dcsimg

Career Story: Computer Science Researcher For A Government Laboratory

Computer Science Researcher For A Government Laboratory

Job Title: Computer Science Researcher

Type of Company: I work for a Department of Energy national laboratory, providing computer science expertise.

Education: BS, Computer Science, Wilkes College (Wilkes-Barre, PA) •• MS, Computer Science, University of Virginia •• Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Virginia

Previous Experience: While in graduate school, I was a research assistant. I worked with my advisor on computer science projects funded by federal agencies (NIST and NSF, for example). I worked in the area of parallel simulation, where people want to model large systems and use computers working in parallel to do so. The challenge is that you have to synchronize the processes that are executed on each computer.

Job Tasks: I do research in "collaborative problem solving environments." Scientists are working together more than ever these days, across geographic (often national) and organizational boundaries. As a computer scientist I am working with biologists and chemists to build web-based environments where researchers can collaborate securely: work together in small groups, sharing data securely and using tools peculiar to their scientific disciplines. I design and develop environments to enable this type of science to take place.

One interesting problem that I work on is data provenance. Provenance records the origin and history of data. This is a way that scientists can track their input into databases, tracing their results through a complex workflow and documenting their scientific data for future use by other scientists who wish to repeat or audit their results.

Virtual collaborations will have an impact on the future of science. More publications are looking to see data (and not just manuscripts) published and available to all scientists, and with the increasing complexity of science and the large amount of data generated, it is critical that there be ways to tag the data, automatically, with provenance information so that it is searchable and identifiable in the future.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that I work with scientists in other disciplines and I can use my knowledge and expertise both to help them and advance the science.

The worst part of the job, and an enduring irony in view of the work that I do, is the isolation I feel working at home, deprived of physical contact and social interaction with my colleagues. I work with scientists at labs and universities all over the country, but mostly by email and phone. Talk about a virtual environment!

Job Tips:
1. I think that a computer scientist today should be as well-rounded as possible. You can combine computer science with social sciences, physical life sciences, education -- almost any field and be successful.

2. In order to have a successful research career, you have to be able to present your results in both writing and in oral presentations. Get as much experience in technical writing and giving technical presentations.

Additional Thoughts: A Ph.D. opens a lot of doors. You can do research, you can work in industry, you can teach at either a small college or a large university. And in computer science, graduate school does not have to cost money. There are lots of opportunities for assistantships and fellowships, especially in computer science or engineering.

Popular Schools offering Computer Science Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads
The Art Institutes system of schools
North Hollywood, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

  • Programs: Software Development for Creative Technologies (Bachelor of Science)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

  • Programs: B.S. in Business Information Systems, B.S. in Applied Business Information Systems, B.S. in Computer Programming, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor
UEI College
Bakersfield, El Monte, Encino, Fresno, Gardena, Riverside, San Marcos, Stockton

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

  • Programs: Computer Systems Technician (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Degrees: Diploma

Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

  • Programs:
  • Degrees:
Platt College
Anaheim, Ontario, Riverside

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Web Development Programming Diploma Program, Information Technology Associate's Degree
  • Degrees: Certificate, Associate

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Applied Computer Science - MBA, Computer & Information Security - PhD in Bus. Admin., Management Information Systems - D.B.A., more...
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs: Master of Business Administration, MBA - Information Security Management, Associate of Science in Information Technology
  • Degrees: Master, Associate

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: Computer Information Systems (Bachelor of Science) - Online, Cybersecurity Certificate, Applied Mathematics (Professional Science Masters) - Online
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Certificate, Master
California College San Diego
National City, San Diego, San Marcos

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

  • Programs: Computer Programming (AAS), Web Design and Development (BS), Computer Science - Networking and Information Systems Security (BS), more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor
Coleman University
San Diego

Advance your information technology career with a respected degree from Coleman University.

  • Programs: Master of Information Systems, Software Development - Bachelor's Degree, Software Development - Associate Degree
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Associate
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Computer And Information Research Scientists

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Computer And Information Research Scientists, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104