As a critical member of our School Diversity team, you will be working on developing and visualizing the outputs of school redistricting algorithms designed to foster more racially and socioeconomically integrated schools across the US. Despite nearly 70 years since legally-mandated racial integration in US schools, schools remain highly segregated due to a number of factors, adversely affecting the life outcomes of millions of children. Our early work on this topic has used algorithms to show that it may be possible to design policies that could foster more integrated schools without significantly disrupting families’ day-to-day experiences, e.g., through longer travel times. We have been excited to connect with school districts who wish to put this data and technology into practice to design new policies in their own districts, but now face two challenges: 1) having the technological infrastructure in place for them to build on our initial work and put it to use in a more flexible way that suits their unique needs, and 2) having robust ways for community members—especially those from traditionally underrepresented and “underheard” groups—to share their voices and views on potential policies, so that districts design and ultimately implement initiatives that reflect both what the community wants and what might advance broader social objectives. Can we design and deploy new data-informed technologies that can help address these challenges? This is the broad question that is currently animating us, and that we hope to explore more deeply with your help.
The successful candidate will be classified as a full-time, benefits-eligible Research Scientist at Northeastern University. Fellowships will last for one year, with possible opportunities to extend for an additional year. Responsibilities will include:
Updating and improving redistricting algorithms that try to foster more diverse schools while accommodating localized preferences and constraints
Building interactive dashboards using full-stack web development (React and Flask) to help school policymakers understand and make decisions based on the outputs of these algorithms
Communicating findings to a wide range of audiences (practitioners, policymakers, researchers, etc.)
Passion for education and advancing more equitable life outcomes
Passion for and proficiency in using data, technology, and design to address seemingly intractable social challenges
Proficiency with using Python (including Pandas) to manipulate and analyze large datasets
Experience with ReactJS (frontend) and Flask/Django (backend) to build full-stack web applications
Intellectual curiosity … you aren’t afraid to ask for help, but you also relish exploring independently to figure out bugs/challenges and learn about new topics
Bonus: experience with spatial data analysis in Python (e.g., GeoPandas) and constraint or mixed-integer programming
What you’ll get from us
Chance to be part of a startup research lab trying to use advanced technological and computational methods for social good
Mentorship from a diverse team of researchers, engineers, and designers with experiences in top-tier companies and academic settings
Chance to drink from the firehose in terms of building new technological and academic skills … given we are a start up, there’s going to be a lot of opportunity to dabble in different parts of the broader project!
Chance to materially influence how the lab operates, in order to shape the educational opportunities of children and families around the US (and, through research publications, perhaps even the world)
Please submit your resume and a brief cover letter to email@example.com. Priority consideration will be given to applications submitted by December 15th, 2023, but applicants may still apply after this date.