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Research Programmer II - ISI Boston

Viterbi School of Engineering Waltham, Massachusetts

USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI), a unit of the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering, is a world leader in the research and development of advanced artificial intelligence, information processing, computing, cybersecurity, and communications technologies. ISI’s 400 faculty, professional staff and graduate students carry out extraordinary information sciences research at three distinct locations - Marina Del Rey, CA; Arlington, VA; and Waltham, MA.

*This position is located in Waltham, MA.*

Information Sciences Institute (ISI) seeks a Research Programmer II. Research programmers at ISI Boston contribute to research projects involving natural language understanding, fusion of information from text and video sources, and the application of pre-trained language models as a knowledge repository.

Research directions for this position include:

  • Probing the knowledge in a large pre-trained language model and the ability of the pre-trained language model to learn by reading and to improve the model’s ability to recognize its own uncertainty.
  • Script discovery from narrative descriptions of events
  • Predicting what people will do, given a pre-trained language model and previous acts/conditions
  • The application of similarity metrics to (i) identify clusters of mentions of the same event across documents; (ii) automatically extending discovered scripts; (iii) grounding the events and participants in a script to terms in external resources (e.g. Wikidata); (iv) discovering shared sub-units of discovered scripts to build a library of reusable discovered event sequences; (v) automatic evaluation and measurement of generative question answering systems; (vi) the organization of conflicting hypotheses derived from information extraction.
  • Dialogue systems designed specifically to engage with phishing attacks.

Research programmers participate in project meetings, code reviews, the design of internal experiments to lead to publishable results, and the integration of internally developed approaches with project goals.  ISI offers a flexible work environment with the possibility of a hybrid work-from-home setup.

Research programmers contribute to shared group tasks including the maintenance of a project-specific HPC cluster.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in computer science or closely related field
  • Experience in information extraction using machine learning, deep neural nets for natural language processing
  • Proficiency in Python or Java
  • 3-5 years of experience with machine learning and NLP

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: 3 years Minimum Field of Expertise: Relevant work experience to provide strong technical knowledge of programming and analysis as well as senior or lead experience. Demonstrated ability to stand in for researchers as circumstances require. Demonstrated creativity and innovation in solving conceptual programming problems.


REQ20092102 Posted Date: 08/05/2021

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