Research associate Interview Questions in United States
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The professor quizzed me on several technical aspects of a journal paper I was a co-author of. Most of them were manageable. He asked me what exactly my contribution was in that paper and why I was not first author on it. 1 AnswerI replied that the project was industry-funded and because I was a student at the time the industry I was working for did not share enough proprietary details with me like they did with my advisor who was the first author on the paper. As a result it was easier and much faster for my advisor to write the paper up and add me on as a second author despite the fact that I did all the experimental work that was featured in it. The rest of the interview was excellent and the Professor collected my references and then e-mailed them separately for recommendations. In ~4 weeks time I was hired. |
How do you manage your time effectively? 1 AnswerTo do lists, calendars, reminders, prioritizing daily, communicate with team. |
Market Researcher at McMaster-Carr was asked...
How would you go about doing research on a potential customer? 1 AnswerFind out what the core business is and the statistics surrounding the core. |
What experience have you had with Microsoft Office? 1 AnswerThey're looking for access, excel and word mostly. There is an IT department however so creating access programs isn't necessary as long as you know how to use it once a database is created. |
Suppose you have two covariance matrices A and B. Is AB also a covariance matrix? Suppose that, by plain dumb luck, we also have that AB=BA. Is AB a covariance matrix under this additional condition? 12 AnswersI suppose it's clear from how I wrote the question that the answer to the first question is no (for you: why?). For the second question, this is a little bit harder if you aren't experienced in linear algebra. I actually have a PhD in algebra, and the interviewer also had a PhD in algebra, so on some level this question might have been specifically targeting my background. There is a standard result that applies here; see if you can figure it out. 1 is correct, 2 is wrong. Try again. :) Show More Responses If AB=BA then yes it is symmetric. So the question boils down to: Is it in fact positive semi-definite? Why or why not? Work through that and you have your answer. My hint: Take a look at some results related to diagonalizing matrices that commute with each other. Hi for your telephone interview with doug, what was the focus for technical interview parts, everything from math, finance, programming? or mainly probability type of question? thanks I remember it being mostly probability and finance. Nothing too terrible. Hi Mr.interview candidate, what were the types of finance questions Doug asked? Thanks! Hi, Mr. interview. Do you remember what kind of data analysis example was for on-site interview? If so, can you share a little bit? What was the level of difficulty? Thanks! 1, no 2, yes It doesn’t. It provides an alternative way of establishing that the eigenvalues must be nonnegative. In fact, if you read the proof, all that’s established is that AB is similar to a positive semidefinite matrix and therefore must be positive semidefinite. It says nothing about whether or not AB is symmetric (which is also required for AB to be a covariance matrix). One or more comments have been removed. |
Quantitative Researcher at Jane Street was asked...
You have two decks of cards: a 52 card deck (26 black, 26 red) and a 26 card deck (13 black, 13 red). You randomly draw two cards and win if both are the same color. Which deck would you prefer? What if the 26 card deck was randomly drawn from the 52 card deck? Which deck would you prefer then? 11 AnswersI responded immediately to the first part. The second part took me a bit longer - I immediately said that my intuition thought the third deck and the first deck were equally good but couldn't give a good rigorous proof very quickly (took about 30 seconds or so). Actually I think the third deck is better than the first deck. That is because it says to "draw two cards of the same color" not "draw two black cards". Compare the following decks: a deck with 13 black and 13 red, a deck with 26 black, and a deck with 26 red. The chance of drawing two of the same color cards are 6/25, 1, 1 respectively. You can see with a little math that any distribution of 26 cards is better than or equally as good as a distribution of 13 red and 13 black cards. Show More Responses @curious_cat I think that only implies that the third deck is better than the second deck (the second has 13/13 while the first has 26/26). 