Thursday, June 16, 2011

Theory Jobs 2011

The computer science job market never comes to a complete close. CI Fellows are still being decided, Oxford is just starting its search for an algorithms professor. But many jobs have settled so it is time for our annual list of who is going where. Many of the strong theory groups have hired this year, surely spurred on the by the competition for the new Simons Institute but still we have way too many theoretical computer scientists doing multiple postdocs or taking industrial or financial jobs.

For optimal crowdsourcing I created a Google spreadsheet that everyone can edit and for all to view. Do not add or modify the sheet unless you are sure a job has been offered and accepted. It may take some time for the embedded sheet below to update to the latest changes.

34 comments:

  1. Ryan Williams has been a postdoc for FOUR years. It was in the end worthwhile being so persistent.

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  2. That was because of a two-body problem, which according to this list has not been resolved.

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  3. Wow, tons of jobs this year! Congratulations to all!

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  4. You make it sound like a job in industry is a bad thing. I think I would prefer a job at MSR or IBM more than a job at a second-tier university.

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  5. MSR and IBM research dont count as industry. Industry is software engineering on the Office team at Microsoft.

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  6. Not bad: jobs, jobs. Not good: only about jobs. Fields Medal winner, Grigori Perelman, has no job. And what? Jobs (positions) = doing research?

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  7. MSR and IBM research dont count as industry. Industry is software engineering on the Office team at Microsoft.

    How many theorists are doing this?

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  8. You should clarify that by job in an industry you mean a software engineering job--otherwise it gives a wrong message. Top industrial research labs in my opinion are much better than landing a job in a university ranked below say 20.

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  9. Is there any reasonable research on algorithms at Oxford?

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  10. How many theorists are doing this?

    Lots.

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  11. What is an average starting salary for one of these positions?

    My guess:

    9-month academic salary: $95,000
    Research lab salary: $150,000

    Too low? Too high?

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  12. Best place to see salary info is the Taulbee Survey

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  13. How many theorists are doing this?

    Lots.


    How many of them still publish? That is the question.

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  14. @Lance: well that gives salary info for academic positions. What about industrial research labs: MSR, IBM, AT&T, Yahoo ?

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  15. How many theorists are doing this?

    Lots.

    How many of them still publish? That is the question.


    Very few. It is very difficult to continue doing research when you have another full-time job. Isn't this obvious?

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  16. Princeton and Stanford are recruiting lots of complexity theorists.

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  17. The saga for UCSD continues.
    So many hired but not them.
    This is beyond surreal.
    They are surely jinxed!

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  18. Stasys: Not bad: jobs, jobs. Not good: only about jobs. Fields Medal winner, Grigori Perelman, has no job. And what? Jobs (positions) = doing research?

    Stasys, you're from Europe. This site is concerned mainly with the US tcs community. So keep in mind that there are cultural differences between Europe and the US: in the US it's money, popularity and market driven research that is perceived as most valuable; Neither "depth" nor abstract ideas are especially important there.

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  19. > anonymous (2:03 AM, June 17, 2011): I agree with you, and I also understand the difference pretty well. My comment was, of course, not very serious: Grigori Perelman is a big exception also in Europe. But exceptions confirm the rule. I only don't know what "rule" it is ... Actually (no kidding), it is really nice to see that US universities are recruiting lots of complexity theorists.

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  20. @anonymous (11:14 PM, June 16, 2011):
    UCSD did not even try to hire this year. They didn't advertise a search, and did not interview anyone I believe. Given the number of strong candidates on the market this year, they might very well have been successful had they tried to hire this year. The only explanation that seems to make sense is that, like the rest of the UC system, UCSD is broke... Can anyone from UCSD comment more authoritatively?

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  21. > The saga for UCSD continues.
    > So many hired but not them.

    close enough to theory:

    http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~kamalika/

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  22. >Princeton and Stanford are recruiting lots of complexity theorists.

