PhD student in Computing Science on the topic of efficient and provably correct execution environments

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 01 Mar 2022

Published: 2022-01-18

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

The Department of Information Technology has a leading position in research and education. The Department currently has about 300 employees, including 120 teachers and 110 PhD students. More than 4000 students study one or more courses at the department each year. More info:

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Duties / Description of project and subject area
Managed languages (such as Java, Python, R and JavaScript) allow a high level of programming abstraction which allows rapid application development with fewer errors, in particular by presenting programmers with an abstract view of memory that can be managed automatically by the runtime system (aka execution environment). The efficiency of the algorithms at the core of runtime systems for managing memory, scheduling, etc. are imperative for the performance of managed languages. The strive for efficiency drives up complexity of the algorithms, stressing the need for a rigorous process for verifying their correctness.

This project aims to develop efficient algorithms for key aspects of runtime systems related to memory management, task scheduling, compiler optimisations for specific runtimes with a strong focus on their formal verification. Thus, this project requires an understanding of and interest in both low-level aspects of program execution as well as mathematical underpinnings of verifying of algorithms operating at a low-level. There exist a wide range of interesting challenges to work on in the context of some specific runtime systems.

The project will pave the way for the development of new correct and efficient execution environments for managed languages which will lead to wider applicability of managed languages. (Description of duties, what are the main tasks, describe the information in a cohesive way).

The position is for four years of research, but will typically include 20% teaching extending the time to five years. You will be expected to teach in Swedish or English.

We encourage our students to do industrial internships during their PhDs.

Candidates should have a Master of Science in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or equivalent.

Ultimately, pursuing a PhD will require that you learn new skills and master new subjects. While we consider experience with systems programming, runtimes, logic, theorem proving, programming languages, and compilers important and meritorious, you will be working in a coaching-focused environment where such skills can readily be improved with help from your advisors, fellow PhD students, courses, and internships. Thus, aptitude, self-motivation, interest and perseverance are more important than a particular skill-set. There are however a few things which one will not have the time to learn during a PhD and hence we require that applicants are already good writers and good programmers, and are able to point to indications thereof, such as text and code produced by them in the past.

In addition to the above, applicants should be able to work well both on their own and with others in a diverse group, be comfortable giving and receiving constructive criticism, and have strong abilities for critical thinking and structured work. These competencies are as important as the technical qualifications.

Excellent skills in spoken and written English are an absolute requirement.

Additional qualifications
Experience with systems programming, runtimes, logic, theorem proving, programming languages, and compilers.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines .

Working and Living in Sweden
Sweden is a fantastic place for living and working. Swedes are friendly and speak excellent English. The quality of life is high, with a strong emphasis on outdoor activities. The Swedish working climate emphasizes an open atmosphere, with active discussions involving both junior and senior staff. PhD students are full employees, with competitive salaries, pension provision and five weeks of paid leave per year. Spouses of employees are entitled to work permits. Healthcare is free after a small co-pay and the university subsidizes athletic costs, such as a gym membership. The parental benefits in Sweden are among the best in the world, including extensive parental leave (for both parents), paid time off to care for sick children, and affordable daycare. Upon completion of the PhD degree, students are entitled to permanent residency to find employment within Sweden.

The application must include:

  • A statement (1–2 pages) of the applicant’s motivation for applying for this position, including the candidate’s research interests and how they will support this project, and evidence of the applicant’s self-motivation and ability to work in a group
  • A description (2 pages) of the applicant’s master thesis work, and if applicable connecting it to the skills asked for above
  • A CV
  • Copies of degrees and grades (translated to English or Swedish)
  • A copy of the MSc thesis (or a draft thereof)
  • Copies of publications (include a description of the candidate’s own contributions for each publication)
  • Links to online repositories of code and other artefacts (such as GitHub or Bitbucket) other relevant documents
  • The earliest possible starting date
  • Contact information for at least one reference

Promising applicants will be invited for a practical programming challenge, a logic challenge, and an in-depth interview before hiring.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date as agreed. Placement: Uppsala.

For further information about the position, please contact: Professor Tobias Wrigstad Ph. +46(0)736 971419 or universitetslektor Tjark Weber Ph. +4618 471 1099

Please submit your application by March 1st 2022, UFV-PA 2022/149.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden .

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Information Technology

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2022/149

Last application date: 2022-03-01

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