1) P(win | 52-card deck) = 25/51. P(win | even 26-card deck) = 12/25. 52-card deck is better. 2) P(win | n-red cards in random 26-card deck) = (n/26 * ((n-1) / 25)) + ((26-n) / 26 * ((26-n-1) / 25)) = (n^2) / 325 - (2n / 25) + 1. Taking the derivative and solving for the root: P' = 2n / 325 - 2 / 25 = 0 -> n = 13, which is a minimum. Interpretation: having equal numbers of red and black cards in the deck MINIMIZES your chances of winning. Because the last deck is the same as the second deck (26 cards, split evenly red/black) except it may have an uneven number, this last (randomly selected) deck is better than the evely-split deck, but is it better than the 52-card deck? For this, we use the Hypergeometric Distribution (like the Binomial distribution, but for trials without replacement) to look at the odds of getting a 26-card deck with n red cards: P(selecting n red cards for random 26-card deck) = [ (52-26) C (26-n) ] * [ 26 C n ] / [52 C 26] = (2^43 * 3^17 * 5^12 * 7^4 * 11^4 * 13^4 * 17 * 19^2 * 23^2) / (29 * 31 * 37 * 41 * 43 * 47 * (n!)^2 * ((26-n)!)^2). From here, all that's left to do is combine these probabilities with the probability of winning [from above, P(win | n-red cards in deck) = (n^2) / 325 - (2n / 25) + 1] with each deck that contains 0 through 26 red cards (n => {0,26}). If this is larger than 25/51, then we can say definitively that we would prefer the randomly selected 26-card deck to the even 52-card deck. However, doing this out reveals that the probability of winning with the randomly selected deck = 25/51. Therefore, odds of winning are THE SAME with either the first (even 52-card deck) or the last (26-card deck, randomly selected from an even 52-card deck). Imagine, all that math to prove a simple equality! :) Q.E.D. the 3rd deck is the same as the 1st deck we do not need to calculate it by hand P(I randomly pick 2 cards in a 52 deck) = P(I always pick 2 cards on the top of the 52 cards’ deck) = P(You shuffle the deck, then I pick 2 cards on the top) = P(You shuffle the deck, you throw away the bottom half deck, then I pick 2 cards on the top) = P(Picking a 26 cards’ random deck, then I pick 2 cards on the top) = P(Picking a 26 cards’ random deck, then I randomly choose 2 cards in the 26 cards deck) in this logic - even if you only pick a 4 cards' deck randomly from the 52 cards deck for me to choose 2 cards - it's the same probability as if I choose 2 randomly from the 52 cards' deck directly . The 3rd deck is better. Suppose the 3rd deck has k red cards. The probability of getting 2 cards of the same colour is (C(k,2) + C(26-k,2))/C(26,2). It is easy to see that this is minimum for k = 13, which is the first deck. So essentially any random 26 cards is at-least as good as a 13-13 split. These answers are all overkill, the answers are obvious by intuition which are good enough (perhaps even better) for an interview. 1. Obviously deck 1 is better , because taking away your first card has a smaller impact on the ratio of cards left of the same colour. 2. Obviously they're the same. Deck 1 is equivalent to shuffling a deck and taking the top 2 cards, Deck 3 is equivalent to shuffling a deck, taking the top 13 cards of that and then taking the top 2 cards of that. One or more comments have been removed. |
Suppose you have 100 GB of data that you want to sort, but you only have 1 GB of memory. How would you sort this data? 8 AnswersHint: This isn't really a difficult question (just was an unexpected one for me). You don't really need to know the answer to figure this out. As it turns out, the obvious thing actually works here (and it is a known sorting algorithm). Can you expand on this? What is sorting algorithm? Sorting algorithm = a computer algorithm to sort a list of objects. Well pretend you just have 2 GB of data (for simplicity, assume they are integers) and 1 GB of memory, since the technique is the same. And pretend you want to sort these integers in increasing order. What would you do? Like, what's the first idea that comes to your mind? Show More Responses You do an on disk merge sort, bring chunks in to memory and sort using quick sort, then had the sorted data in to buckets (files). When your done merge them using a merge sort. Yep, exactly. External sort bucket sort. Sort each bucket, then merge. Mark |
Quantitative Researcher at Jane Street was asked...