    Princeton yes, Stanford no. One is not lots. (And no, business school is a different story.)

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  23. >> Princeton and Stanford are recruiting lots of complexity theorists.

    > Princeton yes, Stanford no. One is not lots. (And no, business school is a different story.)

    The commenter was probably referring to Luca Trevisan who recently moved to Stanford.

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  24. What is wrong with Business school? GSB seems to be hiring a lot of Stanford CS grads, though. Last year they hired one of Shoham's students.

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  25. Best year for placement that I have ever seen. Note that other areas of CS didnt do as well this year.

    Lance credits the Simons competition, but I think there was just a lot of pent up demand for hiring theorists.

    Also, the postdoc process actually makes theorists a lot more marketable than other computer scientists. Note that in many other areas of CS (such as systems) a postdoc doesnt even make sense because there is a huge startup time for new research projects.

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  26. UCSD is no longer subject to a strict campus-wide hiring freeze. However, very few departments have been given slots to hire. CSE had no slots for tenure-track faculty this year. Math had some slots, being a larger department with high turnover due to retirements. TCS people were in contention for Math slots, as well as a School of Engineering position. In the end, no computer scientists were made offers (for tenure-track jobs) this year.

    Yes, for those without the severe budget restrictions hitting the UC campuses, the last few years were a great opportunity to build their departments. Yes, the last several years have been very frustrating for UCSD CSE. Next year's state budget (just passed bit vetoed) isn't looking any better for UC, but hopefully it will get the deficit under control and allow growth in future years.

    Russell Impagliazzo

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  27. >What is wrong with Business school?

    Nothing is wrong, but it is a different story. It is not usual to count those recruited to non-math/cs departments (health sciences, economics, EE, physics, ...) in these numbers. They are not the (classical) theory positions so including them in the numbers makes the comparison between schools or with previous years meaningless.

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  28. But many theorists doing "classical" theory are employed at business schools.

    E.g.

    R. Ravi (http://www2.tepper.cmu.edu/andrew/ravi/)

    Amin Saberi (http://www.stanford.edu/~saberi/)

    Ashish Goel (http://www.stanford.edu/~ashishg/)

    David Gamarnik (http://web.mit.edu/gamarnik/www/home.html)

    and many younger theorists. The main difference between business schools and CS departments seems to be higher standards of dress and pay.

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  29. > But many theorists doing "classical" theory are employed at business schools.

    They are doing classical theory, and it is good that they employ theorists who continue to do theory, but the positions themselves are not classical theory positions. Classical theory positions are math/cs, at least for now.

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  30. keep in mind that there are cultural differences between Europe and the US: in the US it's money, popularity and market driven research that is perceived as most valuable; Neither "depth" nor abstract ideas are especially important there.

    ROTFL

    If you made a list of the deepest TCS results and ideas of the past decade, what proportion do you think would come from Europe, and what proportion from the US?

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  31. @ Anonymous (10:57 AM, June 20, 2011)

    It depends on what you mean under "deepest TCS results". It also depends on whether you count Israel and Russia as being in Europe. If we do the latter, then the biggest progress (at least in circuit lower bounds) was made (in Russia, Lupanov, Nechiporuk, Khrapchenko etc.) and is made (in Israel, Alon, Raz, Wigderson etc.). "Old" Europe was less active last years, although some gems appeared also there (e.g. Moser's derandomization of Lovasz's lemma). But you are right: in algorithms Europe needs to grow ... Unfortunately, this will not happen: in Europe theory positions are being *reduced* with great speed, as opposed to what happens in US. That many European scientists go to US, is just a consequence.

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  32. Is it really a good thing that many theorist get employment in business schools in place of cs departments? Wouldn't it be better if we have AGT groups inside cs departments?

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  33. Does anyone know who EPFL hired? They seemed to have been looking for theorists.

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  34. Seems like they hired Aleksander Madry.

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