Columbia University in the City of New York

Data Engineer

Columbia's Zuckerman Institute is seeking a highly motivated individual with strong software engineering skills, some familiarity with machine learning, and an interest in neuroscience and teaching to facilitate data analysis and sharing across 10 laboratories investigating the computational and circuit mechanisms underlying motor control.

Position Description

Columbia University's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute (Zuckerman Institute) supports interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery by scientists and scholars across the university and promises to be the most comprehensive institute for brain science. Located in a state-­of­-the­-art facility, approximately 50 independent world class labs are brought together to transform our understanding of the brain and mind.

The Zuckerman Institute is seeking a highly motivated individual with an interest in neuroscience to fill the position of a Data Engineer. The Data Engineer will work directly with Zuckerman Institute faculty and researchers to facilitate and pilot new methods of data sharing and analysis, with an emphasis on reproducible research. Working closely with the Zuckerman Institute Research Computing group, the data engineer will facilitate data analysis and sharing across ten (10) laboratories investigating the computational and circuit mechanisms underlying motor control.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Works in close collaboration with the Principal Investigator (PI) faculty and researchers.

Assists with standardization, documentation, and packaging of open source code across multiple laboratories, including releases for the broader community.

Works directly with researchers developing novel algorithms (by researching algorithms, helping to translate proof-­of­-concept algorithms into well engineered software with proper APIs, and helping researchers unit­-test their code to ensure proper functionality) and subsequently supports the use of software by end users.

Establishes pipelines for data sharing (e.g., of electrophysiological data from multi­electrode arrays or 4D large-­scale calcium imaging microscopy data) across laboratories.

Organizes training courses for scientists who wish to extend their knowledge of programming and best practices in software engineering.

Performs related duties and responsibilities as assigned / requested.


Position Requirements

Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience, including a minimum of four (4) years of related experience is required. Strong software engineering skills, with proficiency in Matlab, Python, and Java as well as standard tools (e.g., git), and some familiarity with machine learning. The ability to confer and consult directly with senior faculty research staff, and students on technical topics; Excellent organizational and time management skills to support research faculty and staff; sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork. Significant research and/or industry experience, with demonstrated skills in algorithm development is preferred. Familiarity with at least one workflow/data­sharing platform (e.g. and expertise with low-­level data representation; an interest in teaching.

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