As the size and complexity of digital datasets increase, dramatically new strategies in computational thinking are needed to transform data into knowledge. The Zooniverse platform for citizen science (Zooniverse.org) provides a unique crowdsourcing solution. It harnesses the visual processing capabilities of over a million volunteers worldwide who record observations on rich data sets from across many disciplines, such as the morphological classification of galaxies or the transcription of pages from old ship's logs from World War I. Aggregating the “votes” of many volunteer observations into a consensus value (crowdsourcing) has been shown to be at least as good as classifications by experts and can outperform computational algorithms asked to assess complex data. The Zooniverse currently hosts twenty-five projects, each conducted by an independent team of researchers who analyze the crowdsourced data and publish results in peer-reviewed journals.
The post is full-time for one year with the possibility for extension to a second year based on job performance and availability of funds. The salary offered will depend on qualifications and experience. A benefits package and a budget for travel will be provided.
45% Programming Design and Development of Crowdsourcing projects related to the CSSI award
Conducts a full range of programming tasks to include program design, program coding, debugging, and documentation for a variety of applications, systems or websites for Zooniverse.
Conduct analysis to determine and plan for new programs, system integrations, or system upgrades on Zooniverse.
Review application modules for quality assurance and check compliance with application architecture standards.
Debugging and Quality Control, troubleshoot production, application, or website issues.
Evaluate and follow through issues and problems until resolved or escalated.
Contribute to test suites and benchmarking, ensuring that code can stand up to deployment in the Zooniverse.
Conduct analysis for the evaluation and selection of vendor software solutions and packages.
25% Zooniverse System Documentation and Guidelines
Gather information on and interpret system functionalities to develop detailed system documentation and guidelines for research teams seeking to use the Zooniverse platform.
10% Project and Team Development
Lead small scale or sub-functional team for application development or enhancement.
Provide training and technical guidance to less experienced staff.
Help oversee student projects related to development work for Zooniverse.
Provide ongoing maintenance of applications, systems, or websites.
10% Research Result Communications
Perform literature searches, attend conferences, and otherwise achieve mastery of theoretical and experimental work in areas related to experimental activities.
Represent the University and collaborations with conference presentations and seminars at universities and labs.
Contribute to the preparation of progress reports and proposals for submission to funding agencies.
Participate in the preparation of results for publication, including as corresponding author for journal papers specifically tied to the individual's contributions.
Other duties of a similar scope as assigned.
Applicant must hold a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering or a related field that requires a high level of software development plus two (2) years experience in the areas of application/web/systems development. Equivalently, a Bachelor’s degree in a non-related field with at least four years of work experience in software development for web-based products.
While based in Minneapolis, the successful applicant will be expected to spend extended periods of time (~1 week every few months included in travel budget) at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago with the core Zooniverse development team.
Familiarity with crowd-sourcing techniques would be a plus.
The developer must have excellent analytical skills, proven ability to manage multiple projects concurrently, excellent organizational, communication and leadership skills, and demonstrated self-motivation and creativity.
Funding for this position is partially provided by the NSF CSSI award.
Internal Number: 331156
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.