Jana Diesner's Group
Human-Centered Data Science · Social Computing · Network Analysis · Natural Language Processing


School of Information Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Location of position: School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Rank/title: Postdoctoral Scholar

Primary Position Function/Summary: The School of Information Sciences/ the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invites applications for the position of a Post-Doctoral Scholar in Dr. Jana Diesner’s research group.

The person will leverage and improve methods from Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML) and Social Network Analysis (SNA) to advance theory with applications in the areas of emergency management, IoT, and responsible computing. This will be interdisciplinary research at the nexus of computing and social science conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jana Diesner and her lab. 

The person will be involved with at least one of the following three projects:
(1) Emergency management: Explore the application of NLP and ML techniques to large-scale, multi-mode data in order to advance the measurement of the success of emergency response efforts. This project spans all stages (preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation) of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. A specific sub-goal for this position will be the assessment of situational awareness of emergencies and responses depending on data types and characteristics of sources.

This project is funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and CIRI (Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute, at UIUC), and is conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard.

(2) IoT: Collaborate on user studies and computational data analysis to develop novel theories and scientific insights that lead to the scalable composition and management of heterogeneous IoTs that enable secure information sharing. We will focus on investigating the relationship between the accuracy and modality of information, cultural contexts, and bias in perception. We will characterize information behavior related to basic human principles of expression and decision making, such as people’s morality and the impact of multi-modality on people’s perception of information.

A sub-goal for this position is the characterization of the interplay of social agents and information in networks where links are formed through communication, collaboration and shared mental models.

This project is funded by the Army Research Lab.

(3) Responsible Computing:

Practical Ethics: Study data regulations with a focus on normative expectations in different communities and data governance in different jurisdictions. Help to develop practical solutions for compliance with data regulations.

Transparency and accountability: Study the impact of data provenance and data curation on research outcomes, with a focus on the impact of data and algorithms on predictive modeling.

This work is funded by the Office of the CIO/ Technology Services at UIUC.

Statement of duties:


Candidates should have a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline (e.g., computer science, information science, or computational social science) as well as evidence of conducting research aligned with the projects’ interests. Applicants should have a track record of publishing in the areas of computational social science, network science, or NLP. Applications should have strong research experience with machine learning, handling large datasets, and data provenance/ curation. A background in one of the mentioned application domains is highly desirable.

Appointment status: The position is a full-time appointment (100%) for an initial period of 12 months. Start date will be ideally in August of 2018.

Salary statement: Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Proposed start date: August 2018 or thereafter, and may start as soon as possible after the offer is accepted.

Application process: To apply for this position, please send your cover letter, CV, up to three related publications, and the name and contact information for three references to Jana Diesner (jdiesner@illinois.edu). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Close date for applications: July 13th, 2018 (11:55 pm AoE)

Unit contact information: For more information, contact Jana Diesner at jdiesner@illinois.edu.

Background check statement: The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

EEO statement: The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO. To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit http://www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.