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Post-Doctoral Fellow

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Job Details

Post-Doctoral Fellow


Social Science & Policy Studies

Worcester Polytechnic Institute - WPI

The position is funded for 2 years.

The candidate will perform basic and applied research in the analysis of processing of educational data that is produced as students engage with dynamic math tools. The postdoc would join an interdisciplinary team to work on a large 3-year IES funded efficacy project examining the intersections of algebra problem solving, math cognition, student errors and strategy use, feedback, dynamic technology, and games in learning. This student-level randomized controlled trial will provide a lot of opportunities to examine student engagement and achievement outcomes as well as log-level data analysis of student interactions with the Graspable Math technology.

The candidate will develop data models to produce algorithms that identify student behaviors and mathematical strategies that could also predict learning and engagement. Successful candidates will have expertise in the use of complex data analytic techniques that leverage rich data to understand phenomena related to learning, engagement, and performance. Preference will be given for candidates that have conducted scholarly work involving empirical and theoretical studies of the cognitive and affective processes and mechanisms that underlie technology-enhanced learning.

The candidate should have a Ph.D. in Computer Science, Learning Sciences, Data Science, or closely related field. A proven publication track record and relevant research experience in machine learning, educational data mining, learning analytics, classification algorithms, behavior detectors, or artificial intelligence is required. Candidates must also be able to communicate effectively (both verbally and written) and learn from and collaborate with researchers from a variety of interdisciplinary areas (math education, cognitive psychology, statistics)
The start date is flexible but can begin anytime from March-August 2019. The position is full time (12 months) for up to 2 years. Salary and benefits are competitive.
Review of materials will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Candidates should submit
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Research statement describing your training and research interests, including why your
    background and interests are a match for this position
  • Contact information for 3 references
  • 2 Samples of written work

    Please send application materials or questions about the position to Dr. Erin Ottmar at
    [email protected].

    United States of America (Exempt)

    WPI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability. We are seeking individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will contribute to a culture of creativity and collaboration, inclusion, problem solving and change making.

    To apply, visit:

    About WPI
    WPI is a vibrant, active, and diverse community of extraordinary students, world-renowned faculty, and state of the art research facilities. At WPI, we have competitive and comprehensive benefits, including health insurance, long-term care, retirement, tuition assistance, flexible spending accounts, work-life balance and much more.

    Diversity & Inclusion at WPI
    WPI is committed to creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected; a place where every student, faculty and staff member can be themselves, so that they can study, live, and work comfortably, to reach their full potential, and make meaningful contributions in order to meet departmental and institutional goals. WPI thrives on innovative practice and welcomes diverse perspectives, insight, and people from diverse lived experiences, to enhance the community environment and propel the institution to the next level in a competitive, global marketplace.

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  • Organization

    Founded in Worcester, Mass., in 1865, WPI was one of the nation's earliest technological universities. From our founding days, WPI has taken a unique approach to science and technology education.

    Our undergraduate and graduate students emerge ready to take on some of the most difficult challenges in science and technology. More important, they understand how their work can truly impact society and improve our lives. WPI campus

    Great Minds at Work in the classroom and around the world 
    WPI's academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to the BA, BS, MS, ME, MBA, and PhD.

    At sites as close as our home city of Worcester and at over 40 other locations in 25 countries,WPI’s Global Projects Program immerses students in new cultures to tackle unstructured problems in ways that are meaningful to local sponsors in real communities. This is not your typical study abroad.

    WPI faculty members and students are engaged in advanced, multidisciplinary research across a broad range of fields—from cutting-edge work in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, to explorations of the technological and policy issues surrounding cybersecurity, to studies of issues as diverse as firefighter health and security and the fire safety challenges of green buildings.

    A highly regarded institution

    Among recent honors for WPI are the 2016 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education and the No. 1 ranking for “faculty who best combine research and teaching.” (Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Ed, 2016) 

    WPI professorA beautiful campus in a central location
    WPI’s compact 95-acre campus is set atop one of Worcester’s “seven hills” on the residential outskirts of town. Old English stone buildings are focal points of the architecture, but modern facilities have moved in to claim their own space on the immaculately kept grounds. WPI’s newest building, the Foisie Innovation Studio, is slated to open in Fall 2018 and will house high-tech classrooms, makerspaces, labs, and a residence hall for 140 students. 

    Learn more at


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