PhD data science studentships available at Trinity College Dublin

There are five PhD posts on offer to work with the ADAPT Centre.

Benefits: Payment of tax-free stipend for 4 years.

In addition, payment of academic fees; fully for EU students and partially for non-EU students.

General enquires concerning this post can be addressed to aoife.brady@adaptcentre.ie.

Initial deadline is October 7th 2015, but with each position remaining open until filled. This and other positions listed under vacancies at: http://adaptcentre.ie

Research Topic

Increasingly in data-driven enterprises, organisations are having to cope with a wide variety of information sources and standards, leading to a lack of interoperability and increasing data integration costs. Resulting labour-intensive data integration practices are brittle in the face of accelerating innovation in data-driven applications and growing demand for agile data analytics. At the same time organisations must react to increasing public and legislative focus on privacy and data protection. Empowering users to control the information that flows around them in a privacy-sensitive and personalised manner also offers many challenges.

These 5 PhD positions will advance the state of the art in linked data, semantic web and personalisation technologies to explore new approaches to data integration that are self-managing (towards autonomic), and in addition explore new ways to deliver personalised multimodal information (towards a digital companion).

These posts are part of the new ADAPT Centre (http://www.adaptcentre.ie). ADAPT has received €50 Million research funding from Industry and Science Foundation Ireland to support 120 researchers across 4 universities in Dublin. The ADAPT Centre’s mission is to produce world class research that delivers disruptive innovations for the digital media and intelligent content industry. These PhD positions will be supervised by a member of the following ADAPT Centre academics; Professor Vincent Wade, Professor Declan O’Sullivan, Professor Dave Lewis, Professor Owen Conlan and Dr Rob Brennan.

ADAPT is Ireland’s global centre of excellence for digital content and media innovation. Led by TCD, it combines the expertise of researchers at four universities (Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, and Dublin Institute of Technology) with that of its industry partners to produce ground-breaking digital content innovation.

ADAPT brings together more than 120 researchers who collectively have won more than €100m in funding and have a strong track record of transferring world-leading research and innovations to more than 140 companies. With EURO 50M in new research funding from Science Foundation Ireland and industry, ADAPT is seeking talented individuals to join its growing research team. Our research and technologies will continue to help businesses in all sectors and drive back the frontiers of future Web engagement.

Why join ADAPT @ TCD

  • Work on hard, relevant problems in an interdisciplinary and exciting research environment. The ADAPT Centre combines expertise of researchers at Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology. It brings together more than 120 researchers who have collectively won more than €100M in competitive research funding and have an international track record of bridging research and innovations to more than 140 companies. With €50M in new research funding from SFI and industry, ADAPT research and technologies will help businesses in all sectors to manage, personalise and deliver digital content more effectively.
  • Work in a University where excellence of research is valued. Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s premier University and is ranked in 71st position in the top 100 world universities by the QS World University Rankings 2014.
  • Work in a centre focussed on advancing your career. Whether you want to take an academic, industrial, or entrepreneurial career path, ADAPT prides itself in the support and mentoring that enables all its Students and early-stage researchers to reach their full potential. This year alone its postdoc-to-PI programme has helped three postdocs transition to be Principal Investigators on their own H2020 projects, while four others have recently won funding with ADAPT support to realise the commercialisation of their research through spin outs and licensing.

Requirements:

The successful candidate will have an excellent academic record (first class or II.1 primary degree) in Computer Science or a related discipline. Experience in Knowledge Engineering is a distinct advantage. The successful candidate will be highly motivated, with strong written and oral communication skills and a demonstrated proficiency in software development, with strong design and programming skills. They must be eager to work in and learn from multi-disciplinary and multi-organisation teams. They should have English language certification if English is not their first language, the requirement being: IELTS: 7.0+, TOEFL iBT: 100+, TOEFL pBT: 600+, CEF: C1+, or equivalent.

Application Procedure

For further information and informal contact, please refer to the PhD topic details. Please apply via email to vacancies@adaptcentre.ie, referencing this advert, and including:
  • A targeted cover letter (600-1000 words) expressing your suitability for a position
  • A complete CV
There will be an interview process; a successful candidate will then be invited to apply via the TCD graduate studies admission system.

How computer science can help keep you healthy

Well, it has to be good for something...

People sometimes aren't aware just how much computers influence their lives. They've used the internet and mobile phones, seen computer-generated imagery in cinemas, and perhaps realised how much date is being sensed around them. But there are enormous applications for computers in science, arts, and medicine.

