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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0082
Post Date 4/21/2017
Title Software Analyst
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 ofrapidly 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 - the Scheduler. The Scheduler is the brain of the LSST control system and is now under construction by the Telescope and Site (T&S) group. The Scheduler will determine the sequence of observations automatically and dynamically, taking explicit account of observing conditions, the state of the observatoryand the history of observations to date.

The LSST Telescope and Site Group is looking for a Software Scheduler Analyst. The Software Scheduler Analyst will perform varied tasks to assist the T&S software group. He/she will take direction from the T&S software manager to support the development of 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 inTucson, AZ.

Essential Functions:

  • Support Algorithms development and validation: analyze the scheduling algorithms and design parameters for test runs that exercise every new feature added to the incremental releases, execute these test runs and analyze the observations database to validate that the algorithms produce the expected behavior. Propose and evaluate improvements.
  • Understands parameter design: for the proposed cost functions, explores different alternatives in control parameters in order to achieve the level of flexibility required in the algorithms to accommodate the expected range of science to optimization.
  • Scheduler metrics: support the design of scheduling progress metrics with graphical representation tools, to generate Scheduler telemetry in real time for the Observatory Control System (OCS) monitoring functions.
  • Support the design of performance metrics with graphical representation tools to evaluate the quality of the algorithms and parameters in each incremental internal release.
  • 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.
  • Scheduler code Quality Assurance (QA): analyze the results of technical simulation runs and verify the compliance of the software to the requirements implemented at each incremental internal release.
  • Detail oriented with ability to work with a high volume of documents in a fast-paced environment. Highly organized and focused, the individual prioritizes and plans work activities and uses time efficiently.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including effective presentation of numerical data and good proofreading expertise.
  • Bachelor’s degree on Computer Science, Physics or Mathematics.
  • Experience in development of quantitative metrics to evaluate software performance
  • Fluent in Python or other coding language with the willingness to rapidly learn Python
  • Software engineering and data analysis experience.
  • SQL databases
  • Proficiency in Matlab or equivalent.
  • Graphical representation of data; Data structures; Data analysis; Data processing algorithms; Decision making algorithms

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: 17-0082LastnameDocname. 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)
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