Senior Research Scientist

Fairfax, VA
Salary commensurate with education and experience.
Sep 26, 2020
Nov 01, 2020
Analyst, Research
Full Time
"Senior Research Scientist

The Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science at George Mason University is accepting applicants for a Senior Research Scientist to work in conjunction with the United States Naval Observatory (USNO). George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages applicants who will enrich Mason's academic and culturally inclusive environment.

Responsibilities: This position will be for an initial period of 2-years with an optional 3rd year and will be based at the USNO in Washington, D.C. The successful applicant will work closely with Dr. Nathan Secrest and other members of the Astrometry Department on ground-based photometric data of nearby active galactic nuclei (AGNs). This position will be for 50% self-directed research and 50% research and operational work in support of USNO.

The primary task of the incumbent is to serve as a developer for a new method of finding an optimal astrometric solution of narrow-field data taken at visual wavelengths. Working closely with the USNO lead (a government employee), the incumbent will develop code that will transition from simulated target recognition tested under varying World Coordinate System (WCS) and affine transformations to real-world applications eventually leading to accurate estimation of target image WCS solutions.

The incumbent will be responsible for the following: * Production of astronomical code to perform high-precision differential astrometry and photometry on ground-based images of nearby AGNs, and produce high-fidelity simulations to verify the code; * Production of code to recognize targets and determine the transformations required to produce astrometric solutions; * Generalization of parts of the above code for utility by the wider astronomical community, as a USNO product; * Self-directed research, including proposing and obtaining time on astronomical facilities, or computing facilities suitable for research goals and publication of papers; * Maintaining an active role in the scientific culture of USNO by contributing to journal clubs, colloquia, and professional seminars where appropriate.
Required Qualifications: * Successful completion of a PhD in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Physics, or related field prior to the first day of the appointment; * High level of computer programming experience, preferably in Python; * Formal education and background in physics and/or mathematics.

Preferred Qualifications: * Familiarity/experience with image analysis and modeling techniques and/or computer vision; * Familiarity with astrometric and photometric data analysis and techniques; * Aptitude with mining astronomical data repositories.

About Us: The College of Science (COS) is the largest research unit within the university, constituting approximately 30 percent of the total research portfolio. With a mission to produce science that enhances society, create clear career pathways for Mason students, and enhance economic development in the region and the nation, COS undertakes pioneering research endeavors that offer insight and solutions to the complex issues that challenge today's world. For more information about the college, visit us on the web at ."

"For full consideration, applicants must apply at ; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information."

"Great Careers Begin at Mason!

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in both academics and research. Mason holds a top U.S. News and World Report "Up and Coming" spot for national universities and is recognized for its global appeal and excellence in higher education.

Mason is currently the largest and most diverse university in Virginia with students and faculty from all 50 states and over 135 countries studying in over 200 degree programs at campuses in Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William, as well as at learning locations across the commonwealth. Rooted in Mason's diversity is a campus culture that is both rewarding and exciting, work that is meaningful, and opportunities to both collaborate and create.

If you are interested in joining the Mason family take a look at our current opportunities and catch some Mason spirit at!

George Mason University, Where Innovation is Tradition."

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