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Postdoc Position in Time-Domain Multi-Messenger Astronomy at UVI

Oct 26, 2018

The Department of Chemical and Physical Science at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI, St. Thomas Campus) invites applications for a postdoctoral position in time-domain multi-messenger astronomy with Prof. Antonino Cucchiara.

The successful candidate will work on the search for fast transients, including Long and Short Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), Fast Radio Bursts and Gravitational Wave (GW) electromagnetic counterparts; specifically in the context of Big Datasets and Machine Learning (ML) supervised and un-supervised classification.

The UVI Physics Group has access to several optical/NIR robotic and semi-robotic facilities, including the Virgin Island Robotic Telescope, the Las Cumbres Observatory, the Automatic Spectroscopic telescope, and the Gemini Observatory.

Also, as part of the Deeper, Wider, Faster program (DWF, PI Cooke), the successful candidate will be able to work on establishing the framework for a real-time ML discovery and classification scheme using fast transient optical light curves acquired with the CTIO Dark Energy Camera (DECam) and Subaru Hyper-SuprimeCam and incorporate that information with simultaneous and follow up imaging and spectroscopy from ~40 other DWF facilities in the Radio through Gamma-ray energy range (including Parkes radio telescope, Keck, SALT, AAT, SkyMapper, Swift, and Fermi mission).

This novel approach (matching short time-scale cadences and simultaneous multiband data) will give the successful candidate the opportunity to interact with DWF scientists and graduate and undergraduate students at both UVI and Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia.

The UVI Physics program has been expanding in the past 3 years, with the hiring of two new junior faculty and two postdocs, including a CubeSat engineer, for the development of the UVI BurstCube (PI Cucchiara, Morris) to identify Gamma-ray counterparts of GW emitters. Therefore, the successful candidate will (a) take advantage of large multi-wavelength, multi-timescale datasets, (b) be involved in the coordination and data acquisition of future observing runs, (c) have the opportunity to mentor students in their research and career development, and (d) gain teaching experience if desired.

Required Qualifications:
* Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy and/or Astrophysics
* Good knowledge of Astrostatistics (Machine Learning, Deep Learning)
* Interest in time-domain astronomy

> Additional Desired Qualifications:
* Experience in Python programming and multiprocessing
* Experience with data analysis (e.g. radio, X-ray, optical)
* Experience with classical observing (optical/NIR/Radio)
* Past leadership roles

The position is planned for two years starting June 1st 2019, with a possible extension for a third year contingent on adequate performance.
Interested candidates can contact Prof. Antonino Cucchiara at antonino.cucchiara(at) with further inquiries.