Funded MSc, MA, and PhD Positions at McGill

Renee Seiber at McGill University is recruiting students for several positions (MSc, MA, PhD, postdoc) students who want to study the impact of tech in cities as well as
citizen science.

Smart Cities (MA/MSc)
I have a position for a masters student (MA/MSc) to look at one or more
of the following: 1. Spatial Inequity in the Smart City; 2. Who is
Planning, Measuring and Operating the Smart City in Canada (where smart
city implementation activities are housed inside city governments to
better understand how this implementation process is administered and
governed); and 3. Are smart cities open cities (comparing smart city
goals, types of hardware, software and algorithms used, the use of data
and its input back into municipal decision-making, and outcomes of
implementation)?. The first requires GIS. The second and third require a
combination of surveys, case studies, and ethnography. The fourth will
require knowledge of or ability to learn about machine learning algorithms.

Historical Weather Citizen Science (MSc)
A collaboration between geographers, archivists, and atmospheric
scientists at McGill has built a citizen science platform that
encourages individuals to transcribe the hand written records of the
McGill Observatory. These constitute the most complete set of historical
weather observations of Canada. It is comprised of ~4 million
observations on about 10,000 ledger sheets. Called DRAW (Data Rescue and
Archives Weather – individuals have transcribed
about 200K observations so far. I have a position for an MSc student who
will conduct research on the people who are contributing to the site, in
terms of education (how much they know and learn about weather),
motivation (how do we motivate them to continue contributing), and
engagement (how much, how long). It will require some computer
programming but that can be learned.

Social Media Harvesting and Analysis of Weather Tweets (MSc, postdoc)
I have a position for a MSc student to build a platform for data
harvesting, NLP and sentiment analysis of social media related to
extreme weather events. The Meteorological Service of Canada has funded
a two year project to attempt to correlate how the public responds to
extreme weather events with what they hear about from official and
peri-official channels. Their hope is to be able to tone their messages
based on likely public response. This also could be a position for a
postdoc to manage the project. Either position will require significant
computer skills, although the great thing about a project like this is
the ready availability of software libraries (e.g., in Python, JS, R) to
handle the “heavy lifting” in terms of coding.

Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms in Civic Governance (MAs, MScs,
PhDs, and postdocs)
This one is contingent on funding. I hope to be recruiting MAs, MScs,
PhDs, and postdocs to conduct research on the use, value, impact, and
governance of AI and algorithms in cities. These positions will require
a variety of skills–some will be on the more media studies end; some
will be social science; some will be highly computational (GeoAI,
spatial data science). There also would be funding for 1-2 postdocs, one
to manage the project and one to conduct computational research on the
impact of machine learning, neural networks on civic participation.

The deadline for posting is Dec. 31. Email Prof Renee Seiber for further details.