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KTH / CSC / Theory Group / Jakob Nordström / Open positions / PhD position D-2016-0833

The positions below are no longer open. This webpage is kept for archival purposes only.

PhD Position in Computer Science Focused on SAT Solving

The Theoretical Computer Science Group at KTH Royal Institute of Technology invites applications for a PhD position in computer science focused on SAT solving.

Job Description

The Theoretical Computer Science Group at KTH (www.csc.kth.se/tcs) offers a strong research environment spanning a wide range of research topics such as complexity theory and approximation algorithms, computer and network security, cryptography, formal methods and natural language processing. We have one of Europe's most prominent groups in algorithms and complexity theory, and the research conducted here has attracted numerous international awards and grants in recent years.

The PhD student will be working in the research group of Jakob Nordström. Much of the activities of this research group revolve around the themes of efficient algorithms for satisfiability in propositional logic (SAT solving) and lower bounds on the efficiency of methods for reasoning about SAT (proof complexity). On the practical side, one problem of interest is to gain a better understanding of, and improve, the performance of current state-of-the-art SAT solvers — in particular, solvers using conflict-driven clause learning (CDCL). We are even more interested in exploring new techniques that hold out the theoretical possibility of exponential improvements over CDCL, but seem hard to implement efficiently in practice, e,g, algebraic methods such as Gröbner bases or geometric methods such as pseudo-Boolean solving (basically 0/1 integer linear programming).

The research project is financed by a Breakthrough Research Grant from the Swedish Research Council and a Starting Independent Researcher Grant from the European Research Council. A more detailed description of the project can be found at www.csc.kth.se/~jakobn/project-proofcplx. The group currently consists of two postdoctoral researchers and four PhD students (in addition to the PI). There are also several other professors, postdocs, and PhD students in the TCS Group working on other aspects of algorithms and computational complexity, and so this is a unique opportunity to explore new connections between theoretical and practical areas of computer science within a vibrant and growing research environment.

This is a four-year full-time employed position, but PhD positions usually (though not necessarily) include 20% teaching, in which case they are prolonged for one more year. The successful candidate is expected to start at the latest in August-September 2017, although this is to some extent negotiable. The position is fully funded and comes with a competitive salary.


To be eligible to apply for this position, applicants need to have or be close to obtaining either an MSc degree or a 4-year BSc degree. A suitable background is, for instance, a degree in computer science, mathematics or possibly technical physics with a theoretical specialization.

The successful candidate is expected to have a strong background and passionate interest in computer science and mathematics. Problem solving skills and creativity are a must. Practical programming skills are also very important.

Applicants must be strongly motivated for doctoral studies; should possess the ability to work independently and perform critical analysis, and also have good levels of cooperative and communicative abilities. They must also have a very good command of English in writing and speaking to be able to participate in international collaborations and to publish and present research results in international conferences and journals.

The working language of the TCS group is English, and knowledge of English is also fully sufficient to navigate life in Sweden in general. It might also be worth mentioning that Sweden routinely scores at the absolute top in rankings of quality of life such as, e.g., the OECD Better Life Index.


KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe's leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden's largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as in architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

The School of Computer Science and Communication at KTH (KTH CSC) is a premier research and education institution in information technology, with activities at both KTH and Stockholm University. We conduct education and research in both theoretical and applied computer science. Our activities in theoretical computer science range from theory building and analysis of mathematical models to algorithm construction, implementation and simulation. Applied computer science covers a wide spectrum including computer vision, robotics, machine learning, high performance computing, visualization, computational biology, neuroinformatics and neural networks, and speech and music communication. We also conduct applied research and training in media technology, human-computer interaction, interaction design and sustainable development. For more information, see www.kth.se/en/csc.


Form of employment: Time-limited
Work time: Full time
Salary: According to KTH regulations for PhD students (internationally very competitive)
Start date: By agreement, but preferably no later than August-September 2017
Number of positions: 1


Application deadline: January 15, 2017
Employer's reference: D-2016-0833

Applications are submitted via the KTH recruitment system at kth.mynetworkglobal.com/en/what:login/jobID:125430/type:job/where:4/apply:1/. Note that applicants are responsible that applications are complete as per the instructions below. Complete applications must be received by KTH by midnight CET at the date of the application deadline.

The application should include the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vitae.
  2. University grade transcripts.
  3. Brief statement as to why the applicant wishes to conduct doctoral studies, including a description of the applicant's qualifications and interests.
  4. If applicable, copies of the applicant's MSc thesis (or possibly BSc thesis) and any research publications.
  5. Name and address of three references.
Please observe that all the documents above should be in English (or for official documents possibly in Swedish).

Further Information and Contact Details

For more information about doctoral studies at KTH, please visit www.kth.se/en/studies/phd/doctoral-studies-phd-1.9318.

For enquiries about the research project, please contact:

Jakob Nordström, Associate Professor
Phone: +46 8 790 69 19
E-mail: jakobn@kth.se

For enquiries about employment at KTH, please contact:

Maria Widlund, HR Manager
Phone: +46 8 790 97 54
E-mail: mwidlund@kth.se

Published by: Jakob Nordström <jakobn~at-sign~kth~dot~se>
Updated 2017-03-01