Research Assistant

The Research Assistant will be assisting in a variety of projects related to the development of MapX, a micro-pore optics X-ray spectro-imager designed to image mineral samples in X-ray. This may include data analysis efforts of Map-X images of rock, mineral, and artificial targets.  The Research Assistant will also be working with MapX-III, our prototype instrument at NASA Ames, and participate to the development of image and spectral algorithm software and website.


  • Participate to experiments at SLAC and NASA Ames to characterize future improvements for the MapX instrument.
  • Continue to develop and modify MapX graphical interface software (currently in python)
  • Develop identification and image processing algorithms as stand-alone Python or other code as needed;
  • Assist in preparation of abstracts, presentations, and papers for publication and proposals; 
  • Create, modify and update the MapX Consortium web site 


  • Bachelor’s Degree in engineering, computer science, physics or related field; 
  • Experience in algorithm development, lab experience with X-ray spectro-imager, and image analysis are desired;
  • Must be proficient in Python, C++, Java, Javascript, Matlab, and website development
  • Experience/interest in geology and planetary science desirable
Physical Requirements
  • Frequent to continuous sitting and standing;
  • Frequent to continuous use of computer monitor, mouse and keyboard;
  • Frequent use of standard office and lab equipment and sample handling
  • Occasional bending, reaching, kneeling

HAL's Legacy: 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality

Along with celebrating 50 years of software engineering, we can also celebrate the premiere of one of the most famous science fiction movies in history, 2001: A Space Odyssey. One of the central characters in the movie was the supercomputer HAL, the most powerful computer imagined at that time. Possessed knowledge superior to that of a human, HAL controlled the spaceship, found solutions to the most complex problems, played chess with the astronauts, and served them continuously. Then something went wrong. Why?  Was it a bug in the system, or a problem intrinsic to AI?


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