2013-10-3: Job: Postdoctoral computer scientist, Scalable Interactive Data Visualization, University of Leuven

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Original URL: http://eng.kuleuven.be/datavislab/?p=280

Do you know how to tackle large datasets? Do you know how to distribute workload across computer nodes and cores? And are you also interested in data visualization?

We are looking for a motivated postdoctoral researcher who can help us to scale up visual analytics.

Visual analytics is a data-visualization-plus-automated-algorithms approach for identifying new hypotheses in the large datasets that we create every day: searching for the unknown unknowns. The sheer amount of data however makes it more hard and sometimes impossible to process it fast enough to allow for interactivity in the visualizations. Particular challenges that needs to be addressed include (a) how can we quickly calculate different resolutions of genomic data (with minimal preprocessing), (b) how can we distribute visualization subtasks over different computer nodes and/or cores, and can we leverage functional programming languages such as Clojure for this, (c) how can we integrate kernels for dimensionality reduction? Eventually, as the work will be done in collaboration with genomics researchers, it will need to be implemented in a proof-of-concept data visualization tool for in that domain.

You’ll have the chance to dig into Storm (real-time hadoop; storm-project.net) and put your teeth into setting up fast workflows for big data.

We offer a competitive package and a fun, dynamic environment in close collaboration with Intel (intel.eu), IMEC (imec.be) and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (janssenpharmaceuticalsinc.com). The University of Leuven is one of Europe’s leading research universities, with English as the working language for research. Leuven lies just east of Brussels, at the heart of Europe.


The ideal candidate holds a PhD degree in computer science. Programming and data analysis experience is essential. Willingness to interact with genomics experts is mandatory. Experience in data visualization would be considered a plus, but is not necessary. Good communication skills are important for this role.

The candidate will collaborate closely with researchers across the consortium and contribute to the reporting of the project. Qualified candidates will be offered the opportunity to work semi-independently under the supervision of a senior investigator, mentor PhD students, and contribute to the acquisition of new funding. A two-year commitment is expected from the candidate. Preferred start date as soon as possible.

Relevant publications

   Kent WJ et al. BigWig and BigBed: enabling browsing of large distributed datasets. Bioinformatics 26(17):2204-2207 (2010)

How to apply

Please send in PDF before 31 October 2013:

   a CV including education, research experience, and bibliography
   two references (with phone and email)

to Prof Jan Aerts (jan.aerts@esat.kuleuven.be), cc Prof Yves Moreau (yves.moreau@esat.kuleuven.be) and Ms Ida Tassens (ida.tassens@esat.kuleuven.be).

Pre-application inquiries can be sent to jan.aerts@esat.kuleuven.be.

URL: http://www.kuleuven.be/bioinformatics/; http://datavislab.org