Hiring: Tenure Track Faculty in DCS

By Matt Jadud on November 7, 2017

Digital and Computational Studies at Bates College is hiring.

We occupy a unique space at Bates at a fascinating time in history.

  1. First, our remit is to bring computational thinking, practices, and theory to the full breadth of the liberal arts curriculum. This means we are unbound from the silos that traditionally restrict Computer Science programs, and can instead ask (and pursue answers to) meaningful questions about what computing education should look like as part of a liberal arts education.
  2. Second, we have the opportunity to interrogate and challenge the conventions of the discipline deeply, and in doing so, make real the Bates commitment to the transformative power of difference. Put simply, we can bring questions of what a just and equitable computational program should be in higher education today, propose answers to those questions, implement, reflect, and improve year-after-year.
  3. Finally, although implied by #1 and #2, we do this in community. We have collaborators across campus amongst the students, staff, and faculty who are excited to imagine and make real the dream of DCS at Bates. Trustees, alumni, and members of the surrounding community are likewise excited to see where we take this program.

You might work with textual analysis of social networks in Political Science, or you might relish data analytics and computational modeling (agent based, numerical…) in Mathematics or Economics. Perhaps you’re a computational chemist, an artist who integrates tangible computing into your craft, or perhaps your scholarly work and passions break down barriers of disciplinary discourse through digital and computational means that we haven’t considered before. You might also be a computer scientist who feels like the traditional confines of the CS curriculum is failing to realize the mission of your institution, and that we can do so much more to engage our students in the world around them through computational means.

Or, perhaps you’re just graduating with your PhD, and what you know is that this is the amazing opportunity that you pursued that damn degree for in the first place: to develop as an educator and scholar in a beautiful part of the world in community with awesome colleagues.

The body text of the position description is included below, and review of applications begins January 8th.

If you have questions, drop a line. Any questions that are above the search chair’s pay grade (questions of rank at time of hire, PhD completion timeline, etc.) will be handled on a case-by-case basis. We’re remarkably flexible people here.

Digital and Computational Studies at Bates College invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor in this newly established interdisciplinary program. As the second of three faculty to be hired in this program, you will play a critical role defining how the study of computing at Bates can engage the full breadth of the liberal arts. Our task is to grow a program that embraces and supports all students, regardless of background and prior experience, in the process of learning and questioning the practices, values, cultures, and assumptions of the digital world. This program deeply believes in our institutional commitment to the transformative power of difference, and we welcome applications from all individuals who can contribute to our collective goals of equity and inclusion through their teaching, scholarship, and mentorship (

This appointment begins August 1, 2018. The field of specialization is open: your practice may be grounded in a disciplinary context (arts, sciences, etc.) or eschew traditional disciplinary boundaries altogether. The teaching load at Bates is five courses per year. Critical to your work will be the development and delivery of a core curriculum in this new program, including software design and development (introductory through advanced), design thinking, the theories underlying those practices, and placing students’ learning in a broad societal context. For more information about DCS at Bates, see our webpage (

Click here for the full text of the position, including application requirements (CV, cover letter, etc.).

DCS is new, and so am I!

By Matt Jadud on October 2, 2017

Digital and Computational Studies (DCS) is a new program at Bates. Like all new programs, it doesn’t yet know what its courses will grow up to be, who its students will be, or what great things DCS graduates will go on to do. Hence why I chose Phyllis Graber Jensen’s photo of a Bates student competing in the long jump as a representative image for this post: we’ve landed, dynamically, after an intense sprint forward from a complete standstill.

Like Digital and Computational Studies, I am new to Bates. However, unlike DCS, I have some ideas as to what its courses will be like, and what I hope for our students. For example, I believe we need to develop a course of study that does not assume students have prior experience with the practice of computing or computational thinking: every student Bates admits should, with ardor and devotion, be able to succeed in their study of computing in the DCS program at Bates.

Now, I have more thoughts than that, but this is just a first post. Unpacking these ideas, and exploring what it means to create an interdisciplinary program in computing that engages computationally across the breadth of the liberal arts is not the stuff of light-hearted first posts. This year, I’m working on listening to faculty, staff, and students to understand Bates, its history, and its culture. This “listening tour” will inform the development of values, curricular structure, learning goals, outcomes, and the content and method of the courses we offer.

But I won’t do those things alone. Over the next two years, DCS will be hiring two more faculty. The empathetic foundation of the listening tour will not just inform the program, but also guide the hiring of two more faculty in DCS, both of whom will play a significant role in defining this program at Bates College. Watch this space for more information on that front.

If you have questions about . the program, its direction, or just want to reach out and say “hi,” please feel free to drop me a note (mjadud@bates), or leave a comment below.