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Physics Cosmology/Physics and programming

  1. May 7, 2010 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I currently have a Master (M2) in computer science and been working as a C++ programmer in the video games industry for 3 years, in Paris, France.
    However, I don't really enjoy it anymore as I don't feel like it's being much "useful" and
    the place is not that friendly.

    I've always been really interested in cosmology and physics but I never felt like I had what it takes to
    become a good physicist. However, now I would like to work in the domain, at my level of
    course. I would be ready to study more to get up-to-date.

    Do you have any idea of what kind of job I could find which would be interesting for a
    programmer, and at the same time, a bit helpful to the scientific community, which
    wouldn't require that I start new studies from scratch ?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2010 #2
    There are a fair number of programming-oriented jobs in astronomy, though many of them want a good physics/astronomy background; sometimes even a PhD. Here are a couple of currently advertised examples:

    http://members.aas.org/JobReg/JobDetailPage.cfm?JobID=26440 [Broken]

    http://members.aas.org/JobReg/JobDetailPage.cfm?JobID=26441 [Broken]

    I don't know much about these kinds of jobs, though it looks like they follow about the same hiring schedule as research jobs, meaning that this isn't a good time of year. But you might spend some time looking back through the AAS Job Register archives to see what else has been available in the past.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. May 7, 2010 #3
    Rather than academic research you might also want to consider industrial research. I have seen programmers employed in academic (physics) departments without much physics experience but it doesn't happen often. In industry you might have a better shot of getting a project-based job where you can angle in some physics work.
  5. May 7, 2010 #4
    Try to get a job at a company that does visualization software. Also if you have any experience with GPU programming, that's something of a hot topic right now.

    Something you can do to get a feel for this is to download/compile/run something like IRAF or Mayavi2.
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