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Facebook Research Intern — Crypto and Internet Technology, Statistics & Privacy (PhD) in Des Moines, Iowa


Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Through our family of apps and services, we're building a different kind of company that connects billions of people around the world, gives them ways to share what matters most to them, and helps bring people closer together. Whether we're creating new products or helping a small business expand its reach, people at Facebook are builders at heart. Our global teams are constantly iterating, solving problems, and working together to empower people around the world to build community and connect in meaningful ways. Together, we can help people build stronger communities - we're just getting started.


Our Statistics & Privacy team focuses on establishing step-change improvements to advance Facebook’s long-term business growth. The team's expertise spans many domains including statistics, machine learning, economics, and cryptography. We develop methodologies, design and prototype solutions, and partner with our engineering colleagues to launch these solutions such that millions of advertisers can benefit.We seek Research Interns to identify new opportunities and help build scientifically rigorous systems focused on enhancing technological guarantees for consumer privacy while simultaneously expanding the efficiency of Facebook’s market-leading advertising systems. Challenges and intern projects include leveraging privacy-enhancing technologies such as multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, federated analytics, and differential privacy to develop privacy-focused advertising solutions (private record-linkage, fraud prevention, experimentation platforms, and collaborative inference) — all while maintaining performance at massive scale.

Required Skills:

  1. Assess potential opportunities and execute world-class research associated with your area of scientific expertise

  2. Design and prototype new algorithms, optimization methods, and system architectures to advance our long-term priorities

  3. Establish approaches to rigorously assess validity and relative performance of new technologies or strategies

  4. Build cross-functional collaborations with AI, Engineering, Product and Analytics teams to shape roadmaps with a balance of scientific rigor and strategic considerations

  5. Learn new tools, systems, and programming languages quickly as required by the particular project you are working on

  6. Apply communication skills to engage diverse audiences on technical topics and nuanced insights

  7. Develop patent applications, white papers, and publications that are broadly appealing and accessible beyond a core scientific audience. Publish research results in top-tier journals and at leading conferences

Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Pursuing a PhD in computer science, electrical engineering, statistics, mathematics, or a related field

  2. Proficiency designing and implementing analytical and/or algorithmic solutions, tailored to particular business needs and tested on large data sets

  3. Proficiency in C-family (e.g., C++, Rust, Go), Python, or similar language

  4. Experience communicating analysis and establishing confidence among audiences who do not share your disciplinary background or training

  5. Expertise with at least one of the following: Secure Multi-Party Computation techniques, Differential Privacy, Federated Learning or Federated Analytics, Homomorphic Encryption, Trusted Execution Environments

  6. Proven track record of innovation

  7. Must obtain work authorization in country of employment at the time of hire, and maintain ongoing work authorization during employment

  8. Must be currently enrolled in a full-time degree program and returning to the program after the completion of the internship/co-op

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Expertise on one or more of the following core privacy/security concepts:

  2. Design and analysis of cryptographic algorithms and protocols, and/or their application to data protection and privacy, authentication, payments, or digital advertising

  3. Experience in privacy and data protection systems architecture and experience developing technical solutions to secure personal data across data infrastructures

  4. Web security (SQL injection, XSS, side channel attacks)

  5. Web services technologies (REST, SOAP, HTTP, JSON) and their application in relation to browser cookies and mobile device identifiers

Industry: Internet

Equal Opportunity: Facebook is proud to be an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action 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. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local law. Facebook is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities in our recruiting process. If you need any assistance or accommodations due to a disability, please let us know at