Earlier this year, I remarked that I had no idea what my next step was going to be career-wise. I am thrilled to report that uncertainty is history! This September, I will begin working as a postdoctoral research associate in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Data Management team at the University of Washington in Seattle.
That is a lot of words. What do they all mean?!
The LSST is a ginormous 8.4-meter telescope currently under construction in Chile. Beginning around 2020, it will image the entire visible sky every few nights for a decade. LSST’s camera takes 3200 megapixel images, which means it will amass 15 Terabytes of data every night. This is a whole new level of “I have more data than I know what to do with” for astronomers, and we are really excited about it.
There are several teams around the country working on various aspects of LSST, and the Data Management folks are primarily writing software to automatically process raw images and turn them into useful databases for the community. As a member of the UW team, I will spend about 80% of my time on LSST projects and 20% of my time on independent research. Some of that 20% will be related to my present work on red giant binaries, but I’m also excited to begin new collaborations.
And yes, this means I am moving to Seattle! But, not immediately. I’m still working hard to finish my PhD, and I plan to work remotely part of the time for the first several months of my new position. In general, I have a lengthy list of more pressing concerns to attend to before I think very hard about relocating.
For example, I am flying to Florida in less than three hours to catch a week-long ride on a Nerd Boat in the Caribbean, and then I have four weeks to finish my dissertation draft.
Catch you on the other side!