ICCS Postdoctoral Fellowship (1 position available)

ISAAC (Infrastructure for Astrophysics Applications Computing), a three-year R&D project to accelerate a broad range of astronomy and astrophysics applications using many-core architectures (such as Graphical Processing Units), is looking for experienced postdoc candidates to work on this challenging and exciting project. ISAAC is a project under a newly created center for high-performance computing (HPC) ICCS (International Center for Computational Science) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley. The project will build an infrastructure of comprehensive software libraries, tools, frameworks, easy-assembly common hardware modules and complete turnkey solutions by leveraging emerging architectures.

The recent explosive growth in scientific data from experiments, simulations and analyses has been described as a “data avalanche”. Now, the next-generation of experiments in astronomy are poised to generate even more data – of the order of 300 GB per night (Dark Energy Survey) and up to 150 GB per second (LOFAR). This poses serious challenges in data processing, storage and distribution. Various research efforts have revealed serious lack of clearly defined and standardized infrastructure solutions – architectures, programming models and algorithms – that can address a broad range of scientific data handling problems.

In addition, the growing importance of energy efficiency further constricts the solution phase-space. The emerging many-core architectures such as graphics processing units (GPUs) primarily designed for mainstream video markets are being adopted for low cost HPC. Despite their rapid adoption across disciplines, the challenges of parallel programming loom large over many-core chipsets. By consolidating expertise from the computer science and astrophysics domains ISAAC will develop a comprehensive and energy-efficient HPC infrastructure using the emerging many-core and accelerator-based programmable architectures for a broad class of applications critical to research in astrophysics & astronomy and other disciplines.

The uniqueness of this work is in adopting the real-world science/application-driven approach where the key drivers of instrumentation, simulations and data processing and analysis are identified up-front in order to assess the efficacy of this new methodology. The project will cover a broad range of applications including:

  • Fourier optics simulations for ground-based and space telescopes, Integral field unit spectrographs, PSF modeling
  • Wavefront reconstruction in adaptive optics
  • Real-time imaging in radio interferometry
  • Cosmological simulations
  • Algorithm development

The project has access to and will procure large GPU and multi-core clusters for development and testing. The project will collaborate with various leading projects (LOFAR, ATA, SKA, JWST…) and set the stage for accelerated high-performance computing for the next generation of telescopes and new discoveries.

Duties include
Actively collaborating with members of ISAAC in design, development and testing of astrophysical algorithms for many-core architectures. Investigating the evolution of the developed solutions to exascale. Encouraging broad adoption of developed libraries. Participating in collaborative scientific studies. Exploring extending the developed solutions to other scientific domains. Publishing and presenting results.


  • Required: PhD degree in computational science, physics, computational astrophysics, applied mathematics or a related technical field
  • Expertise in the design and implementation of simulation codes for computational physics/astrophysics
  • Expertise in a broad range of algorithms
  • Demonstrated proficiency in C/C++, CUDA, and OpenCL
  • Demonstrated proficiency using parallel architectures along with MPI and OpenMP
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

Positions are 1-year term appointments with possibility of renewal up to total of 3 years. Salary for these post-doctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.

To Apply
Please send single attachment that includes resume and/or CV and a statement of research interests to .