Earlier today I did an introductory lecture on using computers to study disease epidemics:

Com­pu­ta­tional epi­demi­ology is the use of math­em­at­ical and com­pu­ta­tional tech­niques to model how dis­eases spread. This is import­ant for answer­ing a num­ber of ques­tions. How infec­tious are dif­fer­ent dis­eases? Why are dif­fer­ent pop­u­la­tions affected dif­fer­ently? How do dif­fer­ent treat­ment regimes work? Is quar­ant­ine effect­ive? We can address these sorts of ques­tions using a range of dif­fer­ent tech­niques, ran­ging from dif­fer­en­tial equa­tions (cal­cu­lus) for simple cases through to com­plex net­works and high-performance sim­u­la­tion for com­plex case — and pos­sibly even mod­el­ling real dis­eases in real-world geo­graph­ies in real time.

This lec­ture is an inter­act­ive intro­duc­tion to these ideas. We’ll explore how dis­eases spread; con­duct an exper­i­ment where we infect each other (kind of); and then see how dif­fer­ent aspects of com­puter sci­ence help us to explore dis­eases and their treatment.

The slides and other material are available here. I've included the slides, and an animation of a simulated epidemic running through a population of people. I've also included an IPython notebook describing some of the mathematics needed and containing all the code I used to generate the graphs and animation from the talk, which might be handy for anyone wanting to explore this area more thoroughly.

CfP: Spatial and Collective Awareness workshop at SASO'15

The first workshop on Spatial Awareness is being held in Boston in September as part of the SASO conference.

First International Workshop on Spatial and COllective PErvasive Computing Systems (SCOPES) Workshop

Co-located with IEEE SASO 2015, located at MIT, Cambridge, USA

September 21, 2015

http://www.spatial-computing.org/scopes

Overview

This workshop aims at combining three distinct, yet closely related areas of research, which will likely together play a major role in producing the key technical results needed to develop large-scale adaptive distributed systems of future networked scenarios.
  • Spatial computing: Spatial computing systems are systems of individual entities, typically situated in a physical environment, in which the “functional goals” of the system are generally defined in terms of the system's spatial structure. Typically, such systems are developed following a self-organisation approach, making spatial patterns arise by emergence.
  • Collective adaptive systems: Collective computing systems are systems of tightly entangled components, achieving an overall goal through widespread cooperation, typically relying on self-adaptation techniques and collective/social intelligence.
  • Pervasive computing: Pervasive computing systems and the “Internet of Things” deal with current and emerging scenarios in which humans, sensors, mobile, and embedded devices engage in complex interactions in a shared environment.
The goal of this workshop is to foster the creation of general-purpose solutions for supporting the development of these kinds of systems, particularly as regards generalizable techniques and architectures. Topics of interest include:
  • Foundational models of spatially embedded collective systems, exhibiting resilience, robustness and scalability properties as required by emerging pervasive computing scenarios.
  • Tools and tool-chains targeting large-scale situated systems: programming or specification languages, compilers and proof-checking techniques, simulators, tools for property verification, libraries and APIs, supporting platforms, whole infrastructures.
  • Innovative methods and techniques for system development, including design patterns, software methodologies, best practices, and practical experience reports.
  • Applications contexts and scenarios of general interest to foster the identification of new problems and solutions, taking inspiration from cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, sensor networks, smart-cities, etc.

Paper submission

Papers should present original work and be no longer than 6 pages in the standard IEEE two-column format. All manuscripts should be submitted in PDF form through the submissions system for SCOPES at EasyChair. Papers will be peer reviewed on the basis of originality, readability, relevance to themes, soundness, and overall quality. Workshop proceedings will be published on IEEE Xplore in parallel with the main conference proceedings. Post-proceedings publication in a journal is planned. Questions should be addressed to saso.scopes2015@easychair.org.

