Computational Scientist – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The University of Southern California’s Information Technology Services (ITS) seeks a skilled Computational Scientist committed to service excellence to join our Center for Advanced Research team. In this role, you will collaborate with diverse professionals to address complex information technology challenges, enhance customer experiences, and deliver value to campus stakeholders across USC.

The ideal candidate will possess advanced knowledge in high-performance computing and a proven track record of supporting research projects within an academic environment. They should have experience with parallel computing frameworks, container technologies, and cloud solutions. Strong problem-solving skills, managing multiple projects, and a commitment to fostering inclusive and collaborative relationships are essential. The candidate should also be skilled in developing and delivering training programs and deeply understand research data compliance and best practices in advanced computing.

THE WORK YOU WILL DO

As the Computational Scientist, you will provide direct outreach and support services for research computing-related tasks, assisting faculty, research staff, graduate students, and academic programs across the university. You will deliver technical support for new research projects and ongoing academic endeavors involving advanced computing, ensuring optimal use of high-performance computing environments. This role requires developing and implementing technical solutions, maintaining HPC systems, and offering training and education to the research community, thereby enhancing the overall research capabilities at USC.

Job Accountabilities:

  • Develops testing procedures and production documentation, contributing to developing and engaging initiatives and projects. Interfaces with researchers as a technical resource, contributing to workflows and assessing and identifying computational requirements to align with research computing.

  • Develops, maintains, and presents training and education efforts for researchers and academic programs to enable the optimal use of high-performance computing (HPC). Develops and teaches training workshops and related regular educational curriculum as necessary. Acquires a strong understanding of research topics surrounding the capabilities of advanced computing (e.g., HPC, cloud, containers) and leading-edge initiatives across the industry.

  • Builds and maintains collaborative relationships with team members, peers, and department leaders. Supports the vision for the research computing program. Works closely with team members and management to implement and support effective solutions for the research community. Maintains currency with industry technology, standards, and best practices. Supports process improvement efforts within the team and across departments.

  • Supports institutional, regional, and national collaborative efforts to identify and promote research and development opportunities supporting the university’s strategic research plans. Investigates and addresses researcher inquiries and presents complex technical concepts in simple, straightforward manners. Engages with and encourages engineers to collaborate on initiatives as needed.

  • Promotes an environment that fosters inclusive relationships and creates unbiased opportunities for contributions through ideas, words, and actions that uphold the USC Code of Ethics principles.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

The candidate for the position of Computational Scientist must meet the following qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in computer science, Computer Information Systems, etc. or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.

  • Three years of work experience in IT, computational science and engineering, high-performance or cloud computing.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the research process, proposal lifecycle, data lifecycle, and workflows.

  • Advanced knowledge of Linux/Unix and extensive experience in building, installing, and maintaining open-source software in high-performance computing environments.

  • Demonstrated experience conducting research in a higher education environment and providing technical support for research projects.

  • Familiarity with shared and distributed memory parallelism (e.g., OpenMP, MPI, OpenACC), accelerators (e.g., GPUs), and large-scale file systems.

  • Proven expertise in Unix/Linux shell scripting and one or more programming languages (e.g., C/C++, Python, Perl, MATLAB).

  • Strong debugging and troubleshooting skills.

  • Strong understanding of high-performance computing topics and the data and programming efforts involved in HPC/Cloud.

  • Experience communicating technical details to non-technical audiences (e.g., documentation, training, public speaking).

  • Proven ability to successfully manage and prioritize multiple projects and plans, implement project specifications, report project status, identify delays, and raise concerns.

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to interact effectively with various stakeholders, including researchers, IT staff, IT leadership, and university administrators.

  • Awareness of research data compliance regulations, including federal requirements and granting agency standards.

  • Ability to develop positive working relationships and a strong rapport with team members.

  • In addition, the successful candidate must also demonstrate, through ideas, words and actions, a strong commitment to USC’s Unifying Values of integrity, excellence, diversity, equity and inclusion, well-being, open communication and accountability.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

The ideal candidate for the position of Computational Scientist has the following qualifications:

  • Doctorate in computer science, Computer Information Systems, etc., or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.

