PhD candidate in the enhancing extra-functional properties of mobile games

Updated: 8 days ago

The Parallel Computing Systems (PCS) group at the Informatics Institute (IvI) of the University of Amsterdam  is looking for a PhD candidate in the area of improving the extra-functional properties such as power, energy and thermal efficiency as well as the performance of mobile games. The PCS group performs research on the design, programming, and run-time management of multi-core and multi-processor computer systems. The modeling, analysis, and optimization of the extra-functional aspects of these systems, such as performance, power/energy consumption but also the degree of productivity to design and program these systems, play a pivotal role in our work.

Heterogenous Multi-Processors System on Chips (HMPSoCs) which integrate a high-end mobile multi-core CPU and GPU on a single die are now ubiquitous on mobile devices. HMPSoCs allow for 3D mobile games with console-like quality. However, mobile games are also one of the most processing-intensive applications on mobile devices. Their high energy consumption quickly drains the battery, whereas their high-power consumption overheats the device to a point where it becomes uncomfortable to hold while playing. Therefore, making mobile games more power, energy, and thermally efficient is quintessential in practice and thereby an active subject in embedded system research.

What are you going to do?

Are you interested in helping us improve the extra-functional properties – power, energy, and thermal efficiency as well as performance -- of mobile games? This would entail developing a deep understanding of Linux kernel and OpenGL library. As a PhD candidate you will develop your own Application Programming Interface (API) hooks and Linux Kernel Modules (LKMs). You will use data science and statistical methods to process realms of logs generated by the latest games to gain insights into their execution and then use those insights to manipulate the execution environment to force games to execute more efficiently. Finally, you will develop tools that would help game developers to fine-tune their games for more efficient execution.

In this PhD project you will answer many open questions in mobile gaming research, like the following:

  • Can one develop an Oracle for mobile games that can put a lower optimal bound on the scope of power management in mobile games?
  • Why do different games have widely different power consumption at the same performance (FPS)?
  • Can approximate computing help reduce the power consumption of mobile games without affecting the gaming experience?
  • Can a game’s power-performance observations on one device be used to predict power-performance characteristics on another device without execution?

In this position you are expected to conduct original competitive research and proof-of-concept development, to publish the results in relevant conferences and/or journals, and participate in teaching duties.

What do we require?

If you want to apply for this job, you should be a very motivated university graduate, a top performer among your peers and have had an excellent education and/or research track record proven by relevant experience, publications, etc.

Applicants are expected to:

  • have a MSc degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering;
  • have some prior expertise in debugging and extending Linux kernel source code. Some existing knowledge about OpenGL library would be looked upon favourably;
  • have worked with big data using data science or statistical or most preferably both methods;
  • be excellent in oral and written English, with good presentation skills;
  • have strong analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • have excellent programming skills, primarily in C/C++;
  • have the ability to work in an international research team.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 18 months. The initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years. This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The salary will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities  is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here .


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

  • Dr Anuj Pathania, Assistant professor
    T: +31 (0)6 23905640

About the Faculty of Science and the Informatics Institute

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The mission of the Informatics Institute is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

The Informatics Institute strives for a better gender balance in its staff. We therefore strongly encourage women to apply for this position.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 12 October 2020. You can apply online by using the button below.

Applications should be in pdf and should include:

  • a motivation letter and cv;
  • BSc/MSc diplomas with course/grade transcripts.


No agencies please

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