We are looking for a research engineer with experience in dataviz / UX design / modern web technologies to develop new visualization tools within the Episteme project. The overall goal of the project is to study how the “digital milieu” influences scientific processes and to what extent the way of carrying scientific activity has evolved and been transformed. Our approach consists in studying how researchers work with data : How they process it, how they collaborate on it, how they represent it, etc.

The project involves collecting digital traces related to the making of astrophysical images (from CEA Saclay IRFU [1])  produced by the Herschel space observatories [2]. Based on this data, and in collaboration with other researchers, three categories of visualization tools should be developed:

  • analysis tools allowing researchers to interpret the traces of scientific activity;
  • reflexive tools allowing the astrophysicists themselves to reflect on their own activity and get insights on the way it is conducted;
  • general public tools allowing amateurs to understand astrophysics scientific activity. They will be designed in relation with our partners in scientific mediation (ExplorNova) and media (France TV, Mediapart).
The visualizations will be web-based, experience with node.js and d3.js is a plus.

This position is part of the Episteme project (2014-2018) funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR), a multi-disciplinary project involving astrophysicists, historians,  philosophers, computer-scientists and media specialists from IRI Centre Pompidou, CEA Saclay  IRFU, LIRIS University of Lyon 1, LINA University  of Nantes, France Télévisions, Mediapart and Centre d’Histoire sociale du 20ème siècle  University of Paris I. The project is well funded and will provide an excellent environment for designing novel visualisation and presenting the work in leading venues.

Duration: 24 months, beginning Fall 2015.

Workplace: LINA, University of Nantes, travels to Paris (Saclay) are to be expected.

2 hours from Paris, close to the Atlantic Ocean and its sea activities, Nantes is regularly quoted in newspapers as one of the most liveable city in France, it is also renowned for being a rich, lively and innovative place (see http://www.en.nantes.fr/home.html).

Profile: PhD or Master’s degree with 2 years of work experience.

Graduated in computer science. Interest for HCI, Datavis, activity analysis and the humanities. Good programming skills.

Salary: > 2000€ net, depending on experience and qualification

How to apply: send CV + motivation + 2 references to yannick.prie@univ-nantes.fr and aurelien.tabard@univ-lyon1.fr

[1] http://irfu.cea.fr/en/Phocea/Vie_des_labos/Ast/index.php

[2] http://sci.esa.int/herschel/


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