Statistics on UCSD’s Computer Science Faculty Candidates

I previously estimated faculty job candidate statistics by estimating what the CVs of professors looked like when they got their jobs. I thought it would be interesting to do a similar analysis with the faculty candidates interviewed by UC San Diego’s Computer Science and Engineering department (CSE) in 2013. They are currently ranked #14 in Computer Science graduate programs according to U.S. News. Keep in mind that my earlier analysis was of people that actually got the job.

Based on my count, CSE interviewed 18 faculty candidates. Most of them are graduate students, but a few postdocs and at least five professors were interviewed as well. Since I’m primarily interested in measuring my future competitiveness, I excluded the most senior professors (and one not senior professor at Stanford), leaving 13 people. Here are the statistics for the 13 candidates:

  • Total Publications
    • Mean: 27.2±13.2
    • Median: 25
    • Range: 10 – 50
  • Number First Author Publications (excluding theory folks)
    • Mean: 12.8±6.5
    • Median: 14.5
    • Range: 2 – 25
  • h-Index (calculated using Google Scholar profiles)
    • Mean: 10.5±4.5
    • Median: 10
    • Range: 4 – 20

Eleven of the candidates got their PhDs from MIT, Stanford, or UC Berkeley, which are all Rank #1 Computer Science Departments for PhD programs according to U.S. News. The other two graduated from UC San Diego (Rank #14) and the University of Washington (Rank #7). Why are so many of the interviewees from highly ranked institutions? There may be some self-selection bias, with people from lesser ranked institutions not even applying for professorships. However, Stenstrom et al. (2013) found that the strongest predictor for post-PhD employment was the rank of the department a person graduated from, even controlling for individual accomplishments, e.g., number of publications. The people UCSD chose to interview are consistent with Stenstrom et al.’s observation.

These numbers are similar to the numbers I calculated earlier by estimating what professors’ CVs looked like when they got their faculty jobs. In this batch, I did notice that two people had very few first author publications (2 and 3), but I didn’t find any like that in my previous analysis.

I still dream of running my own lab some day, although recently I’ve been entertaining other career paths, such as entrepreneurship. It would be foolish to not consider jobs outside of academia, so in my next series of posts I’ll review some traditional and non-traditional careers outside of academia that I’ve thought about.

Stenstrom, D., Curtis, M., Iyer, R. (2013) School rankings, department rankings, and individual accomplishments: What factors predict obtaining employment after the PhD? Perspectives on Psychological Science. doi: 10.1177/1745691612474316