Research Scientist & Engineer, PhD

Pittsburgh, PA

Develop next-generation technology that improves how millions of people learn.

Duolingo scientists and engineers have reinvented how more than 150 million people around the world are learning. We are looking for talented people who bring fresh, interdisciplinary ideas to our products... with a particular focus on machine learning, natural language processing, human-computer interaction, and educational data mining.

As part of the research & development group, you will work on specific projects critical to Duolingo’s needs, with opportunities to collaborate across teams and take on new projects as our fast-paced startup grows and evolves. Examples include measuring, predicting, and improving outcomes for learning, social engagement, or revenue. We need our technical staff to be versatile, display leadership qualities, and be enthusiastic about how to tackle new problems across the entire product line as we continue to innovate.


    • Generate ideas for product changes that improve key metrics
    • Analyze data using billions of Duolingo student activity logs
    • Synthesize ideas from diverse research areas like computer science, linguistics, econometrics, and cognitive psychology to advance the state of the art
    • Work with other world-class engineers and designers to prototype and test your ideas
    • Develop, release, and maintain services based on your findings
    • Keep up with the field by publishing and attending relevant conferences


    • A PhD in computer science or relevant technical field
    • Programming experience in one or more of the following: Python, Java, C++
    • Familiarity with machine learning and statistics
    • Excellent communication skills

Exceptional candidates will have

    • Experience in interdisciplinary research areas such as natural language processing, human-computer interaction, educational data mining, etc.
    • Good understanding of statistical analysis; experience with statistical packages such as R, MATLAB, etc.
    • A publication record in top journals or conferences
    • Experience with SQL and working with data warehouses
    • Familiarity with AWS cloud computing or front-end coding (web, Android, or iOS)
    • Familiarity with linguistics, econometrics, or cognitive psychology a big plus!

Duolingo is the world's largest online language learning service. Our apps were selected by Apple as "iPhone App of the Year" and by Google as “Best of the Best for Android.". Unlike other online education platforms, Duolingo is a completely digital experience meaning it requires constant interaction and is native to computers / mobile platforms.We're funded by some of the world's most prestigious venture capital firms, the investors behind Google, Twitter and Tumblr. Duolingo is a spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science. Luis von Ahn, co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, is a MacArthur fellow, Carnegie Mellon University professor, and the inventor of CAPTCHA.