Computational and Data Science Research Specialist (6104U), Haas School of Business

  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Berkeley, CA
Full Time Information Technology

Job Description

Computational and Data Science Research Specialist (6104U), Haas School of Business

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our, our, and

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: February 20, 2020

Departmental Overview

UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business offers a unique opportunity to champion new ideas, collaborate across boundaries, and continually learn in a workplace committed to increasing diversity and creating a welcoming environment for all.

Our distinctive culture is captured within our four Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. These principles distinguish Berkeley Haas as a unique environment, conducive to teamwork, collaboration, and career growth.

For more information about the Haas School of Business visit:

The Haas School of Business provides Research IT support to its Ladder Faculty, Professional Faculty, Ph.D. and Master of Financial Engineering students. Additionally, Research IT support is provided to affiliated research centers and institutes, such as the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics and the Berkeley Energy Institute. There are eight academic disciplinary groups represented by the Haas faculty. The Research IT support provided is heavily data-centric, computationally intense, rich in diversity of topics, and highly complex and dynamic.


This position specifically provides consulting and support for designing, developing, testing and troubleshooting, and maintaining or updating code and data for the complete lifecycle of a research project. This involves writing programs in several computer languages that are specifically appropriate for research analytics, such as SAS, R, Python, and C/C++. The role also designs and optimizes related data structures, with the scope comprised of individual data sets, various forms of databases, “Big Data” structures in a Hadoop/Spark service, and data repositories. The work includes the documentation and change management of code and data. Data Visualization is also an important component of the role, which may include web applications programming.

Research Programming and Development:

• Applies advanced applications programming concepts to designs, develop, modifies, debug and evaluate highly complex programs for functional areas.

• Provides analysis for highly complex existing programs or works to formulate logic for new systems, devise logic procedures, prepare flowcharting, perform coding, data analysis, interacting directly with faculty.

• Analyzes existing software, scientific codes, data science / analytics codes / algorithms, and HPC related software or works to formulate logic for enhancing or augmenting existing systems and devises complex algorithms.

• Designs, develops, tests, troubleshoots, and maintains scientific and financial libraries and packages.

• Integrates applications and code with databases and systems.

• Articulates findings and works with researchers to adjust specifications and code as interim results are found.

• Provides ongoing programming and development support.

• Provides ongoing input to the establishment of programming standards, procedures, and methodologies.

• Plans, designs, develops, modifies, debugs, deploys and evaluates complex HPC and data science research software.

• Performs complex quality assurance analysis, performance and benchmark tests and debugging of software, methods and algorithms.

• Works regularly with domain scientists where applicable to perform these responsibilities and uses domain science knowledge where relevant.

Consulting and Constituent Engagement:

• Interacts directly with Ladder and Professional Faculty, Ph.D. and MFE Students

• Trains users in the acquisition and conversion of data.

• Trains users in the implementation of methods and code.

• Advises users in the optimization of methods and data structures.

• Interacts with senior level internal personnel.

• Critically reviews requirements and data, identifies gaps, suggests solutions, and applies expertise to improve efficiency of research methods and programming tasks and/or improve overall quality of programming deliverables.

• Participates and contributes to HPC / Data Science / CI research proposals in collaboration with other researchers and Principal Investigator (PI) s from the organization.

• Has the ability to negotiate research and development project plans with interested collaborators, stakeholders and users as applicable.

Data Acquisition, Curation, Management, and Archiving:

• Initiates, designs and uses complex databases, selecting the form most appropriate for the research use case (e.g., relational, non-relational/NoSQL, graph, probabilistic, spatial, temporal, unstructured, etc.).

• Initiates, designs and uses complex “Big Data” services, such as Hadoop, Spark, LexisNexis HPCC, and others.

• Performs highly complex data modeling to be used on HPC, Spark/Hadoop, and Containerized computing infrastructures.

• Designs, develops, maintains and users highly interactive and complex data acquisition processes. This includes the use of Application Program Interfaces provided by other systems and web automation frameworks such as Selenium, Beautiful Soup, Scrapy.

Change Management and Documentation:

• Develops and executes moderately complex test plans.

