Computer Scientist

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

Job posting number: #7076591

Posted: March 31, 2021

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Summary

Responsible for the development, maintenance and support of data warehouse systems including multiple interfaces. Focus on big-picture and strategic issues; develop policy. Projects are large, complex, and multi-faceted.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

Applications are invited for an experienced computer scientist under the direction of Sandeep Robert Datta, M.D., Ph.D., in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. The Datta lab has developed a machine learning-based platform for characterizing body language (called Motion Sequencing, or MoSeq). MoSeq combines 3D machine vision and statistical modeling to decipher body language. The description of behavior afforded by MoSeq has been extensively validated, effectively describes changes in behavior caused by gene mutations, drugs, or changes in neural circuit activity, and matches moment-to-moment neural dynamics (see basic overview movie at, also see Cell 174:44, Neuron 88:1121, Nat. Neuro. 20:1180, NIPS 2016:2946).

Based upon the promise of MoSeq to transform behavioral neuroscience, the Datta lab has received funding from the NIH BRAIN Initiative to hire a computer scientist to make MoSeq easily implementable by a broad community of external users. This computer scientist will integrate the various software components currently used to implement MoSeq into a user-friendly pipeline and build accessible GUIs and web portals for MoSeq. They will also help integrate ongoing improvements in the underlying models and assist in developing the next generation of models and fitting procedures for MoSeq. The computer scientist will work as part of the Datta lab, in a vibrant community that includes computer scientists and neuroscientists at multiple levels of training interested in the relationship between brain and behavior. The computer scientist will work effectively within a culture inclusive of individuals with diverse backgrounds, styles, abilities, and motivations, and appreciate and leverage the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals.

Typical Core Duties

Oversee aspects of data management services which may include data modeling and database and analytics platform design, database performance and optimization, recovery/load strategy and implementation, and data modeling
Lead team in development and enhancements of the data user interface including data acquisition/access analysis
Monitor status of assignments; review code and document scripts and procedures
Design and implement data verification and testing methods
Identify and evaluate opportunities to improve existing subject areas and applications and determine viability for adoption
Provide technical expertise and direction in developing and supporting system level programs
Identify areas for efficiency or improvement; recommend improvements
Create new standards and procedures related to end user and interface development, including user requirements
Partner with others on technical issues and system architecture definition
May manage vendor relationships
Provide training to clients and staff
Function as subject matter expert or project lead; advise unit/school
Abide by and follow the Harvard University IT technical standards, policies, and Code of Conduct

Basic Qualifications

Minimum of seven years’ post-secondary education or relevant work experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Strong applicants will have:
Experience with software development, image processing, data analysis, and data visualization, is preferred.
Experience building and documenting Python modules and/or Application Programming Interfaces.
Programming skills (Fluency in the command line, Python is particularly desired, C++ is a plus).
Experience with cloud-based computing (Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine).
Experience with version control and CI/CD.
Experience with working and problem solving independently.
Experience seeing a project to its completion, from start to finish.
Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills
Salary will be competitive for the Boston area and reflect the specific experience of the applicant.

Certificates and Licenses

Completion of Harvard IT Academy specified foundational courses (or external equivalent) preferred

Working Conditions

Work is performed in an office setting

Additional Information

This is a 12-month term appointment with the possibility of renewal contingent on funding.

Harvard Medical School strives to cultivate an environment that promotes inclusiveness and collaboration among students, faculty and staff and to create new avenues for discussion that will advance our shared mission to improve the health of people throughout the world.

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