Seeking geeks interested in bioinformatics

post by bokov · 2015-06-22T13:44:24.045Z · score: 17 (18 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 13 comments

I work at a small but feisty research team whose focus is biomedical informatics, i.e. mining biomedical data. Especially anonymized hospital records pooled over multiple healthcare networks. My personal interest is ultimately life-extension, and my colleagues are warming up to the idea as well. But the short-term goal that will be useful many different research areas is building infrastructure to massively accelerate hypothesis testing on and modelling of retrospective human data.


We have a job posting here (permanent, non-faculty, full-time, benefits):


If you can program, want to work in an academic research setting, and can relocate to San Antonio, TX, I invite you to apply. Thanks.

Note: The first step of the recruitment process will be a coding challenge, which will include an arithmetical or string-manipulation problem to solve in real-time using a language and developer tools of your choice.

edit: If you tried applying and were unable to access the posting, it's because the link has changed, our HR has an automated process that periodically expires the links for some reason. I have now updated the job post link.


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Daniel_Burfoot · 2015-06-22T15:12:07.572Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

+1, I would love to see LessWrong become more of a discussion hub for Life Extension projects and people.

comment by ctintera · 2015-06-23T08:27:49.499Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm currently working towards a Master's in Mathematical Data Mining, so I can't apply right now, but this is extremely relevant to both my skillsets and my interests.

comment by IlyaShpitser · 2015-06-24T21:35:04.861Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

solve in real-time

Ugh, terrible.

comment by John_Maxwell (John_Maxwell_IV) · 2015-06-25T04:48:52.469Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is how most software developer interviews work right?

comment by Vaniver · 2015-06-25T13:32:50.476Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Right. One of the other things that's possibly unclear from the description here is that this isn't a research scientist position; this is for a software developer supporting the research scientists. (If you think life extension is cool, it's probably a more fulfilling place to work than writing banking software.)

comment by bokov · 2015-06-29T18:18:49.657Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Correct, this is a staff programmer posting. Not faculty or post-doc (though when/if we do open a post-doc position, we'll be doing coding tests for that also, due to recent experiences).

comment by IlyaShpitser · 2015-06-26T10:33:06.734Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yup. Terrible.

comment by John_Maxwell (John_Maxwell_IV) · 2015-06-27T03:33:02.229Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What would you suggest?

comment by IlyaShpitser · 2015-06-28T09:10:05.672Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Look at their body of work -- the code they wrote.

comment by bokov · 2015-06-29T18:18:35.770Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Having a track-record of contributions github/bitbucket/sourceforge/rforge would be a very strong qualification. However, few applicants have this. It's a less stringent requirement that they at least show that they can... you know... program.

comment by IlyaShpitser · 2015-06-29T18:47:20.801Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Programming is not a real time activity. Almost anything would be better than a real time test, maybe a provisional hire, or a take home, or asking people to code something in a few hours.

comment by bokov · 2015-06-29T20:16:09.913Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It depends. Writing a paper is not a realtime activity. Answering a free-response question can be. Proving a complex theorem is not a realtime activity, solving a basic math problem can be. It's a matter of calibrating the question difficulty so that is can be answered within the (soft) time-limits of an interview. Part of that calibration is letting the applicant "choose their weapon". Another part of it is letting them use the internet to look up anything they need to.

Our lead dev has passed this test, as has my summer grad student. There are two applicants being called back for second interviews (but the position is still open and it is not too late) who passed during their first interviews. Just to make sure, I first gave it to my 14 year old son and he nailed it in under half an hour.