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Mathematica

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Mathematica

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Mathematica Employee Reviews about "mathematica"

Updated Jun 30, 2021

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Found 29 of over 330 reviews

3.9
77%
Recommend to a Friend
92%
Approve of CEO
Mathematica President Paul Decker
Paul Decker
151 Ratings

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Consultants of Fishbowl, I'm 31 and have ~$2m. No kids, student loans, etc... I'm also getting CTL'd. If you were in my position, would you scramble to get a new position or retire early?

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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment

Pros
Cons
  • "Low salary for junior level staff.(in 14 reviews)
  • "Strict supervision, hostile culture at the survey center.(in 11 reviews)
  • "the lack of diversity among researchers and survey researchers is frustrating.(in 10 reviews)
  • "This leads to a lot of chaos and poor management.(in 10 reviews)
  • "Poor training and for a company that is computer(in 6 reviews)
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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Reviews about "mathematica"

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  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Flawless Hiring & Onboarding Experience

    Jun 30, 2021 - Director in Princeton, NJ
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The application and interview process at Mathematica far exceeded my expectations. My application was reviewed and acknowledged quickly, and Dan was in constant contact to provide guidance and to answers questions along the way. There were no delays in replies from Dan, or large gaps in timing between screenings, interviews and an offer letter. Communication was very proactive, and clear expectations were set along the way. I was very impressed with everything from start to finish! Also worth noting is the seamless onboarding process. I was impressed with how organized everything was especially considering I was onboarded remotely. The documentation and communication were both helpful and straightforward. The first few months at Mathematica have been exciting and enjoyable. Everyone here works collaboratively and respectfully, and I'm enjoying working with dynamic and talented teams.

    Cons

    Honestly, not a single con comes to mind.

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  2. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    Was the best company I ever worked for - most of the time

    Jul 23, 2020 - Senior Buyer in Princeton, NJ
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Very good culture within Mathematica that made people feel welcome. Free bagels on Fridays. Mostly positive working environment, with people who are willing to help you out when they can. Celebrated everyone's birthdays within our group. Was able to collaborate with other departments on different tasks and projects. Still talk to a lot of people that I worked with at the Princeton office.

    Cons

    Started to really change around 2016 or 2017 - became more corporate as time went on. Offices (at least at the Princeton location) were emptying out because so many people were given the option to work from home. New people were coming in and trying to change the culture into what they wanted it to be, instead of becoming a part of the existing culture. Doing certain things to "have fun" seemed very forced at times, like they were trying to hard. Also on a side note - there was one woman in the IT group who CLEARLY has issues, and is unliked by a lot of people . If you meet her or work with her (if she's still there), you'll know who I'm talking about.

    5 people found this review helpful
  3. 4.0
    Current Employee

    Experience at Mathematica

    Sep 3, 2022 - Research Analyst Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The people at Mathematica are very nice and willing to help on any project. They were also very keen on making sure interns got projects they were interested in and helped them grow in their field.

    Cons

    Can't think of any cons

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  4. 5.0
    Former Intern, less than 1 year

    Excellent Summer Fellowship Program

    Sep 4, 2016 - Summer Fellow 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - The program is very well-designed. Fellows are free to work on our own dissertations, and to shadow Mathematica's wide range of research projects. We also have fellow meetings featuring different topics, such as learning about the job market experience from recent graduated researchers, and meeting with CEO and Chief of Staff. - Extraordinary mentors. My mentors go far and beyond to help me settle in, and to arrange my meetings with other Mathematica researchers. They also meet with me on regular basis and provide highly valuable advice to my research. - Highly collaborative working environment. Researchers from different divisions are happy to meet with me to discuss my work, to give me constructive suggestions, and to share their expertise.

    Cons

    To help me learn about how research is conducted at Mathematica, my mentors invited me to group meetings for projects at different stages. It would be great if at the beginning of the summer, fellows are presented with a list of on-going Mathematica projects, and could choose to join one specific project of their interests for the summer. Following through one project for three months could be a good opportunity for summer fellows to learn more systematically about the research process at Mathematica.

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  5. 3.0
    Current Employee

    Management challenges but good compensation and a commitment to high quality work

    May 28, 2011 -  in Princeton, NJ
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Mathematica produces high quality work and has very smart and talented people that are skilled in their policy areas. The compensation package is competitive and the need for work life balance is appreciated and recognized. I worked as a mid-level researcher at the corporate headquarters so I don’t have firsthand experience in the other divisions or offices.

    Cons

    1) Colleagues are generally nice and supportive but many are quick to judge or make assumptions about different ways of looking, speaking, or thinking. There is no diversity training, discussion of cultural competence, or internal programs to support staff from diverse backgrounds. This is coming from someone who identifies as White but came to Mathematica from an organization that did much more in the area of diversity. 2) The corporate culture is uniform so perspective is limited and thinking outside the box is encouraged but not always welcomed. 3) Mathematica lacks diversity in the health and human services research divisions; there are very few staff from underrepresented racial and ethnic groupsd human services research divisions; there are very few staff from underrepresented racial and ethnic groupsd human services research divimatica lacks diversity in the health and human services research divimatica lacks diversity in the health and human services research divisions; there are very few staff from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups . There is some diversity along the lines of staff from traditionally non-underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and gender. 4) Mathematica has a very top down style in everything it does. Decisions are made at a very high level with little input from lower level employees and when input is collected it’s not clear if or how it influences decision making. 5) Management does not communicate the issues that are being considered by management in a consistent way. Management does a bad job of communicating final decisions. 6) Policies and procedures are often unclear: you can ask two people (even high level managers) the same question and get two very different responses. 7) Mathematica does not do a good job of integrating new staff into projects or the work environment.

