Come work here

Below is the ad that our department is putting into a bunch of the standard outlets. The faculty wanted “Now looking for smart people working on cool projects,” but that lost out to the standard form. If you are working on social software, and you can combine a background in social science with some knowledge of this, we’d love to see you here in Buffalo. We are hiring into a Department of Communication, but are part of one of the first (if not the first) Schools of Informatics in the United States. Our school mission is to look specifically at the social aspect of informatics, and so work ranging from KDD and HCI to broader issues of the impact of networking on society and organizations would be of interest.

We’ve just hired two new professors (Pauline Cheong, from USC, and Arun Vishwanath, who returns to Buffalo after teaching for a while at Indiana University), and plan to continue to grow slowly over the next several years. Buffalo is a good place to live: we actually get less snow than much of upstate New York, despite what makes national news, and Amherst (where UB is actually located) is the fastest growing city in New York, with an influx of high tech businesses. If you have questions, I’m happy to answer them privately. I’m not on the search committee this time around, but if I know you and you are applying, please do drop me a note so that I can make sure your application gets the attention it deserves.

Here’s the official listing:

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

The Department of Communication in the School of Informatics at the State University of New York at Buffalo invites applications for one tenure track position in communication/information technologies beginning Fall 2005. Emphasis in communication/information technology preferred with an additional focus on information science, small group, organizational, mass communication, media economics, or health communication. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in Communication, Information Science, or related disciplines and an active research agenda. Ability to seek research funding is desirable. Rank is open. A curriculum vitae, a cover letter describing research and teaching interests, and the names of three references should be sent by December 1, 2004 to Thomas Feeley (, Search Committee Chair, Department of Communication, 359 Baldy Hall, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-1060.

Composed of the Department of Communication and the Department of Library and Information Studies, The School of Informatics was formed in 1999, in recognition of the changing role of information technology in human communication. The School offers a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication, a M.L.S. in Library and Information Sciences and a M.A. in Informatics. The University at Buffalo (SUNY) is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The Department of Communication is interested in identifying prospective minority and women candidates and professionals with disabilities. Qualified individuals with a disability may request needed, reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process. No person, in whatever relationship with the University at Buffalo, will be subject to discrimination on the basis of age, creed, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, or marital or veteran status.

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  1. Posted 9/17/2004 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi Alex,

    Interesting job opportunity. In light of the comment about “one of the first informatics schools” I just wanted to ask you how you approach the relationship between Information Schools, such as Syracuse’s Information Studies or Michigan’s School of Information, and what you are calling Informatics?

    I understand the social tradition of informatics at places like Manchester in the UK but really my experience of I-schools sounds quite like what you describe as the School of Informatics mission …

    I’m a PhD student at Syracuse’s I-school ;)

  2. Posted 9/24/2004 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    James: I think that these schools are also doing informatics. I just recently had meeting with the deans at both schools, and largely we have the same sets of understandings of what constitutes “informatics,” though each of the schools emphasize one part over the others. One of the projects that John King is heading up provides a space in which informatics schools can better say “this is what we all do” and “this is what particular schools specialize in.” Given the composition and interests of our faculty, our focus will be heavily on social and organizational informatics. We want our students to have a basic level of technological proficiency, but also have the theoretical and methodological grounding in the social sciences that will allow them to better understand the ecology of information within an institution or group.

    My hope is that over time we will find venues that will allow informatics schools to interact more easily. One interesting way to do this would be a graduate conference. (And no, I’m not volunteering to organize that alone, but if students are interested, I would certainly be willing to help.)

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