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Computational Conversation Analysis and User Modeling

software research and engineering | Palo Alto, CA | Full Time

Job Description

A PhD with experience in natural language processing and user modeling

About the Job

Conversation is one of the most natural forms of human communication. Humans converse in order to obtain information, resolve disputes, influence, get to know someone, connect to others, obtain or give emotional support. In-depth conversation analysis is a difficult problem since conversations can be understood at different levels and carry information about the personality traits, mood, intent, and preferences of the participants. Conversations are omnipresent in online social media and follow different conventions than face-to-face or written conversations.


We are seeking a talented researcher focused on novel approaches to computational conversation analysis in social media. The researcher will envision novel applications of conversation analysis; develop new techniques for natural language understanding, text analytics, dialog analysis, semantics, sentiment, and user modeling; and model, implement and evaluate these techniques in the context of consumer health and wellness problems. The ideal researcher will:

  • have background in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, or related disciplines
  • have experience with natural language processing, including semantic and statistical approaches to text analysis, language, topic models, dialog models, and sentiment analysis
  • have experience with user modeling, including cognitive models, behavioral models, models of personality, emotion, intent, and preferences, and social graph models
  • have broad knowledge of algorithms and tools in this area
  • have ability to combine fast iterative research with existing tools with deeper algorithm development
  • have strong software development skills in Python and/or Java
  • have strong presentation and writing skills
  • be passionate about social media as a means to understand and aid human cognition, especially for health and wellness problems
  • be excited to work in a highly collaborative team of very driven individuals


  • PhD or PhD-in-progress in CS or related fields
  • R&D experience in natural language processing and user modeling


We offer a very competitive salary package and full benefits (medical, dental, vision, life & disability insurance, 401K). PARC employees enjoy the use of onsite health & fitness center and collegial dining at our onsite cafeteria. The PARC campus is in a spacious modern building in close proximity to the resources and opportunities of Silicon Valley and benefits from nearby leading universities such as Stanford and Berkeley. It is also close to many amenities, top schools, and outdoor activities (see  PARC provides a highly diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer (see

About the Group

PARC’s Intelligent Systems Laboratory is a research organization unlike any other. We combine the best of a top-notch research university, an entrepreneurial startup, and a premiere technology company. We meld our world-class innovation chops with researching and developing real-world applications that have market potential, focusing on creating new business options and opportunities. We’re driven to get our ideas out of the lab and into the world in order to have real impact, and we need superb research talent to make that happen.

The Augmented Social Cognition group is highly interdisciplinary - psychology, information retrieval, machine learning, AI, human-computer interaction - and is brought together by the desire to push the capabilities of current social media through understanding of social behavior and invention of algorithms and technology frameworks.

About PARC

PARC, a Xerox company, is in the Business of Breakthroughs®. Practicing open innovation, we provide custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government agencies and partners. We create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for our clients.

Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC today continues the research that enables breakthroughs for our clients' businesses.