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Call for applications to doctoral program 2018A in UST-KASI

2017-08-24

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) via the University of Science and Technology (UST) is offering doctoral scholarships (direct and integrated) starting from March 2018 (for more info, see https://www.ust.ac.kr/astros_eng.do). PhD scholarships are provided with a competitive salary of about $1500 per month. KASI is located in Daejeon, a high tech, educational and research oriented city. Convenient accommodation would be provided to students for the first 3 years in the campus.


KASI is actively involved in various fields of astronomy and astrophysics, from astronomical instrumentation to observation and theory, and participates in international collaborative and stand-alone projects including GMT, ALMA, SDSS4, DESI, LSST, KMTNet, and KVN. This semester KASI is accepting applications for

the following research areas:


- Theoretical Astrophysics & Cosmology

- Galactic and Extragalactic Astronomy

- Space Science


and also see the list of specific research topics in the end of this announcement.


We encourage qualified international students to apply. Competent students with BSc degrees can apply for an integrated PhD program. Students with MSc degrees may apply directly to the PhD program.


Questions on each research area should be sent to each assigned professor, while other questions are sent to the Chief Major Professor (Sang-Sung Lee, sslee@kasi.re.kr). For more information of application, also see the UST web page (https://ust.ac.kr/admission_eng.do).  Applications are considered only if they are submitted during August 24 to September 8.


Best regards,

Sang-Sung Lee

Chief Major Professor

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A list of PhD projects for the spring semester in 2018 are following:


1. Prof. Young-Sil Kwak  (yskwak@kasi.re.kr)

Study on the Ionospheric irregularities using ground-based and satellite observation data :

(1) Study on the characteristics of the middle latitude ionospheric irregularities by using KASI ionospheric radar and MU radar.

(2) Study on the generation mechanism of the middle latitude ionospheric irregularities by using all-sky camera, GPS TEC map, scintillation monitor, ionosonde, meteor radar and SWARM satellite observation data.

(3) Study on the characteristics of the high-latitude ionospheric irregularities by using polar space environment observation system (all-sky camera, FPI, VIPIR, scintillation monitor) which are operated by KASI and KOPRI, and EISCAT observation and SWARM satellite data.



2. Prof. Arman Shafieloo (shafieloo@kasi.re.kr)

In cosmology group we are looking for very strong, competent and enthusiastic PhD candidates in order to train them at a competitive level internationally and making them prepared for the near future and next generation of the cosmological surveys. A successful candidate will become officially involved with SDSS-IV (Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Stage 4) and DESI (Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument) surveys and the project will include studying and performing research on different aspects of physical cosmology such as testing early universe scenarios and reconstruction of the growth and expansion history of the universe using large scale structure data. Developing advanced statistical methods of data analysis (data mining, machine learning, regression approaches) and preparation to deal with future big data will be a major part of the research during the PhD project. Candidates are required to have strong mathematics and physics background and during the course of PhD a successful candidate has to work on and develop advanced methods of data analysis tailored suitably to analyze cosmology data in different context.



3. Prof. Sang-Sung Lee (sslee@kasi.re.kr)

Origins of Gamma-ray Flares in Active Galactic Nuclei: 

Gamma-ray flares of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are known to be occurred in innermost regions of relativistic jets which radiate in whole ranges of electromagnetic spectra due to synchrotron radiation, synchrotron self absorption, inverse-Compton scattering, Doppler boosting etc. Here we may raise two questions on the nature of the gamma-ray flares of AGN such as: a) What is the basic cause of the gamma-ray flares from AGNs? b) What is the physical process of the causes? For the first question, there are several suggestions like 1) a relativistic jet of high energy plasma, 2) Doppler boosting of synchrotron radiation of the jet, 3) inverse Compton scattering by relativistic electrons, etc. For the second question, we may find some candidates and detail mechanism for the gamma-ray flares such as 1) compression and heating of the plasma in the relativistic jets, 2) generation of the relativistic particles, 3) rapid variability in flux and magnetic field. In order to answer to the questions, we may conduct either 1) studies of large samples of flaring AGNs for investigating statistics and correlation of observed properties, 2) multi-wavelength observations of individual objects for testing time profiles of flares, for studying physical properties of emission features (jet knots), and studying evolution of SEDs , or 3) polarization observations for looking at magnetic field environments. Possible explanations of the gamma-ray flares in AGNs are a) shocks-in-jets propagating within jet flow and b) bending of the whole jets. For both cases, we should expect changes in polarization, luminosity, particle distribution, and structures of jets at mas-scale. The multifrequency simultaneous VLBI/SD observations with Korean VLBI Network are one of the best tools for detecting such changes correlated with gamma-ray flares. A key science program of KVN aims to answer the fundamental questions about the basic nature of the flares of AGN. The Interferometric Monitoring of Gamma-ray Bright AGNs (iMOGABA) project has been launched in 2015 as a key science program of KVN. This project uses KVN for monthly interferometric monitoring of more than 30 gamma-ray bright AGN at 22, 43, 86, and 129 GHz simultaneously (see http://radio.kasi.re.kr/sslee for preliminary results). The iMOGABA aims especially at the potential connection between gamma-ray outbursts and the formation of new jet components, by investigating the potential correlation of the gamma-ray light curves with the brightness and mas-scale structures of the inner jets. The monitoring cadence of a month and the observing frequencies of 22-129GHz make this project unique in studying the gamma-ray flaring AGN. Students will be actively involved in this project and leading stuides on individual AGNs in this program.



4. Prof. Thiem Hoang (thiemhoang@kasi.re.kr)

Self-consistent physical modeling of Galactic dust polarization and Applications

 ▶ How did our Universe begin? According to the standard Big Bang theory, our Universe began about 13.7 billion years ago with an early exponential expansion of space, so-called inflation. Inflation is predicted to generate primordial gravitational waves that left the imprint as pinwheel-like (B-mode) patterns in the CMB polarization map. Therefore, the detection of CMB B-modes would constitute conclusive evidence of Inflation, leading to a complete understanding of our early Universe. However, the recent joint analysis of BICEP2/Keck Array and Planck data has revealed that the first detection of CMB B-modes is only achieved when Galactic dust polarization is accurately modeled and separated from the CMB polarization data. 

The successful candidate will be part of an international team to work on developing a self-consistent physical model of Galactic dust polarization by linking grain alignment to dust properties and local physical conditions of the interstellar medium. An important goal of this project is to apply the self-consistent polarization model to constrain the physics of the early universe with the CMB polarization as well as the physics of the interstellar medium. Students will be trained to master a wide range of research skills, including analytical and theoretical ability, numerical modeling and computational simulations.