Important Dates

Workshop paper submission: July 11, 2015 Notification of accepted papers: July 31, 2015 Camera-ready paper deadline: August 10, 2015 Workshop at SASO: September 21, 2015

Organisers

  • Dr. Jacob Beal (Raytheon BBN Technologies, USA)
  • Prof. Jane Hillson (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • Dr. Mirko Viroli (University of Bologna, Italy)

Program Committee

  • Ezio Bartocci, TU Wien, Austria
  • Spring Berman, Arizona State University, USA
  • Luca Bortolussi, University of Trieste, Italy
  • Sven Brueckner, Axon Connected LLC, USA
  • Siobhan Clarke, Trinity College Dublin, IE
  • Daniel Coore, University of the West Indies
  • Jamaica Ferruccio Damiani, Università di Torino, Italy
  • Rocco De Nicola, IMT - Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, Italy
  • Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo, University of Geneve, Switzerland
  • Ada Diaconescu, Telecom ParisTech, CNRS LTCI, France
  • Simon Dobson, University of St Andrews, UK
  • Matt Duckham, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Stefan Dulman, CWI, Netherlands
  • Schahram Dustdar, TU Wien, Austria
  • Eva Kühn, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Mieke Massink, CNR-ISTI, Italy
  • Mirco Musolesi, University College London UK
  • Silvia Nittel, University of Maine, USA
  • Antoine Spicher, LACL University Paris Est Creteil, France
  • Katia Sycara, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • Christof Teuscher, Portland State University, USA
  • Martin Wirsing, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, Germany
  • Franco Zambonelli, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

Death in Florence: The Medici, Savonarola and the Battle for the Soul of Man

Paul Strathern

2003


A well-paced and diverse account of a critical piece of European political and intellectual history.

The subject of the book is the clash of ideas between modernism and fundamentalism, as respectively represented by Lorenzo de' Medici and Girolamo Savonarola. Florence and Italy more widely provide a stage set with a range of characters, both those intent on their own betterment and those devoted to higher causes. The book manages to navigate a path between the ideas in play and the sometimes squalid and violent means with which these ends were pursued.

There are enormous ironies in these ends, too. Savonarola was a fundamentalist who wanted to introduce more democratic forms, and which gave rise to many modern ideas of governance – but abhorred the freedoms that such democratic ideas brought with them. Lorenzo kept tight political control but allowed great freedoms to the citizens, whilst being unable to distinguish between what was good for Florence and what was good for the Medici – and recalled Savonarola to Florence to be both a moral force and an ornament to the city's greatness, laying the foundations for the end of Medici rule.

As in his other book on Mediaeval Italy, The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior: The Intersecting Lives of Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They Shaped, Strathern shows an well-balanced sense of character and an ability to juggle a range of sources of variable trustworthiness. He also has a keen eye for anecdotes: my two favourites are the shock that the arrival of French armies trained in full-on Northern European warfare caused for Italian armies used to a far more civilised form of warfare in which few people er actually got killed; and how the phrase esperimento del fuoco (trial by fire) gave rise to the word "experiment", a trial to which some facet of the world was subjected. He deftly manages the difficult task of making clear the bewildering changes of political alliances that were characteristic of Italian politics of the period. And he sets the clash of ideas into the broader context of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and both Luther's debt to Savonarola and the fact that Savonarola would have hated all Luther stood for: another paradox in a complex man.

It's easy to see the parallels with the modern world and the struggle between democracy and fundamentalist religion, but Strathern is too goo a historian to avoid the complexities that history beings to this comparison. Savonarola the fundamentalist was also Savonarola the democrat; Lorenzo the autocrat was also a committed and in many ways conservative religious figure. The modern concepts and dualities don't translate back to the fifteenth century, much as many might like them to, and this book is an important guide to the ways in which ideas mutate over time.


Finished on Sat, 30 May 2015 10:29:56 -0700.   Rating 5*/5*.

Autobiography

Morrissey

2013


Not a charming man.

I'm a Smiths fan, which at some level makes me a Morrissey fan ipso facto. And some of the poetic writing in this book is sublime, full of insight and inspiration. But the person looking out of the pages is the most ungracious, self-indulgent version of himself it's possible to imagine. From the mean streets of Manchester, through the roller-coaster ride of the Smiths, and then to court and a solo career, few people emerge unscathed, thanked, or even broadly acknowledged as helpers or influences.

I grew up not far away from Morrissey, in space and time, and I recognise a lot of his criticisms of Northern England in the 70's and 80's: he and I actually met once on the streets of Gorton in the mid 80's. But there's something compellingly surreal about his self-image as a tortured and mis-understood artist whose project is repeatedly sabotaged. None of the Smiths' records seem to be mixed to his tastes, although he was there and exercised at least a measure of control; no interviews went well, although they were more co-ordinated than spontaneous. He seems to see his solo career as a zenith, although I suspect most of his fans are waiting more or less impatiently for Smiths riffs and flashes of past insights. And I think he may know that at some level: there are lines from Smiths lyrics thrown in at strategic points of the story, as jewels for those in the know.

