News:2015-04-20: Job: Postdoc position in Infovis/HCI, visualizing image construction in astrophysics, Nantes & Paris Saclay, France (Fall 2015)

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Title: Visualizing image construction in astrophysics


Keywords: information visualization, HCI, activity traces, astrophysics, scientific activity, scientific processes, STS.

Description: This research scientist / engineer position is part of the Episteme project. Our overall goal is to study how the “digital milieu” influences scientific processes and to what extent the way of carrying scientific activity has evolved and been transformed. Our approach is multi-disciplinary (computer-science, astrophysics, philosophy) and consists in studying how researchers work with data : How they process it, how they collaborate on it, how they represent it, etc.

The present research engineer will collaborate with an epistemology post-doc on the analysis and visualization of astrophysicists’ activity (from CEA Saclay IRFU [1]). Together they will study the so-called “ground segment” processes that go from reception of satellite data on the ground and their calibration, to the production of scientific imagery and publications. Two astrophysical fields will be studied: star formation and cosmology, with a focus on the star forming region RCW36/VelaC and the GOODS galaxy deep field observed with the Herschel space observatory.

Based on traces of the scientific process, the research engineer will work on three categories of visualization tools:

  • for the epistemology team, so that they can analyse, and interpret the traces of scientific activity;
  • for the scientists themselves, so that they reflect on their own activity and get insights on the way it is conducted;
  • for the general public so that it can develop an understanding of astrophysics scientific activity.

The project is well funded and will provide an excellent environment for publishing in leading venues in HCI and Infovis.

The position is part of the Episteme project (2014-2018) and funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR). Episteme is a multi-disciplinary project involving astrophysicists, historians, philosophers, computer scientists and media specialists from IRI Centre Pompidou, CEA Saclay IRFU, LIRIS University of Lyon 1, LINA University of Nantes, France Télévisions, Mediapart and Centre d’Histoire sociale du 20ème siècle University of Paris I).

Duration: 24 months, Fall 2015.

Workplace: LINA, University of Nantes, frequent travels to Paris (Saclay) are to be expected.

Profile: PhD or Masters with 2 years of work experience. Gradutated in HCI or datavis. Interest for activity analysis and the humanities. Good programming skills.

Salary: > 2000€ net, depending on experience and qualification

How to apply: send CV + motivation + 2 references to and