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[ecrea] Postdoctoral opportunity at Information School at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle

Fri Jan 20 23:50:02 GMT 2017

The Information School at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle seeks a historian or ethnographer of computing for a postdoctoral research scientist position, starting September 2017. The hired candidate will work with Assistant Professor Megan Finn at the Information School, University of Washington in collaboration with Associate Professor Katie Shilton at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, College Park. The postdoc is a full-time position available for at least one year, with the possibility of extension. Salary and benefits are competitive. We will review applicants starting April 1, 2017.

* PhD awarded by anticipated start date (September 2017) in fields such as information studies, communication, history, anthropology, STS, media studies, geography or related disciplines.
   *   Commitment to collaborating on research and publications.
   *   Excitement about working on a multidisciplinary team.
* Outstanding qualitative (e.g. ethnographic, interview, oral history, or archival) research skills.
   *   Strong publication record.
* Familiarity with the historical or cultural dimensions of computer security research.


   *   Experience conducting interviews or oral history a plus.
   *   Familiarity with sociotechnical theory and perspectives beneficial.

The postdoc will collaborate on an NSF-funded project examining the history and culture of computer security research ethics. Computer security researchers prevent, discover, and fix flaws in devices and cyberinfrastructures, impacting national security, business practices, information privacy, and personal safety. However, these researchers must navigate ethical dilemmas about how to use big data and shared networked resources to discover vulnerabilities; how to safely expose these problems; and how to best ensure that critical vulnerabilities are fixed. This project seeks to understand how the computer security community formed a culture of attention to ethics; how ethics expectations are communicated among researchers; what sociotechnical factors support and challenge sustaining ethical practices; and how effective ethical self-regulation has been within in computer security research. The project utilizes multiple methods, including citation analysis, content analysis, and interviews, to illuminate and evaluate the ethical culture of computer security research. The project team is a friendly multi-disciplinary collaboration with researchers whose come from information studies, science and technology studies, data science, and computer security.
About us:
The location of the postdoc position is in Seattle, but may be flexible. At the University of Washington, the postdoctoral would be part of the research community at the Information School which holds regular research seminars, and includes the Technology Policy Lab. They would also have opportunities to work with research team members who run the DataLab at the Information School, and the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington and the Security and Privacy Research Lab.

Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park include membership in the EViD Lab, which focuses on the intersection of ethics, policy, and technology design and use. PI Katie Shilton and four doctoral students investigate how factors such as values and norms, rules and practices, and material constraints interact to influence emerging technologies. The postdoc may also join the Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI) at the UMD iSchool. The CASCI community includes an interdisciplinary set of 11 faculty members to provide mentoring opportunities. CASCI also offers a bimonthly theory reading group, speaker series, and lab and meeting space.The UMD iSchool is a growing community of engaged, interdisciplinary researchers. Faculty, staff, postdocs, and students work collaboratively on a range of information problems, using diverse methods and approaches. Further opportunities for collaboration include UMD's Information Policy and Access Center (IPAC), the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL), Computational Linguistics and Information Processing (CLIP), and the Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC).

To apply:
Interested applicants should send a single pdf document to Megan Finn <(megfinn /at/> and Katie Shilton <(kshilton /at/>. Applications should include a one-page letter of interest, CV, a writing sample, and the name and contact information of three references.

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