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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

PhD student position in proof complexity, Stockholm, SWEDEN

The Theory Group at KTH Royal Institute of Technology invites applications
for a PhD position in Theoretical Computer Science with a focus on proof
complexity and connections to SAT solving.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology is the leading technical university in
Sweden, with education and research spanning from natural sciences to all
branches of engineering including architecture, industrial management and
urban planning. The Theory Group at KTH (
offers a strong research environment covering a wide range of research
topics such as complexity theory and approximation algorithms, computer
and network security, cryptography, formal methods and natural language
processing. The group has a consistent track record of publishing
regularly in the leading theoretical computer science conferences and
journals worldwide, and the research conducted here has attracted numerous
international awards and grants in recent years.

We are seeking a PhD student for the research project "Understanding the
Hardness of Theorem Proving" in the area of proof complexity with
connections to SAT solving.

Proving formulas in propositional logic is a problem of immense importance
both theoretically and practically. On the one hand, this computational
task is believed to be intractable in general, and deciding whether this
is so is one of the famous million dollar Millennium Problems (the P vs.
NP problem). On the other hand, today so-called SAT solvers are routinely
used to solve large-scale real-world problem instances with millions of

Proof complexity studies formal systems for reasoning about logic
formulas. This field has deep connections to fundamental questions in
computational complexity, but another important motivation is the
connection to SAT solving. All SAT solvers use some kind of method or
system in which proofs are searched for, and proof complexity analyses the
potential and limitations of such proof systems (and thereby of the
algorithms using them).

This project aims to advance the frontiers of proof complexity, and to
leverage this research to shed light on questions related to SAT solving.
The project is led by Jakob Nordstrm ( and
is financed by a Breakthrough Research Grant from the Swedish Research
Council and a Starting Independent Researcher Grant from the European
Research Council. The group currently consists of one postdoctoral
researcher and two PhD students (in addition to the project leader).
Travel funding is included, and the group also receives short-term and
long-term visitors on a regular basis.

This is a full-time employed position, normally for five years including
20% teaching, with salary according to KTH PhD student regulations
(internationally very competitive). The successful candidate is expected
to start at the latest in August 2013, although this is to some extent

The application deadline is January 14, 2013. See for the full,
formal announcement with more information and instructions for how to
apply. Informal enquiries about this position are welcome and may be sent
to Jakob Nordstrom.