The University of Chicago’s Knowledge Lab (KLab) seeks to understand collective systems of thinking and knowing, ranging from science and technological advance to cultural innovation to the rising role of (mis)information and AI in society, to the transformation of skills and work. The recent explosion of digital information offers an unprecedented opportunity to study the dynamics that shape human understanding, investigation, and certainty. KLab researchers are developing new big data, machine learning, adaptive surveys and experiments, and simulations with AI “digital doubles” to (1) harvest knowledge and judgment from experts, people, articles, preprints, software, patient records, artifacts, videos, and sensors; (2) learn how knowledge is made, used, certified and forgotten; (3) represent, recombine and generate knowledge in powerful ways; and (4) improve knowledge generation, representation, management and innovation practices everywhere.
The Senior Research Associate will work closely with the KLab faculty director, lab affiliates and postdocs to develop KLab’s distinctive approach to understanding, predicting, visualizing, communicating, and ultimately improving human knowledge, technological innovation, healthy information environments, and enriching work. This will involve familiarity with the data requirements, workflows, and products associated with an ambitiously interdisciplinary research program.
Specifically, the Senior Research Associate will have the following research-related responsibilities. The appointee will:
- participate in original research (with PI rights), generally in close collaboration with other KLab researchers;
- secure, fuse, and transform relevant data; and
- play a leadership role in developing social, knowledge, and technology representations and visualization strategies for the public presentation of KLab projects.
- train and supervise student research assistants who will be working in support of specific KLab research projects.
- more generally support the KLab’s ongoing work on the science of science, innovation, and AI.
The Senior Reseach Associate will also have research-related administrative responsibilities, such as:
- helping to manage KLab’s computational environment;
- design collaborations and partnerships with research groups at universities, research institutes, companies, and governments;
- convene workshops and conferences on topics related to science, innovation, AI, and the future work; and
- seek out grants and contracts in support of this work.
KLab welcomes applicants from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, skilled in diverse methods and modes of investigation, but ideally with familiarity or expertise in computational methods and/or the social, informational, cultural, and/or technical nature of science, technology, and innovation. The position requires PhD with disciplinary backgrounds that include, but are not limited to, the social and behavioral sciences (e.g., sociology, political science, economics, psychology, anthropology); computer, information, and data science; physics, statistics, and math; and other fields with special relevance to science, knowledge, and/or innovation (e.g., science studies, history and philosophy of science) or complex, emerging methods and data (e.g., ecology and evolution, engineering). Methods and modes of investigation may include (but are not limited to) some combination of the following:
- deep learning, including large language models, autoencoders for large-scale and unstructured multi-modal data, and/or reinforcement learning;
- complex networks and associated network analysis;
- theoretical and methodological approaches from science and technology studies (e.g., actor-network theory);
- geometric and topological approaches to data analysis;
- complex information representation, visualization, and manipulation
- machine learning and statistical approaches to the science of science
- Data visualization and media
- historical and philosophical approaches to the formation of knowledge and ideas
Candidates should demonstrate a strong record of research-oriented work drawing from academic and/or professional experience. This may include advanced scholarship and/or professional experience in a role participating in and supporting scientific activities. The ideal candidate should have some experience convening conferences and seminars, university teaching, and research on questions related to KLab’s mission, with a minimum of four years of work or scholarly experience and a record of previous engagement with KLab’s core research agendas.
Applications must be submitted online, at the University of Chicago’s Interfolio website, https://apply.interfolio.com/135089, and are required to include: 1) a brief cover letter; 2) CV; 3) abportfolio or other relevant documentation of previous relevant work; 4) contact information for three references. Review of applications will begin on November 20, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled or the search has ended. Appointments will begin as soon as January 3, 2023.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange. The University’s Statements on Diversity are at https://provost.uchicago.edu/statements-diversity.
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination (https://www.uchicago.edu/about/non_discrimination_statement/).
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