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Research Programmer I - Human-Machine Forecasting

Information Sciences Institute Waltham, Massachusetts

Information Sciences Institute (ISI), a unit of USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, is a world leader in the research and development of advanced information processing, computing, and communications technologies. ISI has three research campuses:  one in Marina Del Rey, CA; one in Arlington, VA; and one in Waltham, MA.

This position is located in Waltham, MA.


The ISI VISTA Center (https://www.isi.edu/centers/vista/overview) seeks applicants for a Research Programmer I to support research on the creation of hybrid (human and machine) geopolitical forecasting systems. The component resulting from this ongoing research is currently being tested weekly by hundreds of users on a few dozen different classes of forecasting problems.

We are seeking a strong programmer to work with researchers to help explore and test hypotheses about forecasting methods in a broad range of problems from economics to disease outbreak to international geopolitical issues. How can a forecast based on time series be improved?  For a particular forecasting problem (e.g. oil production in a country) can we discover an exogenous variable that indicates regression models are not accurate?

This programmer will also be responsible for (1) testing, debugging, and improving existing tools that support human forecasters, (2) developing infrastructure for cleaning and processing data and running experiments to evaluate system performance, and (3) performing error analysis and suggesting and implementing improvements.

Successful candidates will have strong programming skills, interest or experience in forecasting research and machine learning, and be passionate about building artificial intelligence systems through innovation and experimentation.

Master's degree in computer science or related fields encouraged, but qualified candidates with bachelor's degrees are also encouraged to apply. Prior knowledge of quantitative forecasting techniques (e.g. ARIMA, Granger causality) is desirable but not required.


Basic Qualifications

  • Expertise in Python (preferred) or Java

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience participating in the research process in an academic setting
  • Software engineering experience in preparing components for integration into larger systems
  • Experience applying machine learning
  • Experience with R, TensorFlow, or libraries for forecasting from time series

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.


Minimum Education: Master's degree, Combined work experience and education as equivalent Minimum Experience: 1 year Minimum Field of Expertise: Demonstrated creativity and innovation in solving conceptual programming problems. Competent to work independently on complex programming.


REQ20073437 Posted Date: 04/19/2019
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