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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

PhD student position in verification, 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. Other partners in the project are Imperial College, UK; Realeyes, Estonia; ARM,
UK; RTWH Aachen, Germany, Monoidics, UK, ENS, France and Rightware, Finland.

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 patterns 

*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 Java/C/C++).

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 

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

*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 (
- The CARP project:

*Application: *

Please submit your application before 15th of November, 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.