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    12 people found this review helpful
  6. 2.0
    Current Employee

    Stable, well-paying job, but lacks creativity and usefulness

    Aug 3, 2011 -  
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Mathematica hires smart people with many skills. At all levels (whether you have Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree), incoming staff are bright, motivated, hard workers, and interested in policy. They usually have a lot of expertise in their specific policy area and are eager when they join the company. Compensation is good. Good enough, in fact, to keep a lot of staff here despite much dissatisfaction with the job. Management appreciates the need to maintain good work-life balance. Except on rare occasions, it is generally accepted that you should not be working nights and weekends. Work hours are predictable. Most managers are flexible about time off. Colleagues are generally nice. The workplace is predictable.

    Cons

    The quality of the work is often lacking. The company’s deliverable reports (publicly available on the website if you want to see examples) seem produced by rote. Their structure is the same regardless of whether the methodology was quantitative or qualitative, and whether you’re on a project studying outcomes for low income kids enrolled in a health program, a nutrition study, a SNAP implementation study, an evaluation of an early childhood program, or a teacher salary study. Often, even words are the same across incredibly varied projects. Methodologically, the company does things a certain way because they’ve already done it that way once (or a hundred times) before and it was successful, so why take a risk doing it differently. Research methods and analyses are not tailored to the problem at hand. Related to the above, the research lacks theory. You can’t produce real research that isn’t *explicitly* guided by theory – it compromises the whole observation process. Also, lack of familiarity with qualitative research compromises quality of those projects. And senior managers in the survey division are not familiar with survey research, which makes it difficult to work for them on a project. Success at the company is highly dependent on how well you conform. See above about reports being identical. This is ironic given that research is about brainstorming, model building, and problem solving, all of which require imagination and creativity. There is no diversity. Despite office locations in cities with diverse ethnic and racial populations, the professional staff (and certainly the company leadership, especially in research) are overwhelmingly white. There is little discussion of cultural competence. Projects that require cultural competency are given short shrift. The company is very hierarchical. This can be a “pro” for some people, but I found it very constraining. The matrix-style organization means people in leadership positions easily evade accountability. I have worked in two organizations prior that were managed in a matrix style, and I had never come across this problem before. At Mathematica, responsibility for management decisions always seems to be someone else’s problem or fault. There is also a culture of blaming staff at the level below yours for project work not done properly (though, granted, this problem is not overwhelming). Mathematica does a terrible job of integrating new staff into projects. There is little understanding that while you are waiting for months to be integrated into the company, you have already begun to look for a new job and no longer feel loyal to the company. You also lose a sense of ownership over your work in this process. And it is disheatening when that lack of work during your first year is held against you at performance review time. At Mathematica, "survey research" means managing survey operations, not actual research. This totally changes the nature of the job! Applicants should be aware and ask many *specific* questions about the nature of the tasks during the interview process. If you're a survey researcher with a publication record, you will quickly find yourself going backwards here in terms of skill development, career development, and publication opportunities. You no longer have opportunity to conduct research, play with data, or use your stats background. The development of your CV suddenly halts. The survey research job is basically a glorified secretarial job. In terms of methods, Mathematica is not at all on the cutting edge. It often plays laggard to new developments in the field of survey research.

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    10 people found this review helpful
  7. 2.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Good pay, predictable work, poor work environment

    May 24, 2012 - Researcher II 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    1) Every employee, besides secretaries, gets their own office 2) Mathematica has a good reputation in the field 3) The pay and benefits are probably better than average for these types of firms 4) Mathematica gets good contracts and interesting work

    Cons

    1) Limited professional development opportunities, especially for junior staff 2) Co-workers are competent but not self-reflective about their craft. 3) The culture is predictable (a plus to some) but bland. I've worked places with a much more interesting, dynamic, and diverse corporate culture. 4) Some staff in the human services research division lack professionalism. Personal relationships often drive business decisions and staff are treated differently based upon their personal relationships. 5) Mathematica does not hold staff, especially senior staff and project directors, accountable to expectations and policies. 6) There's a perception that the 'Mathematica way' is the best way; there is a lot of pressure to conform. 7) As other reviewers have mentioned, Mathematica's commitment to diversity, especially in the human services research division, is suspect at best. I'd encourage you to read what others have said here on Glassdoor about diversity because I think they are correct.

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    11 people found this review helpful
  8. 3.0
    Current Employee

    Poor Management

    Oct 1, 2014 -  
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting, important work. They strive to produce quality data. Some very dedicated co workers. Nice offices. Opportunities to publish and present at conferences.

    Cons

    Poor management. As stated in other reviews, the management is extremely hierarchical. There is a lot of favoritism. New ideas and methods are often viewed with suspicion and sometimes aggressively opposed. They tout 'One Mathematica ' but treat the staff at the Survey Operations Center like second class citizens.

    Continue reading
    8 people found this review helpful
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