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Endowed Esports Professorship with a Focus on User Experience and Data Analytics

The School of Information (UMSI) at the University of Michigan seeks candidates for a newly created endowed professorship in esports with a focus on data-informed user experience design at the rank of associate or full professor. The rapidly growing area of esports competition has created new opportunities for both the field of human-computer interaction and the use of computer-generated data streams to understand human performance. Ultimately, the University of Michigan seeks to build an academic program for the study of esports that builds connections across disciplines and across campus, including to student-led competitive esports teams. Through this endowed professorship, the School of Information is poised to take a leadership position in this exciting new field. 

The successful candidate will be committed to a research program focused on using the esports context to advance user experience design principles and methods using remotely-collected user data. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in engagement with esports, and for many, this has become their primary spectator sport, surpassing traditional sports. Because of the scale of esports, and the fact that all interactions occur in a digital environment (both participants and spectators), this is a rich domain to explore the use of remotely-collected user data to personalize user experiences. Our highest priority in this search are candidates with an established record of scholarship related to esports. We will also consider candidates who are committed to expanding their current scholarship to include a focus on esports. The successful candidate will also broadly stimulate growth at UMSI and U-M in the use of remotely-collected user data to inform user experience design across a range of application areas. In addition, the successful candidate will be prepared to design and offer a university-level course that uses esports as a platform to explore a range of esports topics – including the experience of esports athletes and audiences – but also covering the economics and management of esports leagues, analytics around esports engagement and viewership, and novel interface approaches (e.g., XR or extended reality). The successful candidate will be expected to build research relationships with the College of Engineering, School of Kinesiology, the Ross School of Business, and other relevant units across the U-M campus.  

For all UMSI positions, we favor candidates whose research interests complement our existing expertise in such areas as applied machine learning, computer-supported cooperative work, human-computer interaction, incentive-centered design and information economics, information seeking, sharing and use, Internet-scale data, network and text analysis, social computing and informatics, health informatics, and digital archives and preservation. In addition, successful candidates should have a strong track record in terms of their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Job Expectations and Responsibilities

Job duties include research, teaching, and service. Job responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Conducting scholarly research resulting in publications in peer reviewed journals, book chapters, edited books, books, and conference proceedings
  • Seeking outside funding to support their research
  • Teaching in UMSI’s five academic programs
  • Mentoring students for independent studies, master’s projects and theses, and doctoral dissertations.
  • Providing service to the school, University, and the broader academic community by way of committee work, journal editing, and other various opportunities

Each contributing member of the UMSI faculty is expected to have teaching effort equivalent to three semester-long courses per year. 

About UMSI and U-M

The mission of the School of Information is to create and share knowledge to help people use information -- with technology -- to build a better world. A successful candidate will be committed to, and will directly contribute to our goal of being the best research and teaching institution for the understanding and design of information and its technologies in service of people and society.

The School is home to vibrant research and teaching programs, with 60 FTE professors, and over 1,700 students. We offer five degrees: a Ph.D., a Master of Science in Information, a Master of Health Informatics, a Master of Applied Data Science (online only), and a Bachelor of Science in Information. 

Founded in 1817, the University of Michigan has a long and distinguished history as one of the first public universities in the nation. It is one of only two public institutions consistently ranked among the nation's top ten universities. The University has one of the largest health care complexes in the world and one of the best library systems in the United States. With more than $1.6 billion in research expenditures annually, the University has the second largest research expenditure among all universities in the nation. The University has an annual general fund budget of more than $2.3 billion and an endowment valued at more than $12 billion.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in an area such as computer science, human-computer interaction, data science, information, engineering, design, or related fields
  • A strong interest in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Sustained scholarly impact through peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and books
  • A strong commitment to teaching, interdisciplinary research, and cultural diversity

Application process

All applicants should submit a cover letter, a vita, three representative publications, evidence of teaching excellence, a statement of teaching philosophy and experience, a statement of current and future research plans, a statement detailing contributions to diversity, and the names of three potential recommendation letter writers. All application materials must be submitted electronically to: http://apply.interfolio.com/98145.  Please direct inquiries about this position to the chair of our faculty search committee, Dr. Barry Fishman (fishman@umich.edu). Applications submitted by Jan. 20, 2022 will receive full consideration.   

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty, and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine, by the start of the fall term on Aug. 30, 2021. This includes those working or learning remotely. More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.