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!
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.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.
The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
Study online with University of Maryland at College Park.
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.
Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career.
Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
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.
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:
Please also see our detailed information about Computer And Information Research Scientists, including: