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Postdocs for Metaknowledge Network

The Metaknowledge Network, a multi-university research network based at the University of Chicago, invites applications for two Postdoctoral Scholar positions. Both postdoctoral scholars will be based at the associated Center for Metaknowledge and Computational Intelligence at the University of Chicago (www.uchicago.edu), one of the leading research universities in the United States. Each position will be for 3 years, contingent on annual reappointment.

Metaknowledge research is an exciting new interdisciplinary field that blends Big Data, complex systems methods, and computational social science with sociological, anthropological, historical, and philosophical approaches in order to develop "knowledge about knowledge" (see J.A. Evans and J.G. Foster, Science 331, 721 (2011)). The Network will investigate the knowledge-making processes that give current knowledge its shape and limits, and thereby develop new approaches to go beyond those limits and address new questions. Recent metaknowledge projects by Network scholars have mapped the changing structure of science, explored the role of teamwork in scientific success, shown the surprising role of industry funding in sponsoring innovative basic research, demonstrated how early results distort the interpretation of subsequent findings, and identified biases and created model-based corrections for errors in data production (e.g., microarrays).

The position requires exceptional skills in computational or quantitative research and interdisciplinary scholarship. The Postdoctoral Scholars will collaborate with members of the network to gather, organize, and analyze data about knowledge-making processes in a variety of disciplines and domains. Network projects will explore questions about the nature of exceptional scientific achievement, the character of highly generative ideas, and the role of research traditions and unstated assumptions or folk theories in shaping scientific research. The Postdoctoral Scholars will participate in the construction and analysis of rich models of the social dynamics of knowledge creation. They will also participate in writing related articles, targeting both disciplinary and interdisciplinary publication venues. The Postdoctoral Scholars will work closely with leading natural, computational, and social scientists, with expertise ranging from the sociology of science and the meta-analysis of medical research to complex systems and machine learning. Network members are on the faculty of Duke, Harvard, Northwestern, Princeton, Stanford, the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and UCLA, and include many of the founders and leaders of this exciting interdisciplinary area. The successful candidate will be an energetic, creative scholar with the ability to communicate and collaborate across disciplinary lines.

Minimum qualifications for this position are a PhD or expected PhD (by Summer 2013) in applied mathematics, computer science, computational social science, computational biology, informatics, physics, complex systems, or related disciplines; strong quantitative and computational skills; an excellent academic record, with evidence of considerable research promise; excellent written and verbal communication skills; and a record of successful teamwork and collaboration. Preference will be given to candidates with extensive experience in interdisciplinary research; demonstrated interest in research related to metaknowledge; previous experience working on social scientific questions; and previous postdoctoral experience in relevant areas. Women and members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. An open mind and commitment to the broad goals of the Metaknowledge Network are a must.

Interested candidates must send the following to knowledge.lab.chicago@gmail.com: 1) cover letter, describing your interest in and qualifications for pursuing interdisciplinary research in general and metaknowledge research in particular; 2) curriculum vitae (including publications list); 3) description of your research interests and broad research trajectory (max. 2 pages), discussing how those interests intersect with those of the network; 4) contact information for three or more scholars who know your work and are willing to write letters of reference; 5) one or more papers you have written in English, either published or unpublished.

We will accept applications from January through March 15, 2013 or until the position in filled and plan to interview promising candidates as applications arrive. We expect the scholars to begin their appointments on or around Summer 2013.

Compensation includes a competitive salary and benefits plan.


Postdoc/Programmer for NSF Project on Influence in Science

A NSF funded project "Tracing Influence & Predicing Impact in Science" at the University of Chicago, invites applications for a Postdoc Scholar or Programmer position. The Postdoc or Programmer will be associated with the Center for Metaknowledge and Computational Intelligence at the University of Chicago (www.uchicago.edu), one of the leading research universities in the United States. Each position will be for 3 years, contingent on annual reappointment.

This project develops new measures and models that assess and predict the impact of academic research on science, technology, and the public. Building on progress in the measurement of scientific and technological novelty, as well as phylogenetic models of evolution, advances in computational language understanding, and the increasing electronic availability of historical and contemporary scientific texts, this project creates computational tools to identify scientific claims, embed them in their historical, conceptual, and geographical context, and thereby provide a multidimensional evaluation of the nature and scope of their impact. Claims extracted from text will be complemented by article citations and unpublished expert opinions about paths of scientific influence, elicited through interactive online games. Taken together, these data provide the input for probabilistic models that exploit patterns in the structure of scientific language, the graph of citations, and expert opinion to assess the evolutionary and ecological importance of particular concepts and claims, articles and journals, scientists and institutions within the unfolding network of scientific and technical innovation. Our initial focus will be on the broad field of chemistry and its intersections with biology.

The positions require exceptional skills in computation and interdisciplinary collaboration. The Postdoc or Programmer will work with other grant personnel to analyze influence in the process of creating science and technology. Projects draw on a wide variety of information extraction, dimension reduction and probabilistic modeling approaches. The Postdoc or Programmer will assist in code development, robust data cleaning and analysis pipeline for large corpora and possibly end-user interfaces. We particularly value specific skills in machine learning and AI, text-mining, graphical models, network analysis, and dimension reduction techniques, although applicants needs not have all of these skills to apply.

Minimum qualifications for this position are a MS and 5 years professional programming experience OR a PhD or expected PhD (by Summer 2013) in computer science, informatics, applied mathematics, or related disciplines; strong computational skills; and a record of successful teamwork and collaboration. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in interdisciplinary research and previous experience in relevant areas. Women and members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. An open mind and a record of successful teamwork and the ability to communicate and collaborate across disciplinary lines.

Interested candidates must submit to knowledge.lab.chicago@gmail.com: 1) cover letter, describing your interest in and qualifications for pursuing interdisciplinary research in general and metaknowledge research in particular; 2) curriculum vitae (including publications list); 3) description of your computational skill and experience and a broad career trajectory (max. 2 pages), discussing how those skill will support the work of the network; 4) contact information for three or more scholars who know your work and are willing to write letters of reference; 5) one or more examples of working software you have written.

We will accept applications from January through March 15, 2013 or until the position in filled and plan to interview promising candidates as applications arrive. We expect the Postdoc or Programmer to begin their appointments in or around Summer 2013.

Compensation includes a competitive salary and benefits plan.


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