Browse Open Jobs | Search Open Jobs | Edit Your Profile | View Submitted Applications

Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0081
Post Date 4/21/2017
Title Software Developer
City Tucson
State AZ

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

Under construction in Chile, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is an 8.4-meter telescope. This large-aperture, wide-field, ground-based telescope will survey half of the sky every few nights in six optical bands with its 3.2 gigapixel camera. It will explore a wide range of astrophysical questions, including probing the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, and following the evolution of rapidly changing objects such as exploding supernovae, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids, and distant Kuiper Belt Objects.

Determining the optimal observing strategy to simultaneously achieve the multiple science goals is performed via a complex scheduling software element - the Scheduler. The Scheduler is the brain of the LSSTobservatory control system and is now under construction by the Telescope and Site (T&S) software team. The Scheduler will determine the sequence of observations automatically and dynamically, taking explicit account of observing conditions, the state of the observatory, and the history of observations to date. At each moment, the Scheduler considers the external and internal conditions of the observatory and evaluates 20,000 targets of opportunity to select the best observation following multiple scientific priorities and technical constraints. The code has to be also executed under a simulation environment at a speed of at least 2000 times faster than real time.

The LSST Telescope and Site Group is looking for a Software Developer. The Software Developer will perform varied tasks to assist the T&S software group. He/she will take direction from the T&S software manager to contribute to the development the LSST Scheduler. This will also include frequent interactions with the Project Office Simulations team in the context of the Scheduler development plan. This position is located in Tucson, AZ.

Essential functions:

  • Analysis of requirements, design and software interfaces.
  • Development of efficient algorithms to implement new functionality and extensions to the scheduling cost functions based on requirements and design documentation.
  • Development of efficient data structures to handle large volume of parameters essentials to the scheduling algorithms.
  • Optimization of algorithms to improve speed performance.
  • Optimization of data structures to improve speed and memory performance.
  • At each step, participates in review of element with team.
  • Develop unit tests for each new functionality incorporated in the Scheduler.
  • Participates with team in reviews of other software components from T&S
  • Provides component development plan inputs and reports progress against plan.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a technical field such as Computer Science or Computer Engineering
  • Minimum 2 years’ work experience.
  • Linux/Unix experience
  • Extensive use and demonstration of Python programming skills
  • Java and/or C++ development experience
  • Software engineering and data analysis experience.
  • Familiarity with SQL databases
  • Experience with the Git or Subversion/Trac
  • XML/XSD experience
  • Experience in algorithms development and data structures
  • Working knowledge of responsive design principles
  • Self-motivated
  • Communicates effectively with customers and fellow team members to ensure successful realization of project needs.
  • Work effectively with coworkers and others by sharing ideas in a constructive, positive manner; listening to and objectively considering ideas and suggestions from others; keeping commitments; keeping others informed of work progress and issues; addressing problems and issues constructively to find mutually acceptable and practical solutions; and respecting the diversity of the LSST workforce in actions, words, and deeds.

Please list 3 professional references in your application. Please attach a statement of professional interests or cover letter and CV or resume (PDF Files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: 17-0081LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

Preference granted to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O'odham reservation.

  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
Apply On-line
Send This Job to a Friend