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Medill and McCormick seek faculty member with journalism, computer science experience

New faculty member will be one of the first hires under Northwestern’s CS+X initiative, which seeks the “transformational integration of computer science with other fields”

November 8, 2017

Medill and Northwestern have launched a search for an assistant or associate professor of computer science and journalism, who will share an appointment in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the McCormick School of Engineering. This new faculty member will be one of the first hires under Northwestern’s CS+X initiative, which seeks the “transformational integration of computer science with other fields.”

The ideal candidate would have a track record of success in researching, developing and deploying technology relevant to journalism and media, as well as research interests in a computer science discipline such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction or Knowledge Management.

The faculty member will help lead the Knight Lab Studio class, in which teams of journalism and computer science students collaborate on the research, prototyping, development and enhancement of software for journalists, publishers, storytellers or media consumers. The class is one of the key vehicles used by the Knight Lab to develop new tools such as those already released by the Lab: TimelineJS, StoryMapJS, Juxtapose and Soundcite.

Algorithms developed by computer scientists now generate news stories (Automated Insights and Narrative Science), organize them for presentation (Google News) and determine what journalism people see online (Facebook News Feed).  

“But these products have significant limitations because they don’t incorporate journalistic instincts and mindsets,” said Medill Professor Rich Gordon, co-chair of the search committee for the position. “For instance, algorithms designed to surface content are driven by similarity -- text matching or social networks -- rather than more nuanced definitions of relevance.”  

The new faculty member should want to combine computational thinking and journalistic thinking to produce new systems that enhance and augment journalism, while also creating technology tools that enable journalists (and others) to work smarter and better in their research, analysis and storytelling.

Apply for the position