Lead Data Scientist

Job Locations US-CO-Lakewood | US-Remote | US-IA-Iowa City
Posted Date 2 months ago(12/18/2017 9:00 AM)
Job ID
# of Openings
Up to 25% Travel


ACT is a nonprofit organization helping people achieve educational and workplace success.  Our programs are designed to boost lifelong learning in schools and workplaces around the world. Whether it's guiding students along their learning paths, enabling companies to develop their workforce, fostering parent, teacher, and counselor understanding of student progress, guiding job seekers toward career success, or informing policymakers about education and workforce issues. ACT is passionate about making a difference in all we do.


Learn more about working at ACT at act.org!


The Lead Data Scientist has primary responsibility for conducting data science projects with applications in assessment and learning analytics and technologies, including automated scoring.


NOTE: This position may be located in Iowa City, Iowa or Lakewood, Colorado, or remotely.


Typical work-related activities include:

  • Deliver data science projects from beginning to end, including understanding the business need, aggregating data, exploring data, building and validating predictive models, and deploying completed models to deliver business impact to the organization
  • Provide technical documentation of data science projects including minimally presentations, technical reports, and code documentation
  • Collaborate cross-functionally with product managers, assessment designers, psychometricians, research scientists, engineers, and analysts
  • Support the VP in attracting and developing a team of data scientists and analysts and in building additional team member expertise in data visualization and data sciences
  • Attract and mentor summer interns in data science and analytics
  • Provide data science industry leadership and scholarly contributions through research, publications, presentations, and partnerships
  • Partner with other areas to investigate new solutions, processes, and opportunities related to research in big data, visualization, and data mining
  • Contribute to a culture of high achievement, industry leadership, innovation, and accountability



  • Master’s degree in data mining, machine learning, statistics, computer science, operations research, engineering, mathematics, or related field required
  • PhD degree preferred
  • Or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired



  • Seven-plus years of demonstrated success conducting predictive modeling, data science, and analysis projects
  • Applied experience in leading data science projects required
  • Research expertise and scholarly contributions in data science required
  • Experience in education or assessment industries preferred
  • Experience in the automated evaluation of responses to writing, short text, and innovative assessment items preferred




  • Expert Python programming skills including pandas and machine learning libraries
  • Knowledge of and experience writing and tuning SQL
  • Experience working with big data tools such as Hadoop, Spark, Map/Reduce, and NoSQL databases
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Innovative thinker and thought leader
  • Exceptional collaborator and team member
  • Demonstrated willingness to both teach others and learn new techniques
  • Agile mindset



  • Experience handling datasets exceeding 250GB
  • Experience using Zepplin or Jupyter notebooks
  • Experience using tools for natural language processing
  • Experience analyzing streaming data





Starting salary commensurate with qualifications. Excellent benefits and work environment.


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