PhD position ReduceSearch (V32.3741)

PhD position ReduceSearch

We offer 2 PhD positions in the ReduceSearch project, which aims to understand and expand the power of preprocessing.
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science
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Job description

Some algorithms that solve NP-hard problems become 1000x faster by incorporating a preprocessing step that simplifies the input before solving it. Why, how, and when does this work? We offer 2 PhD positions in the ReduceSearch project, which aims to understand and expand the power of preprocessing.

What are we looking for

TU Eindhoven is offering two PhD positions for talented and motivated students with a strong interest in algorithms and complexity. The research is supported by ERC Starting grant "Rigorous Search Space Reduction" and is aimed at advancing the theory of algorithmic preprocessing. The project investigates questions such as: why does preprocessing lead to such large speedups for some NP-hard problems? How does a preprocessing algorithm reduce the search space of the follow-up algorithm? Which aspects of a problem input make it amenable to preprocessing? How can new preprocessing algorithms be developed that deliver speedups of several orders of magnitude? These questions are tackled using the framework of parameterized complexity and kernelization, and are asked for a diverse set of NP-hard problems concerning graphs, logic, and constraint satisfaction.

Since the increase in computing power due to hardware improvements (Moore’s law) has come to an end, future advances must be based on developing better algorithms. Your work on this project contributes to that future!

The positions are supervised by dr. Bart M. P. Jansen ( )

Being a PhD student in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, every PhD student gets paid a salary; no additional grants are needed. Moreover, although PhD students sometimes take courses, there is no minimum requirement. Hence, PhD students are more like employees than like students. Indeed, the Dutch word for PhD student translates to "research trainee". The work of a PhD student may include assisting in courses of BSc or MSc programs of the department. This amounts to at most 20% of the time; the remaining time is spent on research and research-related activities. Foreign PhD students need not speak Dutch: it is easy to get by with English, not only at the university but also in everyday life.

About the research environment

TU Eindhoven features a rich environment for algorithmic research. The Algorithms group headed by prof. Mark de Berg investigates (parameterized, approximation, and classic) algorithms for problems in computational geometry and graph theory. In addition, there is a group headed by prof. Bettina Speckmann focusing on Applied Geometric Algorithms. The Combinatorial Optimization group (prof. Frits Spieksma) focuses on problems in scheduling and optimization, and includes algorithmic experts dr. Jesper Nederlof and prof. Nikhil Bansal. In addition, TU Eindhoven is one of the four cornerstones of the NETWORKS project which investigates algorithmic and stochastic problems on complex networks. All combined, this offers the PhD candidate a stimulating research environment.

About TU Eindhoven

TU Eindhoven (TU/e) is a mid-size technical university located in the heart of the high-tech industry in the Netherlands, named the Brainport region. Eindhoven is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands, and including suburbs it has about 420,000 inhabitants. TU/e is a highly ranked university both in research and education. Our training and research programs are highly regarded and we foster close relationships with companies, organizations and research institutes in the Brainport region and beyond.  TU/e is a social and inspiring university with a fine culture. You’ll quickly feel at home, surrounded by people who share your scientific ambitions. The TU/e currently has nine departments, with over 11,000 students in total.

Job requirements

Candidates are expected to be fluent in English, both oral and in writing, and have an excellent background in theoretical computer science and/or (applied) mathematics, as evidenced by an MSc degree in computer science or (applied) mathematics. Affinity with algorithms, complexity theory, or discrete mathematics is preferred. The PhD candidate is expected to carry out research on algorithms, parameterized complexity, and preprocessing; to publish this research at conferences and journals; and to defend a PhD thesis within 4 years.

The positions will be available to start early 2019. While the exact starting date is flexible, the candidate must be available to start before the end of 2019.

Conditions of employment

  • A challenging job for 4 years in a dynamic and ambitious university and a stimulating research environment;
  • We offer you support with your professional and personal development;
  • A gross salary per month of € 2325,- (first year) as a PhD up to € 2972,- (final year) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities;
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end of the year allowance;
  • An extensive package of fringe benefits (e.g. support in moving expenses, excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus child care, and excellent sports facilities).

Information and application

If you are interested in a PhD position and would like to apply, please send us your application by using the 'apply for this job' button at the top of this page. Your application must contain the following documents:

  • A motivation letter describing your background, research interests, and reasons for applying for this position.
  • A detailed CV, which may include descriptions of previous research projects, a list of publications, and presentations at scientific meetings.
  • Names and contact information of two references who are acquainted with the applicant's previous academic and/or research/professional activity.
  • A detailed list of university courses with grades.
  • A copy of the applicant’s master’s thesis may be included, if available.

You can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. Please send us your application before April 1st 2019; you can only apply using the "Apply now button" on the website of the Technical University of Eindhoven.

Screening of applicants will start as soon as applications are received and will continue until the positions have been filled.