A tosses n+1 coins. B tosses n coins. B wins if he has at least as many heads as A. What is the probability that B wins? 7 AnswersSee the other guy's solution 1/2 or 0.5 Question rephrased: what's the prob that A has more heads? First n throws, they have equal number on the average. So, A gets a chance to have more heads on the last throw, 50% chance. -> P(A wins) = 1 - P(B wins) = 50% -> P(B wins) = 50% Show More Responses ^ is a great way of thinking about it. Use symmetry. If both A and B had N coins, we can say that prob(A>B) = a, prob(A I don't think 50% can be right, that's already the chance for when they have an exactly equal amount. Let A, B be two binomial r.v.’s with means (n+1)/2 and n/2 respectively and variances (n+1)/4 and n/4 respectively. Let Z = B-A then we can derive E[Z] = -1/2 and Var[Z] is about n/2. By Chebyshev’s inequality, Pr[B wins] = Pr[Z>=0] = sigma(Z) sqrt (1/2n)]<= 1/(2n). |
Do you prefer to work alone or in a team? 6 AnswersDepending on the situation, I am comfortable either way. I prefer to not work for companies that are owned by one of the I prefer to not work for companies that are owned by Henry Jarecki, chauvanist/multi-billionaire/owner of Carribean island a short 10 mile helicopter ride from Jeffrey Epstein's island which as we all know was visited by hundreds or thousands of rich, powerful, sometimes royal pedophiles. According to 1st hand info from a former employee he still bullies his adult children like, hey!, his son Tom who I am sure started off sweeping rat droppings, and whose resume' consisted of ample relevant experience acting as his father's bag boy for other cutting edge ventures like:1. buying gold from desperate people below spot price. 2.melting it into bars and then. 3. using a cutting edge strategy which is taking the world of finance by storm SELLING the gold when the price goes UP, through his own hard work and initiative floated up through the ranks to become the Director of Business Development, despite the vicious and unwarranted resistance he faced from 'insiders with an agenda', according to a source afraid to give their name, and the nearly insurmountable disadvantage of being the baby boy of the company's multi-billionaire owner. "Yes, sometimes I wonder how I made it. It was very difficult," said Tom, before blowing his nose with a hundred dollar bill and throwing it at the nearest little person to take to the garbage for him. His other son Andrew just happened to be in Jeffrey Epstein's black book of phone numbers but quite obviously it was because Epstein sometimes played loud music on his island and Andrew would need to call to ask him to lower it a bit so that he could focus on editing whichever documentary he was currently crafting, all of them self-financed by the entrepreneurial Andrew with $50 million in Christmas and birthday money from his pau-pau he responsibly and diligently socked away beneath his hummingbird feather mattress since the age of 33. For example his first documentary, and therefore the one about which he was the most interested and passionate, Capturing the Friedmans in which he defended a father/son rape incest duo who ran a computer education class in their basement and basically every single session had the bad luck to have child pornography somehow appear on the computers, and they would find that their penises were hanging out on students' shoulders when last they remembered they had been totally and appropriately contained within their zippered pants. You see, it was all a misunderstanding!!! Every single time. The documentary is based on riveting accounts told by the actual participants, the father and son of course although time constraints made it impossible, you see, to interview any of the ALLEGED "victims" who all told similar stories despite not knowing one another and whose testimony led to the father and son being convicted by a jury and imprisoned. If, as it appears, the 2 convicted and imprisoned men are telling the truth then we are left with NO OTHER POSSIBLE CONCLUSION than that they were railroaded by the shady forces of children who wanted to smear the reputations of the 'The Rifleman'-esque father/son duo with the ALLEGEDLY ' creepy' basement computer classroom with hardrives just absolutely loaded with child pornography which the STUDENTS of course, the ones Andrew did not bother even attempting to contact, accidentally or more likely ON PURPOSE downloaded themselves!!! It is so obviously a plot against the poor, helpless father and son who only SEEM to have been thoroughly exposed as total pervs, that Andrew even took it upon himself to pay millions in legal costs to free the son from prison, which he scraped together by washing cars one weekend and digging under the couch cushions for loose change. Also he remembered that was 1 other reason he and Epstein communicated, because he was sweating over a phone bank he had tossed together to raise funds to free the innocent and persecuted Friedman boy and had called and asked Epstein if he could contribute $50. Show More Responses He followed up that crowd pleaser with "Me and my Pal Robert", in which he exposed the heretofore totally ignored soft side of everyone's favorite wife-beating-then-killing/multiple murdering/body dismembering billionaire landlord and all around pretty nice and funny guy for Andrew to go have dinner and talk with Robert Durst. He also quite ingeniously finally did what NO COP in the entire country had ever been able to do for decades when he got 100% irrefutable proof of Durst's guilt when Durst mumbled a few unintelligible, highly ambiguous sentences at himself in a bathroom mirror, like a mentally insane person would and have it be inadmissible in court, although his trial judge was shrewd and intelligent enough to draw a line in the sand and