[Comp-neuro] Programmer position at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology.

Benjamin Torben-Nielsen btorbennielsen at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 05:11:55 CEST 2015

The computational neuroscience unit (De Schutter unit) at the Okinawa 
Institute of Science and Technology has an opening for a programmer / 
technician on a neuroinformatics project. Initial duration is one year 
with an option to extend.

Project description:

Neuronal morphologies are usually studied in isolation. However, this is 
in contrast to reality were neurons develop in a dense substrate and 
actively interact with each other and their environment. Therefore, our 
group recently developed a computational framework -NeuroMaC- to study 
how interactions between developing neurons themselves and the 
environment shape dendrite and axon morphologies.

A fully functional prototype of NeuroMaC was implemented in Python. 
NeuroMaC is designed as a parallel software and implemented using the 
ZeroMQ messaging library for concurrency. More information about the 
design and future roadmap of NeuroMac can be found here: 

Job description:

We seek for a programmer / technician to implement a new version of 
NeuroMaC using state-of-the-art parallel environments to improve on 
scalability, execution speed and flexibility. The candidate will be 
working in the lab headed by Prof. Erik De Schutter and under daily 
supervision of Dr. Ben Torben-Nielsen. The candidate will help in the 
final design of the framework and has to be flexible in incorporating 
additional features as research continues and new requirements are 


The ideal candidate has extensive experience with parallel programming. 
We are particularly looking for candidates with experience of (dynamic) 
load-balancing. Experience with meshing software is a great plus and 
previous experience with neuroscience is appreciated (but not necessary).

* Required:
- Extensive experience in developing in Linux environments
- Extensive experience in parallel programming (MPI, ZMQ)
- Excellent communication skills in English and communication with 
multi-disciplinary teams
- M.Sc. in computer science / physics / computational neuroscience or 
similar experience

* Beneficial:
- Familiarity with meshing software (TetGen, gmsh, Cubit, VTK)
- Experience in an academic environment
- Interest in neuroscience

Benefits / Offer:

A competitive salary and relocation package are offered. This an ideal 
position to gain experience in a prominent computational neuroscience 
lab. Academic contributions by technicians are honoured by authorship on 
relevant publications.

Please contact Prof. Erik De Schutter  (erik at oist.jp) or Dr. Ben 
Torben-Nielsen (b.torbennielsen at gmail.com) for inquiries.

About the workplace:
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University 
(OIST) will become a model for change in education and research with the 
best international graduate students, working side by side with 
world-class faculty in modern well-equipped laboratories. Beautifully 
situated on the island of Okinawa, OIST relies on a cross-disciplinary 
approach, with an emphasis on creativity and exchange, to offer unique, 
individualized graduate training. OIST is a university with no 
departments, eliminating artificial barriers between people working in 
different fields, but many nationalities, with students and faculty 
being attracted from all over the world. Concentrating initially on 
Neuroscience, Molecular Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Environmental 
and Ecological Sciences and Physical Sciences, OIST is bringing some of 
the best brains in the world to Okinawa to transform the way science and 
education is done in the global academic world.

Dr. Ben Torben-Nielsen
Computational Neuroscience Unit
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

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