Finished on Fri, 22 May 2015 00:00:00 -0700.   Rating 2*/5*.

PhD studentships in St Andrews

The School of Computer Science has a number of fully-funded PhD scholarships available.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone interested in working on complex systems, complex networks, sensor networks, or situation recognition. You can find more details about what I'm interested in here. I'm particularly interested in people wanting to cross disciplines somewhat, into applications in environmental science, medicine, or the digital humanities.

The full advertisement is here. Deadline for applications 31 March 2015.

PhD Studentships at University College Cork

There are PhD positions open at University College Cork in the area of video processing.

PhD Studentships at University College Cork in Ireland

Closing Date for Applications: None, positions will remain open until filled. Applications will be reviewed at as soon as they are received.

Project: An Internet Infrastructure for Video Streaming Optimisation (iVID)

The Mobile and Internet Systems Laboratory (MISL) in the Department of Computer Science at UCC is an internationally recognised research centre focused on innovative networking research. iVID is a new research project funded by Science Foundation Ireland to investigate the use of software defined networking (SDN) techniques to optimise the delivery of streaming video. A team of 5 project researchers will work on iVID, including 3 Ph.D. students. The project will involve collaboration with AT&T, EMC and the University of California Riverside.

Applications are invited for fixed-term studentships (annual value of €18K, plus fees) from suitably qualified candidates who wish to undertake a PhD within the Department of Computer Science. Applicants should have a Masters degree in computer science or a closely related discipline, although applications from truly exceptional students with a bachelor's degree will be considered. Ideally, applicants will have some project experience in the areas of video streaming, software defined networks, or more generally network protocols. Applicants must have strong mathematical ability and an interest in systems programming and experimental computer science. Applicants must demonstrate good inter-personal skills, and a high standard of spoken and written English. The positions are open to applicants of any nationality.

How to apply: Applications by email to Mary Noonan m.noonan@cs.ucc.ie and must include "PhD Studentship iVID" in the subject line. Applications must include, in PDF format only:

  1. 1300 word personal statement explaining your interest in the project and networking research;
  2. full CV;
  3. copy of transcript(s) showing names of all courses taken and grades achieved; and
  4. summaries of projects (BSc/MSC), internships and relevant work experience completed.
For more information on MISL and the Department of Computer Science, please see the links below.

http://www.cs.ucc.ie/misl/ http://www.cs.ucc.ie/

Complex networks, complex processes

I'm writing a book on my sabbatical. Or trying to, anyway. So I thought I'd publicise the fact so people can hassle me to keep at it.

I've been working on complex systems for a couple of years, especially on complex networks: things like the way people move through a road and rail network, or how diseases spread through social networks. It's a bit of a change from my previous work on sensor data interpretation, although not as much as you might think: I'm wondering whether we could combine sensing and simulation, to use sensors to confirm predictions or to drive and condition further simulations.

Getting into this area has been -- and is -- a head-wreck. It's both highly mathematical and highly computational. I understand the computing; the maths, not so much. Many computer scientists would have the same reaction, but conversely, so would many mathematicians: the maths would be familiar, the computing a challenge. So effectively in order to make progress you have to climb two learning curves simultaneously: some unusual and challenging mathematics about stochastic processes, simulated using cluster or cloud computing which poses a lot of challenges even for someone used to programming.

This is made harder by the research literature, though, which tends towards sparse mathematical descriptions, which is frustrating at two levels: the computing is probably interesting (to people like me), and it's hard to re-create the results when the computational approach underlying the graphs and results is unclear.

So with this in mind, and because I've never done it before, I've decided to write a textbook: Complex networks, complex processes. (No, I'm not very imaginative when it comes to titles...) The idea is to link the maths to the code, providing everything a research would need to get started with the maths and the computing. Since this is likely to be a book with, shall we say, limited circulation, I've decided not to bother with a publisher and instead make it completely open. You can look at the current state on the web here, download the sources, copy and run the code, or anything needed to get started.

It's a work in progress and it's not very usual to advertise books before they're in a fit state to be read, but I suppose that's just a part of open science: make the process visible, warts and all. It also means I'll hopefully get comments and encouragement to keep at it when it starts to fall by the wayside of other things I have to do. The goal is to get the majority done while I'm on research leave (until September), and comments on style, content, and progress will be most welcome.

