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Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016 Fall Jobs Post

The weather cools down, the leaves change color and you start thinking about what you plan to do after you graduate. As a public service every year about this time, we offer up links and advice for the job search for PhDs in theoretical computer science.

For computer science faculty positions best to look at the ads from the CRA and the ACM. For theoretical computer science specific postdoc and faculty positions check out TCS Jobs and Theory Announcements. If you have jobs to announce, please post to the above and/or feel free to leave a comment on this post.

It never hurts to check out the webpages of departments or to contact people to see if positions are available. Even if theory is not listed as a specific hiring priority you may want to apply anyway since some departments may hire theorists when other opportunities to hire dry up. Think global--there are growing theory groups around the world.

I expect hiring this year to be similar to recent years. Most departments looking to dramatically expand in computer science but with a preference for the more applied areas that the students and the companies that will hire them desire. You can make yourself more valuable by showing a willingness to participate and teach beyond core theory. Machine learning, data science and information security are areas of great need where theorists can play a large role.

A bad job talk can sink your job prospects. Know your audience and particularly for faculty positions create a talk that can express your results and importance to those outside of theory. Pictures help, complex formulas and heavy text work against you. Practice your talk in front of non-theory students and faculty. You will greatly increase your chances if you can sell yourself as a valuable colleague, not just a smart theorist who will prove great things in isolation.

Good luck out there and I look forward to seeing your names on the Spring 2017 jobs post.

4 comments:

  1. Know your audience and particularly for faculty positions create a talk that can express your results and importance to those outside of theory.

    This depends on the department. In some places you give your interview talk to your intended research group only, in others to the entire department.

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  2. Is a theory hire who is able to teach CS1 a windfall?

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  3. It's weird that you are referring to them as "jobs". The word seems to be associated more with the corporate world than with academia. I would call them just "positions". (That's part of the beauty of academia, that we do not seek "jobs" in the regular sense of the word.)

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  4. Waterloo CS has a targeted position in computational complexity (tenured or tenure track).
    https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/about/open-positions/tenured-and-tenure-track-faculty-positions-2016-2017#Several Tenure-Track Faculty Positions

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