My take on computer science --
algorithms, networking, information theory --
and related items.
Any chance of hiring at the associate prof. level (i.e., with tenure)?
At Harvard, associate professors are without tenure; you're promoted to associate without tenure after year 4 or so, and once you're tenured, you're a full professor. Anyone can send an application, of course. But the search is a junior search; senior searches (i.e., with tenure) require a whole different process, so the best I could say is that we'd look at the folder and figure out what to do from there.
The rumors are that nobody gets tenure at Harvard unless they come with it. Is this true? (Or mostly true? :)) How do you think the prospects are for a junior faculty member at Harvard?
Salil Vadhan and I both joined Harvard as junior faculty and ended up with tenure. So there's evidence that it's possible...
Tenure at Harvard is done on a case-by-case basis. There are no standing committees. As a tenure candidate you just have to hope that the dean picks a committee that will understand the system. There is also a difficulty that the entire engineering school votes on every case. At that level there are not many questions that can be asked other than "What is Professor X famous for?" And the question had better have a simple answer.In general I think the computer science faculty do a much better job than other departments at Harvard, but because there are no standing committees, there is no real entrenched institutional competence at getting cases through. Between Salil's case and Michael's case there were four other cases that were all unsuccessful. Were the deans distracted by the Larry Summers train wreck? Maybe...In computer science at Harvard I think the prospects for junior faculty getting tenure are good---certainly when I have served on hiring committees we have worked very hard to try to hire people we thought we could tenure---but you have to recognize that there is a lot of noise in the system, and people have gone down for reasons that had little to do with the strength of their records (more to do with the ad-hoc committee's inability to present that record in the way Harvard wants it presented).
There might have been 4 cases in the Division (now School) of Engineering and Applied Sciences that didn't lead to tenure between me and Salil, but I don't think there were 4 CS cases between us...
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