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21 Apr 2014

Full-Time Data Scientist for understanding entertainment’s impact on individuals and society

Harmony Institute – Posted by bjdewilde New York, New York, United States

Job Description

About Us

Harmony Institute (HI) is a research center dedicated to understanding entertainment’s impact on individuals and society. HI believes that mainstream media can be instrumental in producing lasting social change.

The methods and measures for understanding the impact of media are constantly evolving. As our tools for collecting and analyzing data become more powerful, HI has assembled a unique team of researchers capable of adding context and analysis to the numbers. From data scientists to visual designers to social scientists, our team is equipped to answer complex questions about the role of media in today’s society. 

Position Description

You’re a data nerd with an engineering bent who enjoys few things more than incorporating a messy data set into an efficient data analysis pipeline. At the same time, you’re passionate about social causes, and don’t want to waste your skills on ad-clicks and log files.

At HI, you will study complex, hard-to-quantify phenomena, including social influence, attitudinal change, and information diffusion; you’ll be just as concerned with big questions as with big data. To effectively answer these questions, you’ll rely on a variety of data sources and analysis: from online surveys to hand-coded tweets, from designing randomized control trials to applying machine learning algorithms to thousands of documents scraped from the web. Knowing how, when, and why to use these disparate elements will be crucial to your success.

But analysis only gets you so far. You’ll still need to share your results with a lay audience via written reports and, increasingly, interactive web apps. Integrating solid data and analysis into the back-end of an app, then working with a web developer and designer to connect it to a user-facing front-end, is a must. Ultimately, your work will help to bring rigor and perspective to a field traditionally evaluated in anecdotes.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Experience developing specifications, prototyping, building, and testing a data-driven web app
  • Experience in data processing and analysis in Python and/or R (pandas/plyr, scikit-learn, matplotlib/ggplot2, etc.)
  • Experience performing analyses on the cloud (particularly Amazon Web Services) over upwards of 10s of GBs of data, scaling up and optimizing as necessary
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a small team
  • Desire to learn and master new skills

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Post-graduate degree or equivalent experience in a quantitative field
  • Understanding of statistics and machine learning, particularly unsupervised learning methods
  • Experience with (non-)relational databases, particularly MongoDB
  • Experience building online interactive data viz, particularly with d3
  • Experience web scraping/crawling, natural language processing, and analyzing (social) networks
  • Interest in social science and media


Salary is commensurate with experience. HI offers a generous benefits plan.

How to Apply

Applications must include a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications; résumé; GitHub profile, data blog, and/or concrete evidence of past work; salary requirements; and any other information that might be useful in HI’s assessment. This information should be sent to: burton AT Please write your name and “Data Scientist” in the subject line of your e-mail. All information is confidential. We regret that we are unable to answer individual queries regarding this job posting. The position is available immediately. Applications will be processed on a rolling basis until the position has been filled.

Job Categories: Data Scientist / Statistician. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: app building, data analysis, data mining, python, r, and social science.

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