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Postdoc in Astrophysics and Planetary Science
Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania
Date Posted 12/10/2021
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Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Posting Details

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Posting Number: 2021863F
Position Title: Postdoc in Astrophysics and Planetary Science
Position Type: Faculty
Location: Villanova, PA
Recruitment Type: Internal/External Applicants
Work Schedule: full-time/12-months
Department: 182-Astronomy and Planetary Science
Position Summary:
The applicant will join Dr. Prsa’s research group for an initial 12-month appointment, with a possibility of a 1-year extension, contingent on continued interest and successful performance. Competitive applicants will have an established track record in computational astrophysics, data science and programming. The principal focus for the postdoctoral scholar will be on eclipsing binary (EB) data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. TESS observed almost 5000 EBs on 2-min cadence and hundreds of thousands of EBs in full-frame images. The postdoc will spearhead the effort of extracting lightcurves and principal parameters for the full-frame image dataset, using short cadence data as calibration reference. Methods based on dimensionality reduction/down-projection, artificial intelligence, and clustering are expected to play a central role in the project. In addition, the generalized code-base developed for TESS EBs is envisioned to be added to the PHOEBE suite (http://phoebe-project.org).
Villanova is a Catholic university sponsored by the Augustinian order. Diversity and inclusion have been and will continue to be an integral component of Villanova University’s mission. The University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and seeks candidates who understand, respect and can contribute to the University’s mission and values.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The postdoctoral research fellow will be expected to:
  • extract of lightcurve data from full-frame images;
  • develop classification algorithms for eclipsing binaries from extracted lightcurve data;
  • use short cadence (2-min) data to train an artificial neural network in estimating principal parameters from EB lightcurves;
  • run an extensive and comprehensive analysis of EBs found in full-frame images;
  • implement successful algorithms into the PHOEBE suite;
  • work with and advise graduate and undergraduate students participating in the project.
Minimum Qualifications:
  • A PhD or equivalent degree in Astronomy, Astrophysics or a closely related discipline.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Demonstrable skills in data manipulation, bulk analysis, programming in python and C/C++, experience with artificial intelligence techniques, dimensionality reduction algorithms and clustering.
Physical Requirements and/or Unusual Work Hours:
Special Message to Applicants:
Prof. Prsa’s research group at the Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science will accept applications until Dec 31, 2021. All applicants must apply online at https://jobs.villanova.edu. Online applications must include: 1. A current and complete resume/curriculum vitae. 2. A cover letter or letter of interest. 3. Research statement. 4. Contact information for 2-3 references who will receive who will be contacted via email to submit confidential letters of recommendation when the applicant has accepted the invitation to interview for the position.
Posting Date: 11/15/2021
Closing Date (11:59pm ET): 12/31/2021
Salary Posting Information:
Salary Band:
Job Classification: faculty

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