Computer and Information Research Scientists

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Also known as:
Computer Scientist, Computer Specialist, Control System Computer Scientist, Research Scientist, Scientific Programmer Analyst

ABOUT COMPUTER AND INFORMATION RESEARCH SCIENTIST CAREERS
Video transcript

Developing the tools and technologies of tomorrow... requires hard work today. Computer and information research scientists invent new approaches to computing technology and improve the use of existing technology. They study complex computing problems, and are often at the forefront of solving them for business, science, medicine, and other fields. These research scientists build algorithms, or sets of instructions that tell a computer what to do. They may use an algorithm to develop a new computing language, create programs to control robots, and simplify the ways people interact with computers. Their work often leads to technological advancements, such as better networking technology, faster computing speeds, and improved information security. In general, computer and information research scientists work at a more theoretical level than other computer professionals. Computer and information research scientists work for the federal government, computer systems design firms, research and development departments, and for colleges and universities. Most positions are full time. Most computer and information research scientists need a need a master's degree in computer science or a related field, such as computer engineering. For federal government jobs, a bachelor's degree may be sufficient.

SNAPSHOT
Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Develop performance standards, and evaluate work in light of established standards.

Develop and interpret organizational goals, policies, and procedures.

Evaluate project plans and proposals to assess feasibility issues.

Design computers and the software that runs them.

Consult with users, management, vendors, and technicians to determine computing needs and system requirements.

Meet with managers, vendors, and others to solicit cooperation and resolve problems.

Participate in multidisciplinary projects in areas such as virtual reality, human-computer interaction, or robotics.

Conduct logical analyses of business, scientific, engineering, and other technical problems, formulating mathematical models of problems for solution by computers.

Assign or schedule tasks to meet work priorities and goals.

Apply theoretical expertise and innovation to create or apply new technology, such as adapting principles for applying computers to new uses.

Analyze problems to develop solutions involving computer hardware and software.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
TOP SKILLS
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Programming Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.