Job Search is Over!

Finally, I can announce to everyone: I will be starting a tenure-track faculty position in the CS department at Montana State University this Fall.  Really, it is a relief to have this decision over with.

The MSU Job Interview:

I arrived the night before my interview, and had to prepare my “teaching demo” between arriving at the hotel and going to bed.  (well, I started on the plane …)  Dave joined me in Bozeman, MT for the interview day.  During my talk, he sat in the second row.  It was really a happy feeling for him to be there with me.  There are several times in life where the practice of mindfulness is most apparent, and  job interviews is one of them.  I kept thinking to myself “this is my job interview, stay in the moment!”  This was my first interview, and I wasn’t sure if, or how many, more interviews would be extended to me.

My job interview consisted of the formal research talk, a 10-minute teaching demo, meeting with various faculty members, meeting with the dean, and (of course) going out to dinner.  My meeting with the dean went WAY over the scheduled time-slot.  And, when someone peeked into the office to let him know that there was a crowd of people waiting to meet with me, he responded “but I’m the dean!”  I guess that meeting went well.  🙂

The members of the department were incredibly nice and went above and beyond making us welcome in Bozeman.  It just felt right, and so I am looking forward to joining this department in just a few months.  The hardest part about deciding to move to Bozeman, MT is that it is rather far away from Philly, NYC, and NOLA.

Other thoughts from the job hunt:

Not all interviews went as smoothly as the interview at MSU.  As expected, some CS folks have told me “why are you applying to CS departments, you are really a mathematician” and some Math folks told me “why are you applying to math departments, you are in computer science.”  When this question was asked, I always thought to myself, “will they be able to fairly evaluate me when I am evaluated for promotion and tenure?”  Probably not.

One interview, though, takes the cake.  The chair of the department said to me “you don’t have any children, so that won’t be a problem” and made comments about how I must come from a poor background since I qualified for the GAANN fellowship.  Another faculty member at that same university tried to intimidate me, saying that it is very strange that I have had any postdoc in CS, yet alone, two post-docs spanning three years.  The feeling I got there was a rather un-welcoming feeling.

So, starting this fall, I will be an assistant professor!  Now, I just need some graduate students and some big grants … feel free to send both students and money my way.

Robert Redford

One of the sights in Bozeman: stepping in Robert Redford’s shoeprints.

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