Programming Jobs in Physics

September 1st, 2008

Greetings!  My name is Chris Martin and I’m a professor in the Physics and Astronomy Dept. Every year my lab has a number of tasks that would be a lot of fun and great learning experiences for CS students.  My physics research uses computational techniques for everything from controlling satellites to simulating the motions of entire galaxies.  I’d be happy to pay students who are looking for a job, or offer credit for students who are more interested in the research itself.

1) Thinking toward the future and looking for a unique winter term project in 2011?  With funding from NASA, I’m building a telescope that will be launched from Antarctica on a helium balloon the size of a football stadium.  I’m looking for someone to help write and/or modify a command and control system for the telescope.  Depending on how things go, you might find yourself joining us in Antarctica for its launch in Dec/Jan 2010/11, or its US test launch in fall 2009.  Helpful languages/tools: C, swig.

2) This February, the European Space Agency will launch the Herschel Space Observatory.  I’m looking for someone to help make modifications to ESA’s data reduction package written in JAVA and Jython.

3) I’m looking for someone to help my students and I port a relativistic n-body gravity simulation into something that can successfully run in parallel on the campus supercomputer.  The current code is written in JAVA and has some unique features that make parallelization difficult.

4) Finally, I need help modifying a package for scheduling observations on a low-Earth orbit satellite that we are proposing to build.  The package we are modifying is currently used to schedule the observations of the Hubble Space Telescope.  Language: common lisp.

If you are interested in any or all of these projects, please contact Mr. Chris Martin ( in the Physics and Astronomy Dept. for more details.