[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
                           Heriot-Watt University
                           Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

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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[1] in the ULTRA (Useful
   Logics, Types, Rewriting, and their Automation) group[2] in the
   Computer Science Department[3] in the School of Mathematical and
   Computer Sciences[4] at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh[5], the
   capital of Scotland[6].  The Ph.D. supervisors will be either Fairouz
   Kamareddine[7] and/or Joe Wells[8].

   Available research topics include work on any of the following:

     * The Poly*[9] 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[10] 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[11] as a fundamental organizing principle for
       obtaining flexible and compositional polymorphic type inference for
       computer software.
     * The use of Type Error Slicing[12] 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 &
       objects, etc.
     * 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),
       combinators, etc.
     * 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
       texts, etc.
     * 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.


   1.  http://www.hw.ac.uk/
   2.  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/ultra/
   3.  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/cs/
   4.  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/
   5.  http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/home/tour/edintour.html
   6.  http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/home/scotland/scotland.html
   7.  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~fairouz/
   8.  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~jbw/
   9.  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/DART/software/PolyStar/
  10.  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~fairouz/talks/talks2005/mathlang-general-talk.pdf
  11.  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~jbw/papers/#Car+Wel:ITRS-2004
  12.  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/ultra/compositional-analysis/type-error-slicing/

Contact Information

   Inquiries can be directed to Fairouz Kamareddine at:

   web:    http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~fairouz/
   e-mail: fairouz at macs.hw.ac.uk
   fax:    +44 131 451 8179

   Inquiries can be directed to Joe Wells at:

   web:    http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~jbw/
   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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