Job Posting

Eric Uthus (uthus@badlands.NoDak.edu)
Fri, 8 Mar 1996 23:28:01 +0100


POSITION:

Postdoctoral Research Associate in nutrition, mathematics,
engineering, or computer science

LOCATION:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES:

The incumbent will develop new procedures involving novel
mathematical or computer approaches such as fuzzy logic, neural
networks, and other cognitive methods that could be used for
deriving Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs). An underlying
concern with derivation of the RDAs, is that an element of
judgment is required when deciding which data to use and how the
data should be used. This project would determine methods, which
if were employed, would make the RDA process more objective. The
incumbent would use existing data to derive a systematic approach
for derivation of RDAs for mineral elements. Work could be
theoretical, but the goal is to establish a mechanism and working
model to make the RDAs more objective and more informative.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:

Knowledge of mathematics, specifically fuzzy logic, neural nets,
and other cognitive methods. Experience in computer programming.
Knowledge of nutrition is desirable but not necessary.

PROJECT FOCUS:

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) are defined as the intakes of
essential nutrients that, on the basis of scientific knowledge,
are judged by the Food and Nutrition Board to be adequate to meet
the known nutrient needs of practically all healthy persons.
RDAs are used to plan and procure food supplies for population
subgroups; to interpret food consumption records of individuals
and populations; to establish standards for food assistant
programs; to evaluate the adequacy of food supplies in meeting
nutritional needs; to design nutrition education programs; to
develop new products in industry; and to establish guidelines for
nutrition labeling of foods.

An underlying concern with derivation of the RDAs, is that an
element of judgment is required when deciding which data to use
and how the data should be used. This project would determine
methods to make the RDA process more objective. The incumbent
would use existing data and novel mathematical/computer
approaches such as fuzzy logic, neural networks, and other
cognitive methods to derive RDAs for mineral elements.

RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT:

The Grand Forks Human Nutrition Center is one of five human
nutrition research centers operated by the ARS. The mission of
the Center is to determine nutrient needs for humans and to
provide information concerning healthy food choices and a
healthful food supply. Emphasis is on determining mineral
requirements that prevent disease and promote health and optimal
function throughout life. The 80,000 square foot facility
contains a laboratory for each of 13 senior scientists, a 14-bed
metabolic ward for long-term, live-in human volunteer studies,
and a separate area for community-based human studies. The
Center is located near the campus of the University of North
Dakota where access to a Cray J-90 computer is available, if
needed.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:

Eric Uthus, Ph.D.
USDA, ARS, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center
PO Box 9034
Grand Forks, ND 58202
701-795-8382
701-795-8395 (FAX)
uthus@badlands.nodak.edu