Senior Software Engineer, Semantic Scholar


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The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is looking for an experienced software engineer to help drive world class engineering and product development on Semantic Scholar, a fast-growing search engine and research tool powered by artificial intelligence. Since its launch in November 2015, Semantic Scholar has indexed and learned from over 50 million research papers in thousands of journals and conferences. As a senior software engineer you will help identify, design and develop critical features and services that drive Semantic Scholar forward as a leader in academic search.

Semantic Scholar’s data engineering team is responsible for producing an enriched corpus of academic literature that allows millions of researchers to do better, faster research. You will: maintain up-to-date feeds from dozens of sources, develop and deploy machine learning models, work with research scientists to create new research tools, and create distributed computations to extract value from the world’s academic literature.

World class communication, engineering, and leadership skills are essential in this role. As a technical leader, you will partner in scaling a consumer product, identifying and alleviating engineering bottlenecks, driving feature development on key initiatives, and establishing best practices. You should be comfortable working closely in a team, building technical buy-in, and balancing effective design reviews with quick delivery.


  • Engage in the entire software development lifecycle; from ideation and design to implementation and testing to deployment and operational support.
  • Scale our systems in a cost effective and sustainable manner and be a driving force behind continuous improvements in reliability and automation.
  • Generate impact and team velocity through efforts in but not limited to: software design and feature development, platform and framework development (e.g. machine learning experimentation capabilities), capacity planning, and deployment tooling and infrastructure.
  • Help set and maintain best practices in how we measure, monitor, and respond to system availability, latency, and general application health.
  • Mentor less-senior engineers on the team in both technical and non-technical skills.


Minimum qualifications:

  • BS degree in Computer Science or related technical field where software development is a key component, or equivalent industry experience.
  • Experience in algorithm design, data structures, complexity and risk analysis, and software architecture.
  • Experience in one or more of the following (or similar) languages:
  • Python, Java, Scala, C, C++, Go, Ruby, Javascript

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience designing, scaling and troubleshooting large-scale distributed systems.
  • Experience with large dataset/corpus management.
  • Experience creating, evaluating, scaling and operating production machine learning models.
  • Experience collaborating with research scientists to produce novel systems.
  • Experience with AWS (or similar) cloud development.
  • Heightened sense of ownership for the performance and stability of services that provide value to millions of users.
  • Ability to think systematically about improving the process of developing and supporting software and the skills to translate these concerns into outcomes for our users and team.
  • Growth mindset: a desire to stretch the definition of the role and find additional ways to provide impact in a small team.

About AI2

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is a non-profit research institute in Seattle founded by Paul Allen and headed by Professor Oren Etzioni. The core mission of AI2 is to contribute to humanity through high-impact research in artificial intelligence.

Why AI2

In addition to AI2’s core mission, we also aim to contribute to humanity through our treatment of each member of the AI2 Team. Some highlights are:

  • We are a learning organization — because everything AI2 does is ground-breaking, we are learning every day. Similarly, through weekly AI2 Academy lectures, a wide variety of world-class AI experts as guest speakers, and our commitment to your personal on-going education, AI2 is place where you will have opportunities to continue learning alongside your coworkers.
  • We value diversity — We seek to hire, support, and promote people from all genders, ethnicities, and all levels of experience regardless of age. We particularly encourage applications from women, non-binary individuals, people of color, members of the LGBTQA+ community, and people with disabilities of any kind.
  • We value inclusion — We understand the value that people's individual experiences and perspectives can bring to an organization, and we are building a culture in which all voices are heard, respected and considered.
  • We emphasize a healthy work/life balance — we believe our team members are happiest and most productive when their work/life balance is optimized. While we value powerful research results which drive our mission forward, we also value dinner with family, weekend time, and vacation time. We offer generous paid vacation and sick leave as well as family leave.
  • We are collaborative and transparent — we consider ourselves a team, all moving with a common purpose. We are quick to cheer our successes, and even quicker to share and jointly problem solve our failures.
  • We are in Seattle — and our office is on the water! We have mountains, we have lakes, we have four seasons, we bike to work, we have a vibrant theater scene, and we have so much else. We even have kayaks for you to paddle right outside our front door. We welcome interest from applicants from outside of the United States.
  • We are friendly — chances are you will like every one of the 70+ (and growing) people who work here. We do.

AI2 is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at or you may call us at 206-548-5600.

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