The NYU Center for Social Media and Politics supports research on (i) how social media impacts politics, with particular emphasis on the flow of information (and misinformation) on social media; (ii) innovative ways to use social media data to study politics; and (iii) developing open-source tools that facilitate the use of social media data for the study of politics. We are looking for a full-time software engineer to help build software and tools for collecting, processing, analyzing, and understanding large social media data sets. You will use modern programming tools to manage multi-terabyte databases, build data collection and analysis pipelines, and produce meaningful data visualizations. We require candidates to have either experience programming in relevant environments OR a degree in CS. Significant skills working with Python and SQL/NoSQL databases are mandatory. Experience working with semi-structured data, Spark/Hadoop/EMR, Lucene/ElasticSearch, REST APIs, machine learning toolkits like scikit-learn, and linux/unix systems are also highly valued. Interest in politics or social science combined with these programming skills is a plus.
You will work across SMaPP’s diverse portfolio of projects including: analyzing the behavior of bots in elections and the spread of disinformation through social media platforms, working with survey data merged with respondents’ social media behavior, analyzing Facebook data made available through the Social Science One program, identifying which users are most influential in online networks, examining the impact of YouTube and other sites on news consumption of individuals, and studying how and what individuals learn from social media during the 2020 U.S. election campaign. CSMaP is committed to the highest standards of data security and user privacy, and we never release data about individual users. Your role will help us maintain that standard across all of our research endeavours.
This is initially a 6-month position, with the possibility of it being converted into a longer-term role.
You will be given the opportunity to participate fully in the research environment, including authoring papers and open source software, attending conferences and seminars, and working closely with a broad group of researchers associated with the center.
CSMaP consists of three core faculty directors covering fields of Political Science, Computer Science, and Computational Biology, as well as software engineers, data scientists, PhD students in both Political Science and Data Science, affiliated faculty at NYU and other institutions, and undergraduates. The lab maintains a broad research agenda with many projects moving forward simultaneously. Recent publications and/or working papers have centered on the consumption of fake news, the distribution of media consumption by individuals, the links shared by IRA Troll accounts in the 2016 US election, how (competitive) authoritarian regimes respond to online opposition, and the prevalence of hate speech on Twitter.
Required education: An undergraduate degree in computer science.
Required experience: Significant knowledge of and experience with programming in Python.
Preferred education: Master’s in computer science, data science, or an analytical social science.
Preferred experience: 1+ years programming in a relevant environment, either in research or industry; experience working with semi-structured data, Spark/Hadoop/EMR, Lucene/ElasticSearch, REST APIs, machine learning toolkits, and linux/unix systems; experience with natural language processing, machine learning models, and network analysis is a plus.