1. Would you downvote/close posts of extremely low quality by SE standards, when it's not spam or in violation of the CoC, or would you
use comments to give the user a chance to improve the post themselves
There is no such thing as a bad question. However, questions may be out of scope or just poorly communicated. If it is the latter, as a moderator one should work with the OP to improve the clarity and quality of the question. Downvoting as a first response could have a negative chain-reaction and result in scaring the OP away from our community. It is especially important to guide and provide constructive feedback to new users. This can and should be done with comments, and the objective is always to be constructive and supportive.
2. What is your background in Matter Modeling?
I will begin my PhD in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry at UC San Diego this fall. There, I will spend my deriving models and developing computational frameworks to push the limits of computer simulations of matter, in the gas and condensed phases. I will be working on the development of Many-body MD models, Quantum Dyanamical simulations, and the application of Electronic Structure methods such as DFT to model complex materials such as hybrid (org/inorg) perovskites, MOFs, Quantum materials, etc.
The latter is the area in which I have been trained, as I have experience from UNAM with Tight-Binding models and periodic DFT modeling of bulk and 2D-materials. My experience with Tight-Binding and effective Hamiltonian approaches is mathematical derivation and numerical programming to model band structures. As far as DFT, I have experience with both all-electron and pseudopotential techniques to study bulk and quantum materials. Examples of these are alkali-ion transition metal chalcogenides, and two-dimensional magnets.
As far as technical skills or programming, I have experience with bash, python, GNUplot, Wolfram Mathematica and have somewhat knowledge of MPI and SLURM. No C++ yet, but that will change soon.
As far as community involvement, I spent a great portion of my community service hours in college helping to organize department seminars and workshops at my university. Also, I have a little fun project I started called the "Computational Condensed Matter Club" (CCMC). At a very local level, I have focused on popularizing computational matter modeling among students, and online the CCMC serves as a news outlet in the fields. Field leaders follow and have endorsed us on twitter!
3.How much time per day do you have available to dedicate to this site?
I commit to dedicate between 2 and 4 hours a day to the site.
Currently, I find myself at an interface in which I am finishing undergrad, working on my thesis, reviewing articles, getting involved with my lab for my PhD, training, and working in Tech Support for 40 hours a week. So… what I am saying with this is that I still average between 0.5 and 1.0 hr a day on our SE, but as I will now be funded to pursue my passions in theoretical chemistry, I will have more time (drop the 40 hr shift I have now!) on my hands to best serve our community.
4. Would you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, don't make a post look bad, and are not seen as a back-and-forth
discussion between only 2 or 3 people leading to a big "wall-of-text"?
When you delete comments that are not in violation of the CoC, how
much time would you give the authors (after warning them) to save
their comments or delete them by themselves?
The first approach in a situation described in the question is to contact the authors and work with them. Given that we are all busy folk here, I believe 36 hours should be sufficient before the moderator decides to take any action. That being said, the comments may be deleted if they no longer contribute to the improvement of the Q / A nor have a negative impact. Some short and sweet comments sometimes contribute to great answers, but long walls of text should be avoided at all times.
5. What is the longest time you would see yourself taking, to respond to a message from a 7-day suspended user, or for a fairly serious flag
on a hot and highly popular question?
Eighteen hours (18 hr).
6.As a moderator, would you tend to make your own decisions, or do you prefer to go with what the community wants? For example, would you
delete a question that does not violate the CoC, without waiting for
the community to vote for its deletion? As a moderator, how would you
treat questions where there is a borderline consensus on whether it is
on-topic or not? What would be your threshold for mod-hammering it
The scope of our site is broader than the expertise of any of it's individual members, and that is what makes it a great community. There is much to exchange and therefore, the community, it's reactions and it's desires should be taken into account at all times, at all cost. Leadership is required in critical moments, however even then leadership must manifest itself in benefit of the community.
7.In your mind, what is the role of a moderator?
A moderator is someone who serves the community and works to ensure that the values and mission of said community are met. This requires keeping a close eye on anomalies, analyzing adverse situations and preventing them from harming the community. A moderator will need to evaluate options and make decisions that will affect other members and therefore must be firm enough to make touch calls when needed. When violations of the Code of Conduct are detected it is the moderators who must step in and take whatever action be necessary. Additionally, a moderator is there to maintain the site and support its members. It is crucially important to keep in mind that we are all humans, and we must treat each-other with respect and dignity, when taking part in interventions. Empathy is a quality that we must show our members, i.e. from first-time users (and modelers!) to expert developers and users.