Faculty Position in Computational Biophysics
We are no longer accepting applications for this position. Thank you for your interest in Wake Forest University Physics.
Wake Forest University invites applications for a tenure track faculty position at the level of Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Computer Science and Physics to begin in the fall semester of 2010. Applicants should have completed a PhD in an appropriate field by the time of appointment.
Wake Forest University is a highly ranked, private university with about 4500 undergraduates, 750 graduate students, and 1700 students in the professional schools of medicine, law, divinity and business. The Physics Department has a major concentration in biophysics with approximately one third of the departmental faculty working in that field. Several computer science faculty are actively engaged in scientific computing, computational systems biology, biological modeling and bioinformatics. Interdisciplinary research is highly valued and encouraged by the departments and University.
The successful candidate will have a strong research record in computational biophysics. The candidate should also have demonstrated ability to teach courses relating to topics in physics, biophysics, or computer science. The successful candidate will be expected to teach in both departments at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Excellence in research, teaching, and obtaining external funding will be expected.
Applicants should send a copy of their CV, statements regarding their research interests and teaching philosophy, and the names of three references to the Computational Biophysics Search Committee, Box 7507, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7507. Application materials can be sent electronically in the form of a single PDF document to email@example.com. Review of applications will begin November 1, 2009 and will continue through January 15, 2010.
Wake Forest University is a private university with about 4400 undergraduates and more than 700 graduate students, in addition to professional schools of medicine, law, business, and divinity. Wake Forest University ranks 28th among national universities-doctoral in the new edition of US News & World Report's guide, "America's Best Colleges." The annual guide gives Wake Forest high marks for its small classes, low student-faculty ratio, high graduation and retention rates, financial resources and alumni giving.
Wake Forest University also ranks 19th on a list published in Forbes magazine. This ranking is based on student satisfaction and post-graduation success measurements.
The university is a leader in the use of technology in higher education. It was the first university to issue two laptop computers to each undergraduate -- one when they enter the university, replaced by a second at the beginning of the third year. Faculty receive a laptop computer every second year (currently a Lenovo Thinkpad T400, 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo with 2GB of RAM). Forbes.com reported that The Princeton Review ranked Wake Forest University second in its October, 2003 report on "America's Most Connected Campuses," a detailed survey of Internet use in higher education.
The Physics Department offers BA, BS, MS and PhD degrees. The department currently has about 20 graduate students and graduates about 10-15 physics majors per year. The majority of our undergraduates participate in research. The department currently has fifteen regular faculty members, two visiting assistant professors, five research faculty, and several postdoctoral associates. Support staff include an Instructional Resource Manager, a laser/optical specialist, an academic computing specialist, an administrative coordinator, a secretary, a business manager, and a part-time machinist. The department has excellent facilities in Olin Physical Laboratory and the nearby Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, which recently launched two nanotechnology startup companies.
The faculty in the Physics Department are a major contributor to and users of the WFU DEAC cluster, a high performance computing environment that is centrally maintained by the University. This resource, currently possessing 1180 computing cores and 35 TB of data disk space, is managed by two full-time system administrators, who provide hardware design and maintenance as well as software support and training to the users.
The faculty in Physics do research in three general areas:
Jacquelyn Fetrow, George Holzwarth, Daniel Kim-Shapiro, Keith Bonin, Martin Guthold, Fred Salsbury, Jed Macosko, and Howard Shields direct programs in the rapidly changing area of biological physics. This research includes both experimental and computational approaches.
The program in biophysics benefits from close collaboration with other departments and programs at Wake Forest University, particularly Chemistry, Computer Science, Biochemistry, Cancer Biology, and Biomedical Engineering. In addition, biophysicists work closely with the Center for Structural Biology, the Translational Science Institute, the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Interdisciplinary Studies in Structural and Computational Biophysics. The Chemistry Department is housed in the neighboring building. Many of the chemistry faculty study biological problems and the department is expanding its focus on biochemistry. The chemistry department has recently obtained a new 500 MHz NMR spectrometer. The Physics and Computer Science Departments have a combined program under which students earn both a PhD in Physics and an MS in Computer Science. Many PhD students in physics take an advantage of this program, which enhances both the education of the students and the research in both departments. Faculty members in the Biochemistry Department at the Wake Forest University Medical School have collaborated closely with biophysicists in the Physics Department. Their facilities include an analytical ultracentrifuge, CD instrument, time-resolved fluorescence instrument, and light scattering facility. The Physics Department also has close ties to the department of Biomedical Engineering. Their research interests include novel techniques in MRI imaging, PET, virtual endoscopy, ultrasound, and radiation treatment planning. Some members of the medical engineering department have joint appointments in physics and vice versa.
