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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

Research Assistant for UKRC project SerenA -the Serendipity Arena, heriot-Watt, Edinburgh


Research Assistant for UKRC project SerenA -the Serendipity Arena
MACS, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Research Assistant, starting 1 Jun 2010


SerenA -the Serendipity Arena - is a project funded by UKRC to investigate the generation of serendipitous connections in research and is due to start in June 2010 for 36 months. It has 6 University partners - Heriot-Watt, Dundee, Lancaster, Nottingham, UCL and Goldsmiths. It aims to design and implement a Serendipity Arena, called SerenA, that will proactively search information available in a users documents and on the Web to identify relevant knowledge and connections related to their work and their environment. 
  The aim is not merely to search for shared keywords, like existing systems, but to use state-of-the-art technology from automated reasoning and computational creativity to attempt to identify things that users did not know they needed to know, using more advanced search based on metaphor and analogy. SerenA will be implemented as a physical presence in the working environment, and via personal technology, such as smartphones. This will allow it, for example, to suggest that people who don't know each other might find some value in meeting (perhaps because they share an interest in particular aspects of the academic world), or to suggest a paper omitted by keyword search in a particular e-journal (because it has connections with other things of interest to the user who is searching).

Research assistant Grade 7/spine pt 28 28,983 /annum. 

Required: Experience and degree-level or higher qualification containing a substantial element of AI and extensive programming in C++ or Java, ability to work well in a group and without supervision, good problem-solving skills and practical software development skills, strong written and verbal communication skills. The postholder must be willing to travel to collaborate on other partner sites and it is desirable that they have some familiarity with the research themes of the project, experience of independent research and publications, and experience of programming on mobile platforms such as Google Android.

Computer Science at Heriot-Watt is a strong research based division of the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, graded at 4A in the 2001 UK RAE, and with active research groups in dependable systems, data and knowledge-based systems, vision, interactive systems and graphics environments, and logic. 

For further information contact Prof Ruth Aylett, ruth@macs.hw.ac.uk, http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/, 0131-451-4189 

Application forms will be available shortly via http://www.hw.ac.uk/hr/v_research.php