Northwestern is hiring a CS + Journalism professor

Work with us at the intersection of media, technology and design.

Are you interested in working with journalism and computer science students to build innovative media tools, products and apps? Would you like to teach the next generation of media innovators? Do you have a track record building technologies for journalists, publishers, storytellers or media consumers?

Northwestern University is recruiting for an assistant or associate professor for computer science AND journalism, who will share an appointment in the Medill School of Journalism and the McCormick School of Engineering. This is a unique opportunity generated through Northwestern’s CS+X initiative, which seeks the “transformational integration of computer science with other fields.”

The ideal candidate would have a track record of success in researching, developing and deploying technology relevant to journalism and media, as well as research interests in a computer science discipline such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction or Knowledge Management.

We expect the faculty member will help lead the Knight Lab Studio class, in which teams of journalism and computer science students collaborate on the research, prototyping, development and enhancement of software for journalists, publishers, storytellers or media consumers. The class is one of the key vehicles used by the Knight Lab to develop new tools such as those already released by the Lab: TimelineJS, StoryMapJS, Juxtapose and Soundcite.

Why now? Algorithms developed by computer scientists now generate news stories (Automated Insights and Narrative Science), organize them for presentation (Google News) and determine what journalism people see online (Facebook News Feed). But these products have significant limitations because they don’t incorporate journalistic instincts and mindsets. For instance, algorithms designed to surface content are driven by similarity (text matching or social networks) rather than more nuanced definitions of relevance.

We believe it is time to combine computational thinking and journalistic thinking to produce new systems that enhance and augment journalism (incorporating editorial judgment into algorithms used in the creation, presentation and distribution of content), while also creating technology tools that enable journalists (and others) to work smarter and better in their research, analysis and storytelling.

Below is the full text of the job posting. To apply for the position: Questions? Contact me at

Assistant or Associate Professor of Computer Science + Journalism

As part of an ambitious plan to expand interdisciplinary work in computer science and other fields, Northwestern University seeks to hire a new faculty member whose work focuses on the intersection of Computer Science and Journalism/Media and has the potential to drive change and transformation in the field of journalism.

We invite candidates to apply for a new position as Professor of Computer Science & Journalism at the Associate or Assistant Professor level. The search is open to academic candidates as well as distinguished technology professionals. We are interested in candidates who have a track record of success in researching, developing and deploying technology relevant to journalism and media, as well as research interests in a computer science discipline such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction or Knowledge Management.

Candidates whose background is primarily in the media or technology industry should be able to demonstrate experience building or leading the development of software that addresses the needs of journalists, publishers and/or media consumers. Academic candidates should have a research agenda at the intersection of computer science and journalism, and experience developing technologies for media practitioners or consumers.

Given Northwestern’s longstanding commitment to interdisciplinary work in these fields, an interest in teaching students from both journalism and computer science -- and fostering collaboration between them -- is critical.

The goal of the CS + X initiative in general and the CS + Journalism effort in particular is the transformational integration of CS with other fields. Preferred candidates are expected to work between fields in partnership with non-technologists with the goal of promoting shared understanding and research progress at the intersection. With the dual focus of research and education, candidates will work across schools to help create an environment of cross-functional cooperation and coordination between disciplines. In line with this, we are certainly interested in researchers with joint degrees but are flexible with regard to the nature of applicants’ core education. Our goal in this search is to hire new faculty who will have positions in both the McCormick School of Engineering and the Medill School of Journalism. The driver behind this goal is the further development of the partnership that already exists between the two schools.

Northwestern is a world-leading research and teaching university with an unrivaled combination of excellent schools that provide extraordinary opportunities for collaboration across a wide range of disciplines. Located just outside of Chicago – a diverse and culturally vibrant world-class city – Northwestern faculty have ample opportunities to connect with the city’s growing technology sector.

We encourage candidates to send applications as soon as possible. Applications received by December 15, 2017 will be given full consideration. However, the positions will remain open until filled. Applicants should submit (1) a cover letter indicating rank applied for, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) three to five references (4) statements of research and teaching interests, and (5) two representative publications. For general questions about the search or application assistance post submission, contact

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Header image CC BY-SA 2.0 flickr/OpenDataInstitute

About the author

Rich Gordon

Professor and Director of Digital Innovation

Richelle “Rich” Gordon launched the school’s graduate program in digital publishing and is the leader of the Media Innovation and Content Strategy Specialization. She has spent most of her career exploring the areas where journalism and technology intersect.

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