say no, no, the billionaire murderer/dismemberer who claimed he worked for the CIA, dressed as a woman, and was caught shoplifting some fresh fruit with $40,000 in his pocket was of completely sound mind and the incoherent mumblings were admissible and landed him in prison for the rest of his life. Later renamed The Jinx, because the subject matter was not considered edgy enough and the film's financers....financer....Andrew, wanted a spicier title to draw attention. Henry's other self-made multi-millionaire son Eugene kicked off his film-directing career by marching right into some figurative boss's office and insisting "Me love film. Me good. I am the guy. I need money." His father was convinced despite being skeptical at first and loaned him the millions he needed to make The Opponent in 2000, a movie lauded as corny, uninspired, and a waste of time, celluloid, self-respect, the already pathetic meagre dirty pile of reputation of Eugene, and whatever other resources went into its creation, by 100% of the 17 people who have ever seen it. The plot revolves around a woman who is tired of being victimized by her abusive boyfriend, trains real hard in boxing, then defends herself and becomes a professional boxer through hard work and perseverance. Henry Jarecki is very confident in the project paying off once he dies, leaves Eugene an inheritance, and is then no longer capable of requesting the loaned money back from Eugene. Eugene stressed that although he was a thoroughly aroused 28-year-old when he directed the film, it is a work of art and passion, and not an attempt to use the money he earned when his father handed it to him to pay millions to the Playboy Playmate in the starring role in a desperate plea for her to sleep with him because he was indescribably nerdy. "None of that is true. Pampered sons of billionaires don't typically dangle money in women's faces because they are socially inept and have no other, or faster method of encouraging the women they highly respect to sleep with them, and I am no exception." He followed that tour-de-force with bubbly and positive documentaries about Henry Kissinger, Ronald Regan, military propaganda, as well as forgotten pop icon Elvis Presley who has not yet been talked about enough. He also made a controversial film that expresses the heretofore unspoken suggestion that the Nixon-initiated 'War on Drugs' might actually be costly and destructive to the country, a brave stance which almost no one in the country has even considered besides brave, creative, original Eugene. Yes the Eugene with the Playmate boxer epic, that one. In the Elvis documentary he spits in the face of the elite rebelliously somehow by driving across the country in a Rolls Royce, to prove his point to the class of capitalist elites of which he is only reluctantly a member, and has simply not yet found the time or any conceivable way to give his money to poor people, although that is his top priority after the Rolls Royce journey. For anyone who read this far thank you for staying with me. If anyone ever has an interview for this seemingly horrible company owned by a man who seems to have enthusiastically created one of the world's worst families and records themself saying all of this verbatim, or even a significant chunk of it, I will send you $50 or whatever I can afford at the time. Anything I wrote which has the faintest hint of truth essentially IS true. Go ahead yourselves and poke into the backgrounds of these weirdos and find out for yourselves. Thank goodness we have these men on who we are able to rely for the future of our country!!! Henry and his boys!! Justice for all of the helpless victims they advocate for and defend like pedophiles, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Regan, the U.S. military, cash-for-gold schemers, and all the rest of the oppressed and downtrodden!! Hurrah!! Hurrah!!! If by some amazing stroke of luck any of the Jareckis happen to read this, I'd just like you to know that I am aware you are all absolute jokes and if you are not yet aware then please contact me and I will be happy to explain it to whichever one of you stooges actually believes that you deserve or can even EXPLAIN THE ROLE OF any of the idiotic, econo-babble titles and offices you all seem to hold in the myriad huckster enterprises you are involved in. Thank you for your time. The Jareckis stink. Trust me guys, THAT is the answer they want. You gotta be AGGRESSIVE! Yeah! Go get em! If you find yourself growing nervous as the interview approaches and doubting whether you can say any of the above, simply imagine any one of the Jarecki gang luxuriating on the beach of one of their Carribean islands and perhaps indulging in one of their other passions like promoting and defending pedophilia or army propaganda, while simultaneously they are underpaying abusive managers to shout bogus phrases of encouragement probably IDENTICAL to the ones I wrote above as a joke into the faces of poor hopeless employees even FURTHER down the ladder. "You know how I get my kicks guys?? Performing my assigned tasks quickly and efficiently while only asking your manager questions necessary for completion of said task, and smiling at work! Everybody now! *grabs miserable downtrodden employee by head and begins manipulating lips and repeating himself, as in a ventriloquist act. Employee lacks will to resist single iota and relaxes muscles so as to accept humiliation in most efficient possible manner with totally unwarranted hope that somehow, ANYHOW, this may lead to a $.75 raise* |
What's your strengths for this position 5 Answerswhy do you like working with a company of Korea For this famous company it will lead to hundred percent Gk question Show More Responses India Samsung |
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