New Opening in Big Data: Postdoctoral Researcher position

The Cosmology and Astronomy group at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences ( invites applications for a post-doctoral Fellowship entitled Big Data: Inference and Machine Learning in Astronomy.  The successful applicant will have the choice to join one of our ongoing projects which include:
  • BIRO: The new Radio Astronomy Bayesian inference formalism being developed for the SKA (see [1] and [2])
  • Machine Learning Classification of light curves and spectra – preparing for the LSST and SKA data deluge (see e.g.  [3], [4], [5])
  • Machine Learning for Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) excision for MeerKAT and the SKA
  • Mining the Arxiv and scholarly web: understanding the academic web through machine learning

Although preference will be given to candidates with existing machine learning and Bayesian inference skills we will consider applicants wanting to switch fields to these areas as we can provide suitable training.

Candidates who are interested in exploring connections to industry are particularly encouraged to apply. The cosmology group at AIMS runs the regular Machine Learning JEDI workshops which bring together students and academics from a wide range of departments to work on concrete applications of machine learning to the real world (see e.g.
The group consists of Prof Bruce Bassett (joint with SAAO and UCT) and Prof. Romeel Dave’ who holds a SARChI Chair jointly between AIMS, UWC and SAAO.
AIMS attracts some of the best lecturers in the world and has a very active visitors program that currently includes Prof. Martin Kunz as an SKA visiting professor. Prof. Roy Maartens (UWC and Portsmouth) and Dr. Nadeem Oozeer (SKA) hold visiting faculty positions.
The cosmology group at AIMS is actively involved in a number of international cosmology surveys (MeerKAT, DES, GAIA, CANDELS, EUCLID) and forms part of the larger AIMS network which now has centres in Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Tanzania as well as South Africa (see e.g. If they so desire the successful candidate will have the opportunity to broaden their CV significantly in preparation for a permanent position by, for example, teaching across the AIMS network, supervising the small research projects of AIMS students or helping to organise TEDxAIMS.
AIMS is situated about 50m from one of the top beaches in Cape Town, a city that regularly attracts top awards for its beauty (see e.g. AIMS is particularly suited to candidates who wish to make a real difference in Africa and the world or those seeking a balanced lifestyle. Hiking, swimming, surfing and other water sports are all available within a 10 minute walk. The story of AIMS is described in the TED prize acceptance speech by Neil Turok:
Queries regarding the position should be sent  to Prof. Bruce Bassett ( while applicants should send a CV, brief statement of research interests and email addresses of three potential referees to Rene January (
The successful candidate will be expected to take up the post starting October 2015, though a later a later start date is possible. The Fellowship offers a competitive salary allowing for a good quality of life.
Applications are now closed.

About Bruce Bassett

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