New Ph.D. Student Positions ULTRA group (Useful Logics, Types, Rewriting, and their Automation) Computer Science Department School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, Scotland, UK The HTML version of this posting can be found at: http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~jbw/phd-student-ad.html Description of the Positions Changes since our announcement earlier this year: (1) Additional positions have become available. (2) Additional possible research topics have been included. Several new Ph.D. student positions are available in areas involving research into the theories of logics, types, and rewriting and their applications in reasoning about computer systems and mathematics. The positions are at Heriot-Watt University[1] in the ULTRA (Useful Logics, Types, Rewriting, and their Automation) group[2] in the Computer Science Department[3] in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences[4] at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh[5], the capital of Scotland[6]. The Ph.D. supervisors will be either Fairouz Kamareddine[7] and/or Joe Wells[8]. Available research topics include work on any of the following: * The Poly*[9] polymorphic retargetable type system for process and mobility calculi, aimed at the goal of supporting modular reasoning and compositional analysis for systems involving mobility and concurrency (such systems can include combinations of hardware, software, people, etc.). * The MathLang[10] framework for computerizing mathematical text. MathLang tries to keep the computerization as close as possible to the mathematician's text while at the same time providing a formal structure supporting mathematical software systems (e.g., computer algebra systems, theorem provers, etc.). Possible MathLang work includes: + Building libraries of computerized books of mathematics. + Developing bridges between MathLang and proof checkers (e.g., Coq, Mizar, Isabelle, OMEGA, etc.). * The idea of Expansion[11] as a fundamental organizing principle for obtaining flexible and compositional polymorphic type inference for computer software. * The use of Type Error Slicing[12] as a superior user interface for explaining type errors to users of new programming languages with advanced (and complicated!) type systems. * Any other reasonable idea which builds on work we have already started, including both theory and implementation. In general, we are interested in the design and implementation of useful and elegant type systems and logics which can reason about or extend existing programming languages and theorem provers. It will be helpful to have interests (or possibly even competence) in 1 or more of the following background knowledge areas: * Formal calculi for reasoning about the meaning of systems (including computer programs) such as the lambda calculus, the pi calculus, and the numerous other calculi they have inspired that deal with aspects of concurrency, mobility, modules, components, linking & loading, resource usage, staged compilation, classes & objects, etc. * Methods for analyzing specific systems (e.g., specific computer programs) represented by individual terms of such formal calculi. * Formal calculi for representing mathematical texts, including those aspects related to how actual practicing mathematicians (i.e., not mathematical logicians) construct and present mathematics. * Type systems for the kinds of formal calculi mentioned above, especially those with features similar to intersection, union, dependent, and singleton types. * Rewriting theories, especially those with higher-order features, such as the lambda calculus, higher-order rewriting (HOR), systems with explicit substitutions, higher-order abstract syntax (HOAS), combinators, etc. * Constraint solving and unification. * Theorem provers and mathematical reasoning tools. * Programming languages especially suitable for use for any of the above. The usual duration of Ph.D. studentships in the UK is 3 years. The positions are available immediately. The Ph.D. students will probably collaborate on 1 or more of the following activities. The specific activities will be matched to their strengths. * Designing languages/calculi for representing various aspects of such things as computer programs, concurrent systems, mathematical texts, etc. * Developing theories for reasoning about such a calculus as a whole as well as individual terms written in the calculus. * Developing new type systems for such calculi with useful properties. * Developing analysis algorithms for the new type systems. * Proving various properties of the above items. * Making software systems incorporating the new calculi, theories, type systems, and algorithms. * Publishing scientific reports on the work done. References 1. http://www.hw.ac.uk/ 2. http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/ultra/ 3. http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/cs/ 4. http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/ 5. http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/home/tour/edintour.html 6. http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/home/scotland/scotland.html 7. http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~fairouz/ 8. http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~jbw/ 9. http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/DART/software/PolyStar/ 10. http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~fairouz/talks/talks2005/mathlang-general-talk.pdf 11. http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~jbw/papers/#Car+Wel:ITRS-2004 12. http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/ultra/compositional-analysis/type-error-slicing/ Contact Information Inquiries can be directed to Fairouz Kamareddine at: web: http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~fairouz/ e-mail: fairouz@macs.hw.ac.uk fax: +44 131 451 8179 Inquiries can be directed to Joe Wells at: web: http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~jbw/ e-mail: jbw@macs.hw.ac.uk fax: +44 131 451 8179 Applying for the Positions Please contact Fairouz Kamareddine and Joe Wells for full details on how to apply. We will want to see your curriculum vitae, as well as 2 (or even 3 if possible) recommendation letters (preferably written by people familiar with your academic and research abilities, but a letter from an industry source is better than no letter at all). We will expect recommendation letters to be sent directly by their authors and will need contact details for the letter authors. You should probably already have a master's degree or equivalent experience. It can be helpful to write a brief statement about why your research interests are a good match for the ULTRA group. If you already have research publications (this is not required), it can be helpful to send 1 (or even 2) of them. There will also be official Heriot-Watt application forms to fill out. Please convert Microsoft Word documents to a public, standard, and non-proprietary format. PDF is good, plain text is good, LaTeX is okay (if using only standard packages), HTML is okay (if not generated by Microsoft Word), PostScript is sometimes okay, Open Document format is undesirable, Microsoft Word format will not be accepted. For your information, it is helpful if writers of recommendation letters provide details of: * the capacity in which they know the candidate, * the candidate's skills, abilities and performance in relation to the post applied for, * the candidate's record including details of the candidate's role(s) and service dates, * their view of the candidate's suitability for the post as a whole, in light of the attached details and their knowledge of the candidate's experience and abilities, * any further relevant information which would assist us in choosing the right candidate.