  • Minimum eight years in information technology, product management, product development, consulting, or another relevant role.

  • Five years of work experience in IT, computational science and engineering, high-performance or cloud computing.

  • Ability to translate scientific research needs into technical computing solutions and conduct computationally effective research projects.

  • Advanced understanding of high-performance computing, high-performance networking, and domain-specific applications to support collaborative research.

  • Experiences in container technologies (e.g., Docker, Singularity), cloud computing solutions, and other technologies used in various domains.

  • Database management skills, knowledge of version control protocols, and extensive experience with large-scale application performance engineering and optimization.

  • Experience with user training, teaching students, and developing education programs.

  • A high motivation and ability to work with faculty, researchers, students, and IT professionals.

  • Ability to manage multiple assigned tasks and projects with minimal supervision.

THE TEAM

ITS has embarked on a major digital transformation initiative to continually improve services for faculty, staff, and students in support of USC’s ascent as a leading institution of higher education. The ITS vision aligns strategy, business, and services, affirms ITS cultural values, empowers cross-functional teamwork, embraces world-class best practices, and promotes innovation, excellence, agility, and efficiency. To achieve this vision, ITS is committed to providing a modern technology infrastructure that is resilient and delivers the performance necessary to meet the demands of a growing customer base, training in the latest technologies for its highly productive and motivated workforce, outstanding customer experience, and technology services that are aligned with the university’s mission to provide exceptional learning opportunities for students. ITS is creating a workplace where employees can develop cutting-edge skills, take pride in the services they provide, and have access to the roles and career paths that align to their abilities and potential.

ITS CULTURE

USC’s ITS organization represents a diverse and talented team committed to supporting a collaborative culture and delivering secure and innovative IT services, core to the mission of USC. ITS values accountability, excellence, and commitment to exceptional customer experience. ITS strives for a supportive and inclusive culture that encourages employees to do their best work every day and where individuals are recognized and celebrated for their contributions.

ABOUT USC

USC is the leading private research university in Los Angeles—a global center for arts, technology, and international business. With more than 47,500 students, we are located primarily in Los Angeles and various US and global satellite locations. As the largest private employer in Los Angeles, responsible for $8 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic and professional schools and administrative units. As a USC employee and member of the Trojan Family—the faculty, staff, students, and alumni who make USC a great workplace—you will enjoy excellent benefits, including various well-being programs designed to help individuals achieve work-life balance.

Join the USC ITS team and work as a trusted partner in shaping an environment of innovation and excellence.

This position’s annual base salary range is $105,000 – $125,000. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the position’s scope and responsibilities, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, and external market and organizational considerations.

#LI-MM1

Minimum Education: Master’s degree
Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Work Experience: 3 years
Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum work experience

Minimum Field of Expertise:
Demonstrated knowledge of the research process, proposal lifecycle, data lifecycle, and workflows.
Advanced knowledge in Linux/Unix and extensive experience in building, installing, and maintaining open source
software in high-performance computing environment.
Demonstrated experience conducting research in a higher education environment and providing technical support
for research projects.
Familiarity with shared memory and distributed memory parallelism (e.g., OpenMP, MPI, OpenACC), accelerators
(e.g., GPUs), and large-scale file systems.
Proven expertise in Unix/Linux shell scripting and one or more programming language (e.g., C/C++, Python, Perl,
MATLAB).
Strong debugging and troubleshooting skills.
Strong understanding of high-performance computing topics as well as the data and programming efforts involved in
HPC/Cloud.
Experience communicating technical details to non-technical audiences (e.g., documentation, training, public
speaking).
Proven ability to successfully manage and prioritize multiple projects and plans, implement project specifications,
report project status, identify delays, and raise concerns.
Exceptional interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to interact effectively with a variety of stakeholders
including researchers, IT staff, IT leadership, and university administrators.
Awareness of compliance regulations surrounding research data including federal requirements and granting agency
standards.
Ability to develop positive working relationships and a strong rapport with team members.

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