publication.

20% Improved gamma-hadron separation: Implement machine learning techniques, including improved Boosted Decision Trees but also development of novel deep learning approaches, to improving gamma-hadron separation.

20% Muon calibration pipelines: Implement in VERITAS, and develop and implement in pSCT, an optical throughput calibration pipeline using detection of muon rings in data selected by a trained deep learning (Convolutional Neural Net) model.

20% Mentoring of undergraduates or graduate students; taking data collection shifts and other service-related tasks at the VERITAS telescope site (including work with the pSCT). Participation in weekly working group calls.

Qualifications:

Required: Employee must hold a Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy or a related field with experience in high-energy astrophysics and/or high-energy physics instrumentation and data analysis. Experience with, or a desire to quickly learn, machine learning techniques is required.

The University of Minnesota is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

Included Benefits: 

Benefits Summary for Prospective Employees
https://humanresources.umn.edu/new-employees/benefits-summaries

Application Deadline: 
Friday, January 7, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Monday, February 7, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Lucy Fortson
Title: 
Professor
Institution/Company: 
University of Minnesota
Department Name: 
School of Physics and Astronomy
Street Line 1: 
John T. Tate Hall
Street Line 2: 
116 Church Street SE
City: 
Minneapolis
State/Province: 
MN
Zip/Postal Code: 
55455
Country: 
United States of America
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
344126
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Julie Murphy
Subject: 
Job ID 344126 Researcher 6 - VERITAS (Fortson Research)