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KTH / EECS / TCS / Jakob Nordström / Open positions

Open Positions

I am in the process of moving to the Department of Computer Science (DIKU) at the University of Copenhagen with a part-time affiliation at the Department of Computer Science at Lund University. For now, my webpages still reside at KTH, and are being updated here, but this should change during 2020.

This also means that all openings mentioned below are either in Copenhagen or in Lund. The research group is active at both universities, and all members have offices in both Copenhagen and Lund.

Please feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about any of the openings advertised (or not advertised) on this webpage.

Note, however that we cannot accept applications via e-mail—we can only hire for currently open positions as advertised in official announcements, and all applications must be made via the official recruitment system (as per instructions in the announcements).

Postdoc Positions

I am looking for a postdoc in SAT solving or combinatorial optimization more broadly. The application deadline is February 10, 2020.

Also, I am looking for postdocs in theoretical computer science. The application deadline is February 10, 2020.

All postdoc positions in my research group are fully funded positions (including travel money) with an internationally competitive salary.

If you instead want to start collecting grants to list on your CV, you can also try to apply for an Individual Fellowship within the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions program to come and do a postdoc with me. The last call for this program had a deadline of September 11, 2019, but there should presumably be a new call in 2020. I would particularly welcome applications from strong candidates who want to work in proof complexity, SAT solving, integer linear programming, constraint programming, or some mix of these areas. Please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss this.

PhD Positions

I am looking for a PhD student in SAT solving or combinatorial optimization more broadly. The application deadline is February 10, 2020.

Also, I am looking for PhD students in theoretical computer science. The application deadline is February 10, 2020.

All PhD positions in my research group are fully funded positions with an internationally very competitive salary.

Another, not mutually exclusive opportunity, is to apply for a TALENT PhD position at the University of Copenhagen. This is a fairly open call for a range of topics that includes computer science in general, and could well involve computational complexity theory, SAT solving, constraint programming, and/or MIP solving in particular. The application deadline is February 13, 2020, and the positions are meant to start in August 2020.

More detailed information can be found at di.ku.dk/english/about/vacancies/talent-25-phd-positions or talent.ku.dk, but briefly, the objective of the TALENT programme is to facilitate early independence of the PhD students and fast-track their careers in academia or industry. TALENT is a unique programme by requesting, as part of the application procedure, the applicants to devise their own interdisciplinary PhD project.

In EU Horizon 2020, the University of Copenhagen is number two in Europe when it comes to attracting Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions, and Faculty of Science researchers have received 38 grants from the European Research Council within this program. The Faculty of Science is also host to 6 Centers of Excellence financed by the Danish National Research Foundation, and the Basic Algorithms Research Copenhagen (BARC) center (barc.ku.dk) at the CS department is a world-leading centre for fundamental algorithmic research. The PhD School at the Faculty of Science, in which the TALENT PhD students will be enrolled, has over 1,000 students, out of which more than half come from outside of Denmark, originating from 71 different countries.

Master's Thesis Projects

I would be interested in supervising one or several Master's students for thesis work within the framework of the research project briefly outlined below. Please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail to get more detailed information. (Note, however, that these projects are intended for students who are geographically close and can work on their thesis in the Copenhagen-Lund area. There is no separate funding available to support foreign students to come to Denmark or Sweden.)

Formula Hardness and SAT Solving

Given a logic formula, is it possible to set its variables in such a way that the formula is satisfied? This simple looking problem has been on centre stage in theoretical computer science ever since the field got started some 40 years ago, and was recently named as one of the Millennium Prize Problems comprising some of the major challenges for all of mathematics in the 21st century. Today, students of computer science worldwide learn in their introductory theory courses that this so-called SAT problem is what is known as NP-complete, and therefore is very, very hard in practice.

Interestingly, practioners take a somewhat different view. During the last 20 years, SAT has developed from a problem of mainly theoretical interest into a practical approach for solving applied problems. Enormous progress in performance has led to satisfiability algorithms, so-called SAT solvers, becoming a standard tool for solving real-world problems with millions of variables in the context of, for example, hardware and software verification, electronic design automation, artificial intelligence, operations research, and bioinformatics. The theory of NP-completeness did not quite go away, however — for all these SAT solvers there are also known examples of tiny formulas with just a couple of hundred variables that make them fail miserably.

How can modern SAT solvers be so good in practice? How can one know for a particular formula whether it will be hard or easy? Can we extend SAT solvers with new methods of reasoning to make them potentially even more powerful than the best solvers today? These are the kind of questions we want to study in these Master's thesis projects, using a mix of theoretical research and practical experiments.

The projects are intended to give students a feel for what research in theoretical computer science is like, while at the same time focusing on concrete problems of practical importance. Apart from the Master's thesis itself, the intention is that the results will also be published as (parts of) papers in leading scientific conferences and/or journals in the field (in the framework of the research outlined here).

Published by: Jakob Nordström <jakobn~at-sign~kth~dot~se>
Updated 2020-01-13