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Job Summary

  • No. of Vacancy: N/A
  • Job Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts (US)
  • Employment Type: Full Time
  • Salary: N/A
  • Gender: Any
  • Age Limit: N/A
  • Experience: N/A
  • Career level: Mid-Senior level
  • Posted On: Oct 9, 2017
  • Application Deadline: Oct 27, 2017

Job Description/Responsibility

  • The Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health invites applications for a Postdoctoral Data Scientist position to work on large scale environmental health and mobile health geospatial data. The position will involve close scientific collaboration with Drs. Peter James, Antonella Zanobetti, and Corwin Zigler. There will also be ample opportunities to interact with the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis (
  • The successful candidate will be responsible for coordinating geospatial analyses for very large scale heterogeneous data such as: geocoded nationwide prospective cohort studies, atmospheric chemistry model outputs, and temporally-dense measurements from smartphone applications and wearable devices. The successful candidate will also interact with about 15 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • The ideal candidate is an independent, solution-oriented thinker with a strong background processing very large data sets, applying analytical rigor and statistical methods, and driving toward actionable insights and novel solutions.
  • Duties and Responsibilities:
  • -The Data Scientist will contribute to the effort of:
  • Benchmarking and identifying the best stack to handle and analyze massive amount of geospatial data, some containing protected health information.
  • Processing massive amounts of geospatial data such as millions of atmospheric transport trajectories or mobile health measurements (GPS, physical activity, heart rate, sleep, etc. from smartphones and wearable devices) for tens of thousands of study participants.
  • Developing and disseminating software for reproducible research.
  • Creating innovative web-based data visualizations.
  • Training other team members in advanced GIS tools and techniques.
  • Writing scientific articles and research proposals.

Experience Requirements

  • N/A

Education Requirements

  • -PhD in Statistics, Biostatistics, Computer Science, Data Science, Environmental Health, Information Technology, Environmental (or other) Engineering, Geography and Geoinformation Science, or other quantitative field.
  • -Strong background in applied statistics and computational methods.
  • -Interest in open-source software, reproducibility and data management.
  • -Experience in handling very large spatial datasets.
  • -Familiarity with multiple data science tools (R, Shiny, GIS, d3, Python, PostgreSQL, MongoDB,…), and ability to learn new tools as required.

Skills Requirements

  • -Demonstrated ability to contribute to research of new statistical approaches, inference algorithms, and machine learning techniques.
  • -Experience with version control systems, in particular Git and GitHub.
  • -Knowledge of SAS would be helpful, mostly to be able to reuse and modify SAS code that the team is already using.
  • -Interest in mobile health technology, including smartphone applications and wearable devices to develop temporally-dense measures of location and behavior.


  • N/A

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About the Company

Company Name: Harvard University

Company Profile: Harvard University Archives The Harvard University Archives are maintained by the Harvard University Library system and are a great resource to access Harvard’s historical records. The Harvard Shield On Sept. 8, 1836, at Harvard’s Bicentennial celebration, it was announced that President Josiah Quincy had found the first rough sketch of the College arms – a shield with the Latin motto “VERITAS” (“Verity” or “Truth”) on three books – while researching his History of Harvard University in the College Archives. During the Bicentennial, a white banner atop a large tent in the Yard publicly displayed this design for the first time. Veritas original sketch Until Quincy’s discovery, the hand-drawn sketch (from records of an Overseers meeting on Jan. 6, 1644) had been filed away and forgotten. It became the basis of the seal officially adopted by the Corporation in 1843 and still informs the version used today. Why Crimson? Crimson was officially designated as Harvard’s color by a vote of the Harvard Corporation in 1910. But why crimson? A pair of rowers, Charles W. Eliot, Class of 1853, and Benjamin W. Crowninshield, Class of 1858, provided crimson scarves to their teammates so that spectators could differentiate Harvard’s crew team from other teams during a regatta in 1858. Eliot became Harvard’s 21st president in 1869 and served until 1909; the Corporation vote to make the color of Eliot’s bandannas the official color came soon after he stepped down. But before the official vote by the Harvard Corporation, students’ color of choice had at one point wavered between crimson and magenta – probably because the idea of using colors to represent universities was still new in the latter part of the 19th century. Pushed by popular debate to decide, Harvard undergraduates held a plebiscite on May 6, 1875, on the University’s color, and crimson won by a wide margin. The student newspaper – which had been called The Magenta – changed its name with the very next issue. U.S. Presidents and Honorary Degrees After George Washington’s Continental Army forced the British to leave Boston in March 1776, the Harvard Corporation and Overseers voted on April 3, 1776, to confer an honorary degree upon the general, who accepted it that very day (probably at his Cambridge headquarters in Craigie House). Washington next visited Harvard in 1789, as the first U.S. president.

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