• Prepares and obtains approval of system and programming documentation.

• Initiates and recommends changes in development, maintenance and system standards.

• Documents usage modes, capabilities, characteristics and performance of research codes, research and Data Science systems software.

• Publishes and presents, based on research and development work, results about Data Science techniques and tools, performance and algorithm enhancement, CI tools, HPC systems, and Containerized systems in research venues to attract usage from domain science communities, or to promote latest technologies within the community.

IT and Data Security Policy and Compliance Enforcement:

• Understands industry practices and department policies and procedures relating to work assignments.

• Provides evidence that supports full compliance with applicable regulatory law, departmental and university policies, data provider contract requirements and policies.

• Understands and applies complex research and development practices, community standards and department policies and procedures relating to work assignments. Interacts with senior level internal personnel.

Required Qualifications

• A strong academic record in economics, mathematics, statistics, public health, public administration, public policy, sociology, political science, or a related field.

• Minimum of three years of experience in SAS statistical programming.

• Minimum of three years of experience in R and Python research/scientific programming.

• Minimum of two years of experience data ingestion technologies with reference to the previously-mentioned database types.

• Minimum of one year of experience using Hadoop or Spark ecosystem - Spark, Impala, HDFS, MapReduce, YARN, Hbase, Hive, Pig, etc.

• Demonstrated experience associated with one or more of the following: HPC, Data Science, and Containerized software development and analysis for research.

• Experience selecting samples, processing, coding and reviewing data, conducting literature reviews, producing written technical documentation, conducting univariate, bivariate (e.g., ANOVA, T-test, etc.) and multivariate analysis (e.g., logistic regression, decision tree), calculating survey weights, and writing/reviewing proposal material.

• Requires advanced skills associated with programming design, modification and implementation.

• Demonstrated ability to contribute research and technical content to grant proposals.

• Knowledge of academic processes and procedures supporting the research lifecycle.

• A strong intellectual curiosity and a passion for solving complex problems.

• Proven ability to successfully work on multiple concurrent projects.

• Proven ability to understand research computing / data / CI needs, mapping use cases to requirements and how systems / software /infrastructure can support those needs and meet the requirements. Demonstrated ability to develop and implement such solution.

• Requires interpersonal skills in order to work with both technical and non-technical personnel at various levels in the organization. Must be able to communicate technical information in a clear and concise manner. Has ability to engage all constituency levels on a regular basis. Has ability to engage all constituency levels on a regular basis.

• Demonstrated ability of effective and sustained relationship management of principal investigators, faculty and graduate student researchers.

• Strong change management skills, particularly in research data lifecycle management and workflow, from acquisition, cleaning/munging, curation, warehousing and archiving

• Perform data lifecycle management processes such as data cleaning/munging, and data merging/integration.

• Prepare thorough written technical documentation that provides value to faculty Principal Investigators and to pass IT security and data provider audits.

• Requires ability to understand research and academic needs and how research methods and software/systems can support those needs.

• Must be self-motivated, work independently or as part of a team, adapt to changing priorities, able to learn quickly, meet deadlines and demonstrate problem solving skills.

• Requires knowledge of other related areas of IT.


• Bachelor's degree in Computer / Computational / Data Science, or Domain Sciences with computer / computational / data specialization or equivalent experience/training.

Preferred Qualifications

• Minimum of one year of Machine Learning/AI programming, utilizing NVIDIA GPUs with Tensor Flow, etc. preferred.

Licenses or certifications:

• SAS certification.

• Certificate in Statistical Analysis With R and Python programming.

• Cloudera Certified Associate Spark and Hadoop Developer certification.

Salary & Benefits

This is an exempt, monthly paid position. Annual salary is commensurate with experience within the range of $75,400.00 - $130,000.00.

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

Other Information

This is a full-time (40-hours per week), 1-year Contract position. This Contract role is eligible for vacation & sick leave accrual, as well as eligiblity to participate in UC's full benefits package. To see what benefits are available with our full benefits package, please visit:

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

To apply, visit

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Education Requirements

Bachelor's Degree