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Postdoctoral Associate—Digital Teaching Simulations and AI Coaching

MIT Teaching Systems Lab

Location: In-office, MIT, Cambridge, MA 

The post-doctoral associate in digital teaching simulations and AI coaching will lead the development of the next-generation digital clinical simulation technologies that will change how hundreds of thousands of educators and other helping professionals (e.g., nursing, social work, medicine) prepare for equitable interactions with their students and clients. The post-doctoral associate will serve as product manager of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab’s flagship mobile platform, Teacher Moments, that immerses participants in vignettes of classroom life through video, images, and text and asks participants to respond improvisationally in audio and text. We are looking for a post-doctoral associate who brings innovative ideas for research and product development and a strong command of large-scale system design, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, UI design, and experimental design. 

In addition to the role as product manager, the post-doctoral associate will work with the lab’s Principal Investigator and leadership team to develop a rigorous and cutting-edge research agenda that prepares the post-doctoral associate for their next career steps. Potential research topics include development of fair and transparent AI coaching tools, development and testing of A/B testing tools, and implementation of innovative approaches to simulation-based pedagogy in partner schools and colleges. 

We are particularly interested in partnership-driven research with poverty-impacted K-12 schools that primarily serve students of color or with colleges of education preparing a diverse teaching corps. As such, the post-doctoral associate must have an interest in contributing to an open-source community of practice of users worldwide using the Teacher Moments platform, support the development of materials that benefit the community and partners, and be willing to serve as an expert resource to stakeholders internal and external to the lab with a range of technical proficiency with the platform. 

Responsibilities 

  • Design and develop cutting-edge software components which enable new features of the Teacher Moments platform (e.g., ability to deploy AI classifiers, randomization)
  • Maintain existing features of the Teacher Moments platform and support troubleshooting 
  • Facilitate technical implementations with partners
  • Support the implementation of a Teacher Moments dashboard and landing page to onboard new users to the tool 
  • Communicate and collaborate across multiple stakeholders to support the use and research agendas related to the Teacher Moments tool
  • Craft a line of research inquiry related to the Teacher Moments tool, conduct data analysis, and lead publications for high-impact scholarly and practitioner venues

Minimum qualifications: 

  • Doctoral degree in learning science, computer science, or a related field
  • Proficiency with computational research, including developing new features, cleaning and managing multimodal data, and conducting analysis
  • Early publication record directed at both scholarly and practitioner audiences
  • Must be able work well with cross functional groups; have excellent interpersonal and communication skills; the ability to do creative, independent work, and a commitment to building a more equitable future for schools
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and “no task too big or too small” attitude to team collaboration

 

Preferred qualifications: 

  • 3+ years’ experience in technical product management 
  • Master's degree in Machine Learning or equivalent practical experience
  • Experience developing Machine Learning solutions and in software development, including feature development to enable randomization of users into conditions 
  • Knowledge of statistics and data analysis with sophisticated experimental designs
  • Experience with speech, image, video recognition 
  • 3+ years' professional or industry experience with React or related languages

 

About the MIT Teaching Systems Lab 

The MIT Teaching Systems Lab, based at the MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing (CMS/W) department, designs, implements and researches the future of teacher learning. The lab is led by Prof. Justin Reich, who implemented the first A/B tests in the open edX platform (Lamb et al., 2014) and led one of the largest field experiments ever conducted in online education, with over 250,000 participants assigned to treatment in over 250 edX courses across three institutions. The latest work in Teacher Moments is described in this paper forthcoming at the ACM Learning@Scale conference

Under the mentorship of Dr. Reich, the post-doctoral associate will be part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in learning at scale, learning science, digital clinical simulations, educational evaluation, disciplinary expertise (mathematics, computer science, science, civics education), and partnership development.

The post-doctoral associate will receive regular mentoring support from the lab leadership team in the development of a research agenda and publication efforts related to the Teacher Moments tool, weekly professional learning opportunities within the lab and across MIT, engagement with MIT students, and teaching opportunities. 

Eligible candidates will be part of a postdoctoral cohort mentoring program for Black, Latino/a, Indigenous, and first-generation scholars with other researchers and faculty from University of California, Irvine and Carnegie Mellon.

How to Apply

Interested candidates can apply through the official MIT website. Eligible applicants can set up a short informational meeting with the lab leadership team to learn more about the position. Please email aisimpostdoc@mit.edu to set up a 20-minute informational meeting and attach your CV.  



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