[isabelle] New PhD Studentships: Logics, Types, & Rewriting for Software & Mathematics @ Heriot-Watt, Scotland, UK
New Ph.D. Student Positions
ULTRA group (Useful Logics, Types, Rewriting, and their Automation)
Computer Science Department
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
The HTML version of this posting can be found at:
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 in the ULTRA (Useful
Logics, Types, Rewriting, and their Automation) group in the
Computer Science Department in the School of Mathematical and
Computer Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, the
capital of Scotland. The Ph.D. supervisors will be either Fairouz
Kamareddine and/or Joe Wells.
Available research topics include work on any of the following:
* The Poly* 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 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
+ 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 as a fundamental organizing principle for
obtaining flexible and compositional polymorphic type inference for
* The use of Type Error Slicing 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 &
* 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),
* Constraint solving and unification.
* Theorem provers and mathematical reasoning tools.
* Programming languages especially suitable for use for any of the
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
* Designing languages/calculi for representing various aspects of
such things as computer programs, concurrent systems, mathematical
* 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
* 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.
Inquiries can be directed to Fairouz Kamareddine at:
e-mail: fairouz at macs.hw.ac.uk
fax: +44 131 451 8179
Inquiries can be directed to Joe Wells at:
e-mail: jbw at 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
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.
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