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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

PhD student position in formal methods, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS

University of Twente, (Enschede - The Netherlands)

The research group Formal Methods and Tools at the University of Twente
(Enschede - The Netherlands) is looking for

a PhD researcher (4 years)

to work on the EU Strep project CARP (Correct and Efficient Accelerator
Programming), funded by the European Union.

Within the context of the CARP project, the PhD student will work in
particular on:

- requirements analysis for accelerator programming
- the formal semantics of an intermediate programming language for
describing accelerator algorithms
- developing logic-based verification techniques for this intermediate
programming language, taking into account common accelerator programming

Our research:

In recent years, massively parallel accelerator processors, primarily
GPUs, have become widely available to end-users. Accelerators offer
tremendous compute power at a low cost, and tasks such as media
processing, simulation, medical imaging and eye-tracking can be
accelerated to beat CPU performance by orders of magnitude. Performance
is gained in energy efficiency and execution speed, allowing intensive
media processing software to run in low-power consumer devices.

Accelerators present a serious challenge for software developers. A
system may contain one or more of the plethora of accelerators on the
market, with many more products anticipated in the immediate future.
Applications must exhibit portable correctness, operating correctly on
any configuration of accelerators, and portable performance, exploiting
processing power and energy efficiency offered by a wide range of devices.

The overall aims of CARP are to design techniques and tools for correct
and efficient accelerator programming:
- Novel & attractive methods for constructing system-independent
accelerator programs
- Advanced code generation techniques to produce highly optimised
system-specific code from system-independent programs
- Scalable static techniques for analysing system-independent and
system-specific accelerator programs, both qualitatively and quantitatively

The PhD candidate we are looking for is expected to work on the
development of tools and techniques for correct accelerator programming.
Within the consortium an intermediate programming language for
accelerator programming will be developed. The PhD candidate is expected
to develop a solid formal semantics for this language, together with
appropriate verification techniques. An important focus of the
verification work is that it will focus on bug finding, without too many
false negatives, rather than on developing full correctness proofs. For
the verification, it is expected that the logical basis will be
permission-based concurrent separation logic. Sometimes the intermediate
programming language will not provide the required efficiency, and
programs will be written in a low-level language as OpenCL. Therefore,
the verification techniques also will be extended to this lower level.

We seek:
An enthusiastic PhD student with an MSc degree in Computer Science (or
an equivalent qualification). The candidate should have a thorough
theoretical background, a demonstrable interest in program semantics and
verification, and some knowledge about multithreaded programming (in

We are looking for a researcher with an independent mind who is willing
to cooperate in our team. It is understood that he or she works on the
topics listed above, and contributes to the expected deliverables for
the project.  Further we ask for good communicative and good
collaboration skills. Candidates should be prepared to prove their
English language skills.

As a research outcome we expect publications, (prototype) tools, and a
PhD thesis.

Starting date of the position: December 1st, 2011, or as soon as
possible thereafter.

We offer:
- A PhD position for four years (38 hrs/week)
- A stimulating scientific environment
- Gross salary ranging from EUR 2042 tot E 2612 (4th yr) per month
- Holiday allowance (8%), end-of-year bonus (8.3%)
- Good secondary conditions, in accordance with the collective labour
agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities
- A green Campus with lots of sports facilities

You will be a member of the Twente Graduate School in the research
programme 'Dependable and Secure Computing' under the leadership of Prof
Dr Jaco van de Pol. The research programme offers advanced courses to
deepen your scientific knowledge in preparation to your future career
(within or outside academia). We provide our PhD students with excellent
opportunities to broaden their personal knowledge and to professionalise
their academic skills. Participation in national and/or international
summer schools and workshops, and visits to other prestigious research
institutes and universities can be part of this programme.

Further information:
- FMT group:
- Dr. Marieke Huisman (

Please submit your application before 1st of July, 2011 via  We strongly encourage interested
applicants to send in their applications as soon as possible.

Your application should consist of:

- a cover letter (explain your specific interest and qualifications);
- a full Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses + marks, and
a short description of your MSc thesis; and
- references (contact information) of two scientific staff members.