The Department of Computer Science offers three distinct degree programs, including a BA, BS, and an MS, as well as participates in the Graduate Certificate Program in Structural and Computational Biophysics. Currently, our programs enroll about 18 Master's degree students and approximately 35 undergraduate majors and minors.
Class size is typically small, and discussion oriented classes are practical. Wake Forest University CS graduates continue their careers in a wide variety of career-paths, ranging from top ranked graduate schools to highly successful private enterprise.
Over the past two years, two Computer Science graduate students have successfully completed the recently formed Structural and Computational Biophysics Certificate Program, and additional students are currently pursuing this certificate. As a result of the interdisciplinary opportunities in the department, three of our recent MS graduates are successfully pursuing Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering.
The department, located in Manchester Hall, currently has ten full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members, one adjunct faculty member, and two lecturers. The department shares two joint Reynolds Professor positions, one with Physics Mathematics. These positions have lead to significant inter-department interactions, including collaborative research efforts and cross-listed and team-taught courses. Departmental support staff include a dedicated Unix Systems Administrator, an Instructional Technology Consultant, and an Administrative Assistant.
In addition to the common resources available from the Wake Forest University Information Services group, the Computer Science Department maintains, from a stable annual budget, additional computing resources to support teaching and research. These resources include shared- and distributed-memory computers and specialized laboratories for Digital Media, Operating Systems, Networking, and Imaging. Computer Science has a policy of supporting individual faculty computing needs and makes a strong effort to support individual technology selection for a faculty member's research and instruction. As well, each faculty member is also issued a Lenovo Thinkpad under the Wake Forest University technology plan.
The Computer Science library holdings are located in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library.
Faculty in the department have active research programs. They are encouraged both to teach special topics courses related to their research and to involve students in that research. There are four primary areas of research in the department, described in paragraphs below.
Computational Biology/Bioinformatics: There are four Computer Science faculty (Fetrow, John, Thomas, Turkett) involved in Computational Biology research. This group has focused on algorithms and statistical methods for reverse engineering of cellular models, mining of protein and gene interaction networks, post-translational modification motif analysis, microarray clustering, protein structural database search, and sequence-structure analysis. This group has had long term collaborations with members of the Physics, Mathematics, Biochemistry, Molecular Medicine, and Immunology Departments. Funding sources for this research include the NIH and NSF, as well as the internal Science Research Fund and Cross-Campus Collaboration Fund.
Computational Imaging: The Computational Imaging Group, involving three Computer Science faculty (Plemmons, Pauca, and Torgersen), applies its expertise in mathematical modeling and the numerical solution of ill-posed problems involving tensor data to applications in a variety of military, medical, and industrial domains. At the forefront of integrated sensing and imaging research and federally well funded, they have developed tandem reconstruction algorithms and optical imaging devices that deliver significantly higher image quality than conventional systems. This work includes single lens iris imaging for biometric iris recognition, multi-modal lens array imaging for digital super-resolution, high dynamic range reconstruction, and multi-spectral imaging. Recent work includes 2nd/3rd degree burn identification from spectral measurements of oxygen skin content (with the Wake Forest University Burn Center), and space object identification from hyperspectral compressed imaging sensors (with Duke University and the University of New Mexico).
Digital Media: Another research interest of faculty (Burg, Wong) in the Computer Science Department is digital media, defined as digital imaging, audio, video, and multimedia programming in languages like Flash with ActionScript. Faculty are involved in grant-supported curriculum development projects that aim at revitalizing computer science education by injecting computer science-based digital media topics into the curriculum. The latest faculty research interest focuses on linking science, art, and practice in the teaching of digital sound. This research takes an interdisciplinary approach as it develops curriculum material bringing together computer scientists, theater and film sound designers, musicians, and music engineers.
Networking: There are two Computer Science faculty involved in networking research (Fulp, Turkett). This work is focused on network security for high-speed and QoS-enabled networks, failure prediction and management, network pricing and auctions, resource allocation, peer-to-peer systems, and multimedia applications. Funding support has come from PNNL, DOE, NEC C&CRL USA, AFOSR, DARPA, and Wake Forest University. Related research in Operating System security (Canas) is also being performed.
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
Phone: (336) 758-5337, FAX: (336) 758-6142