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FA 2016 Informatics Undergraduate Research Assistants Named

Each year the Illinois Informatics Institute sponsors an undergraduate research assistant competition. INFO PhD students and Faculty Affiliates are invited to be research mentors and are asked to provide a brief description of the project(s) they have available.  All INFO minors are encouraged to apply for these positions, which provide a stipend of $12.50/hour for 8-10 hours/week during the fall semester (with the option to continue through the spring semester provided that the student makes satisfactory progress).  This year Informatics has selected a total of 11 students to work with 10 mentors on a variety of projects from across campus:

  • Adam Rogers (senior in IS/IT) will be working with Dr. Michael Twidale (iSchool) on a project looking at how people learn new technologies
  • Ali Alagha (senior in HPA) will be working with Dr. Ian Brooks (iSchool) on the “INDICATOR: Monitoring the Health of a Community” project
  • Jacob Bentley (senior in ECON/POLI) will be working at the Cline Center for Democracy on a project using text analytics to understand peace, conflict and social change
  • Aishwarya Raj (sophomore in BIOC) will be working with Dr. Liudmila Mainzer (IGB/NCSA) constructing and comparing gene,metabolic and signaling networks for organisms across the tree of life
  • Ehsan Khan (senior in GEOG/GIS) will be working with Dr. Marilyn O’Hara Ruiz (VetMed) on Mapping the Legacy of Arsenic
  • Yixin Zou (senior in ADV) will be working with Aseel Addawood (INFO PhD student) on factors influencing attitude formation for controversial topics
  • Nur Amalina Abdul Razak (junior in Actuarial Science) and Andrew Marturano (senior in PSYC) will be working with Hsiao Ying Huang (INFO PhD student) examining the usability of mobile applications in mental health interventions
  • Toral Shastri (senior in MCB) will be working with Dr. Les Gasser (iSchool) on an NCSA project titled “Simulating Social Systems at Scale”
  • Grant Schumock (junior in NPRE) will be working with Dr. Zahra Mohaghegh (NPRE) in the Socio-Technical Risk Analysis lab
  • Christine Chan (senior in IB)  will be working with Dr. Amy Marshall-Colon (PLBIO) using public datasets to identify signaling crosstalk networks in plants

Position Available: Data Scientist at InContext Solutions, Chicago, IL

What Problems Would I Solve? 

As part of the data science team, you will contribute to the development of models that explain consumer preferences based on demographics, attitudes, and observed behavior within a virtual shopping environment.

You will implement state-of-the-art quantitative methods and design new approaches to extract insights from survey respondents. Your work will support new business development through the contribution and evaluation of novel ideas for client services and data products.

Who Would I Work With? Who Would I Work For? 

Working closely with software engineers and system administrators, you will help transition data science products from the white board into fully-integrated, production components of the company’s software-as-a-service platform.

When will I start? What will I make? 

Ideal candidates will be local (based in Chicago) and have availability to start a new full time position in the next 2-4 weeks. The interview process should take no more than 1-3 weeks from initial phone interview to offer letter. We are happy to discuss compensation including base salary, viagra.


InContext is all about people. We are committed to finding, training and growing fun, interesting and ambitious people who demonstrate integrity, intelligence and the ability to make things happen. At the same time, however, they must be a strong cultural fit, sharing our commitment to building a world class company. Following are specific required qualifications:

Basic Qualifications 

  • You are an enthusiastic engineer with a strong affinity for data-driven approaches.
  • You enjoy learning almost as much as you enjoy teaching.
  • For candidates with more than 3 years work experience, a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, statistics, or social science discipline with strong emphasis on quantitative methods.
  • For candidates with less than 3 years work experience, a master’s degree in a technical discipline.
  • Proficiency in Python OR two other programming languages (C, Java, Lisp, R, Go, etc.).
  • Strong understanding of experimental design and quantitative analysis using statistics, machine learning, or econometric methods.
  • Knowledge of relational databases.

Preferred Qualifications 

  • PhD in a technical discipline
  • Experience with survey design and Bayesian data analysis.
  • Experience with agile methods: iterative development, version control, continuous integration.
  • Administration of Cloud infrastructure and distributed databases

Bonus points 

  • Involvement in Kaggle competitions or equivalent.
  • Contribution to open source projects.
  • You write code for fun.

If available, please include a link to your GitHub profile or personal website. 

Interested candidates should send their resume and cover letter to Please include the position title and location in the subject line of your email.

About Us 

InContext Solutions has developed the most advanced online 3D technology to deliver insights to the biggest brands in the world. We are both a technology company and a market research firm. We invent and perfect software to solve our clients’ problems faster, better and more accurately than the competition. We believe success comes from bringing smart, talented people together and providing strong leadership to help them do what they do best. Our company culture is unique and rests on three core principles: Attracting and Keeping the Best Talent, Delivering the Best to our Clients and Creating and Maintaining an Exceptional Work Environment.