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KTH / EECS / TCS / Jakob Nordström / Open positions / PhD position J-2018-0940

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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.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). Within the framework of this PhD project we aim to develop mathematical methods for efficient 0-1 integer linear programming (a.k.a. pseudo-Boolean solving) based on the methods for conflict-driven clause learning algorithms used for SAT solving, and then implement these methods of reasoning in new solvers. Our ultimate goal is to build a proof-of-concept engine for pseudo-Boolean optimization and integer linear programming, based on new, original ideas, that would have the potential to be competitive in the relevant domains with packages such as SCIP or even CPLEX and Gurobi. We also believe that there should be ample room for technology transfer with related areas such as SMT solving and constraint programming, and so it could potentially be relevant to look into such topics.

This research project is financed by a grant from the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP), Sweden's largest ever individual research program and a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. Software is the main enabler in these systems, and is an integrated research theme of the program. The PhD student will be part of the WASP AI-Math Graduate School, providing a valuable network with other students and researchers within WASP and presenting unique opportunities for students who are dedicated to achieving international research excellence with industrial relevance.

The research group at KTH currently consists of 4 postdoctoral researchers and 4 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 2018, 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 the largest technical research and learning institution in Sweden and are home to students, researchers and faculty from all over the world. Our research and education covers a wide range of fields including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) has recently been formed as a merger of three former schools at KTH in computer science, IT, and electrical engineering and is the home of world-leading research groups across large parts of information technology and computer science.


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 2018
Number of positions: 1


Application deadline: May 15, 2018
Employer's reference: J-2018-0940

Applications are submitted via the KTH recruitment system at kth.mynetworkglobal.com/en/what:login/jobID:204011/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:

Ingela Somp, HR Officer
Phone: +46 8 790 91 08
E-mail: somp@kth.se

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Updated 2021-07-22