Postdoc at Rutgers ECE in Network Science and Statistical Inference

My colleague Laleh Najafizadeh has a postdoc position at Rutgers!

The NeuroImaging Laboratory at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Rutgers University is seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Fellow to work on an exciting interdisciplinary project at the intersection of Neuroscience, Network Science, and Statistical Learning and Inference. The applicant will have a unique opportunity to be involved in both the theoretical and experimental development of the project.
The position is open to candidates with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Statistics or related areas, who are self-driven, have a strong background in mathematics, and have excellent analytical and communication skills. Prior experience of working with neuroimaging data (any modality) is a plus. The appointment is available immediately and will be for 1 year.

Please email your current CV and contact information for three references to Dr. Laleh Najafizadeh at Early submission is strongly encouraged.

The Rutgers ECE NeuroImaging Laboratory is designed to accommodate both single-subject and hyperscanning multi-modal functional neuroimaging experiments, and is equipped with high- resolution EEG and optical imaging (fNIRS) systems. More information about the laboratory can be found at the lab homepage.

The laboratory is located in Rutgers University–New Brunswick, which is situated at the center of the Northeast Corridor, within 20 miles of Princeton, 40 miles of New York City and 70 miles of Philadelphia.

There exist several opportunities to collaborate with clinicians at Rutgers University. Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences is home to the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine as well as Rutgers School of Public Health. The Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the flagship hospital of Robert Wood Johnson Health System, is also located few miles from the ECE Department.

Rutgers is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.

LabTV Profiles Are Up!

And now, a little pre-ITA self-promotion. As I wrote earlier, LabTV interviewed me and a subset of the students in the lab last semester (it was opt-in). This opportunity came out of my small part in the a large-scale collaboration organized by Mind Research Network (PI: Vince Calhoun) on trying to implement distributed and differentially private algorithms in a system to enable collaborative neuroscience research. Our lab profiles are now up! They interviewed me, graduate students Hafiz Imtiaz, Sijie Xiong, and Liyang Xie, and an undergraduate student, Kevin Sun. In watching I found that I learned a few new things about my students…

Rutgers ECE GAANN Fellowships for Graduate Students

In case there are any potential grad school applicants to Rutgers who read this blog, we recently were awarded a GAAAN award to help fund some graduate fellowships for US citizens or permanent residents interested in bioelectrical engineering (somewhat broadly construed). Application review will start soon, so if you’re interested in this opportunity, read on.

The Rutgers ECE Department is proud to announce the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship. The GAANN Fellowship program provides need-based financial support to Ph.D. students pursuing a degree in areas related to bioelectrical engineering at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rutgers University. Each GAANN Fellow receives a stipend to cover the Fellow’s financial need. A typical stipend is $34,000 per year for up to 5 years, subject to satisfactory performance. ECE is pleased to announce 5 GAANN Fellowships. Minority students, women and other underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Have a GPA of 3.5/4.0 or higher
  • Plan to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers University
  • Have Financial Need
  • Demonstrate excellent academic performance
  • Submit an application and supporting documents

Deadline: To apply, please email the application and supporting documents to Arletta Hoscilowicz AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Teaching bleg: articles on “data” suitable for first-year undergraduates

My colleague Waheed Bajwa and I are teaching a Rutgers Byrne Seminar for first-year undergraduates this fall. The title of the course is Data: What is it Good For? (Absolutely Something), a reference which I am sure will be completely lost on the undergrads. The point of the course is to talk about “data” (what is it, exactly?), how it gets turned into “information,” and then perhaps even “knowledge,” with all of the pitfalls along the way. So it’s a good opportunity to talk about philosophy (e.g. epistemology), mathematics/statistics (e.g. undersampling, bias, analysis), engineering (e.g. storage, transmission), science (e.g. reduplication, retraction), and policy (e.g. privacy). It’s supposed to be a seminar class with lots of discussion, and the students can be expected to do a little reading outside of class. We have a full roster of 20 signed up, so managing the discussion might be a bit tricky, of course.

We’re in the process of collecting reading materials — magazine articles, book chapters, blog posts, etc. for the students to read. We explicitly didn’t want it to be for “technical” students only. Do any readers of the blog have great articles suitable for first-year undergrads across all majors?

As the class progresses I will post materials here, as well as some snapshot of the discussion. It’s my first time teaching a class of this type (or indeed any undergraduates at Rutgers) so I’m excited (and perhaps a bit nervous).

On a side note, Edwin Starr’s shirt is awesome and I want one.

Line-item cost of one student-year on a grant?

I am in the process of writing some proposals and am encountering the fun task of generating budgets for those proposals. Rutgers, like many cash-strapped schools, imposes a hefty “overhead” charge on federal grants (the so-called indirect costs) amounting to something like more than 50% of the value of the grant. Since I’m primarily a theory guy, the largest line item on any grant I write is generally a graduate students. With stipend, tuition, fees, and benefits, a calendar-year appointment for a graduate student costs around $90k, factoring indirect costs. Given that an NSF Small award caps out at $500k, it’s quite difficult to support more than one student for a small grant. This in turn limits the scope of research one can propose — it’s all fine and well to say there are 15 journal papers’ worth of results stemming from your great ideas, but 3-4 student years is probably not enough to make that happen.

I know some schools offer a tuition break for RAs/GSRs, but I am not sure how prevalent this practice is. So I put it to the readers of the blog: what is the line-item cost to support a graduate student for one year (without travel etc.) at your institution?

A bookmarklet for the Rutgers University Library Proxy server

I made a bookmarklet for the Rutgers Library’s proxy server by changing the URL format from the UChicago ProxyIt! link:


You can cut and paste that into a link in the bookmarks bar of your browser.

If you’re working from home and want to get access a resource (for example, a journal paper) that requires Rutgers authentication, you can just make this bookmarklet into a button and it will redirect you authenticate via NetID. This requires that JavaScript be turned on in your browser.