PhD student position in Computer Vision

Updated: about 2 months ago

The Department of Ancient Civilizations of the University of Basel invites applications for one PhD student position (100%) in Computer Vision for 3 years on the topic of offline to online conversion of historical handwritings within the SNSF-funded research project 'Egrapsa: Retracing the evolutions of handwritings in Greco-Roman Egypt thanks to digital palaeography'.
Deadline for application: May 15, 2024.
Beginning of the position: September 01, 2024 (ideally).
Work place: Basel (Switzerland)
Salary: approx. 50'000 Swiss francs per year
The interviews are expected to take place beginning of May online via Zoom.
The project

Papyri preserved by the dry climate of Egypt are an unparalleled source of information about the Ancient World. However, their large number, diversity and current dispersion have impeded a comprehensive grasp of their nature and content. In particular, palaeography, the study of handwritings that has the potential to unveil where, when, and by whom a text was written, still relies on experts' assertions that rarely reach consensus. New technological advances in Computer Science, notably in Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing now allow building the big picture of the writing culture of Greco-Roman Egypt and developing scientific analyses of scripts. Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation for five years, the Starting Grant project EGRAPSA (literally “I have written” in Ancient Greek) aims at providing a new theoretical framework to the palaeography of Greek papyri. Starting from sound evidence, it aims at retracing the evolutions of handwritings, generating a model that, in turn, can contribute to organizing the papyrological documentation in a coherent panorama, improving the solidity of dates and writer identifications made on palaeographical grounds. The ground-breaking dimension of the project is to encompass the entire papyrological documentation in its full complexity to measure similarities and explain evolutions by focusing on the reconstruction of the dynamics of writing, thus to literally re-trace handwritings. For further information, see the project website .

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