Fully-funded PhD scholarship available

I have a fully-funded PhD scholarship available, tenable from September 2015, to work on data science in medicine.

University of St Andrews

School of Computer Science School of Medicine

Funded PhD studentship

The Schools of Computer Science and Medicine are looking to recruit a talented student to work on improving clinical trials of tuberculosis and other conditions using computational techniques.

TB and related conditions are extremely costly in human and financial terms, and trials of new drugs and therapies are complicated by difficult environmental conditions and other factors. Improvements to the trials process will potentially translate directly into improved interventions, and so will help save lives.

We seek to apply data-driven techniques to the design, analysis, and management of such trials. These techniques might include complex networks, computational epidemiology, machine learning, Bayesian analysis, and other cutting-edge approaches to data analytics. The ideal candidate will have an interest in data science applied to medical and biological problems, and an enthusiasm for working as part of a challenging multi-disciplinary project within St Andrews' new Institute for Data-Intensive Research (IDIR).

The studentship will be held jointly between the two Schools, with supervisors from Computer Science (Prof Simon Dobson, Dr Tom Kelsey) and Medicine (Prof Stephen Gillespie, Dr Ruth Bowness).  We offer a stimulating and supportive environment within a small and intimate university in a beautiful setting.

The scholarship is fully funded to cover tuition fees and stipend for a registration period normally expected to be three-and-a-half years.

Informal inquiries can be made in the first instance to Prof Simon Dobson. Applications will be considered until mid-March.

2015 CPHC/BCS Distinguished Dissertations competition

The 2015 CPHC/BCS Distinguished Dissertations competition is now open for submissions via the submissions site. Closing date Wednesday 1 April 2015. Further details can be found below and on the competition web page.

The Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC), in conjunction with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, annually selects for publication the best British PhD/DPhil dissertations in computer science.

The scheme aims to make more visible the significant contribution made by the UK - in particular by post-graduate students - to computer science. Publication also serves to provide a model for future students. The selection panel on behalf of BCS/CPHC consists of experienced computer scientists, not more than one from any institution, each normally serving on the panel for three years.

Any dissertation is eligible which is submitted for a doctorate in the British Isles in what is commonly understood as Computer Science. (Theses which are basically in some other discipline but which make use, even very extensive use, of computing will not be regarded as eligible.)  However, there is a limit of THREE dissertations per year per university, and one per research group within any university.

To be considered, a dissertation should:

  • make a noteworthy contribution to the subject;
  • reach a high standard of exposition;
  • place its results clearly in the context of computer science as a whole; and
  • enable a computer scientist with significantly different interests to grasp its essentials.
It is reasonable to submit a thesis to the scheme if it has all of the above qualities in good measure, and if it is comparable in standard with the top 10% of dissertations in the subject. Long dissertations are not encouraged; if the main text is more than 80,000 words, there should be good justification.

The dissertation should be submitted electronically (as a PDF file) by the author's examiners, or by the Head of Department with the examiner's advice. The submitted version of the dissertation must be the final version after any required corrections have been made. The competition period for the 2015 competition is for theses accepted from 1 January 2014 until the closing date of 1 April 2015. A dissertation cannot be submitted to the competition more than once.

The dissertation should be accompanied by a written nomination comprising the following information:

  • a justification, of about 300 words, by one of the examiners -- preferably the external -- explaining the dissertation's claim to  distinction (against the criteria listed above);
  • the name of the primary supervisor and the research group within the university to which the student was primarily affiliated;
  • an assurance that within the competition period the examiners have recommended to the author's institution that the doctorate should be awarded;
  • the names and contact details of three suggested reviewers who are not in the same Department as the nominated thesis and who are independent of the supervision and examining of the thesis; and
  • an indication should be given if the dissertation is being considered for publication elsewhere.
The nominated reviewers must have confirmed that they are willing to provide a review. In addition the author's written agreement that their thesis may be considered for the Distinguished Dissertation competition should be emailed by the author to disdis15@easychair.org.

Submissions should be made on-line via

http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=disdis15

The first author name submitted should be that of the thesis author; the individual submitting the nomination should list themselves as the second author. The title and abstract should be those of the thesis being nominated. The first file uploaded should be the 300 word nomination; the thesis document should be uploaded as an attachment.

If any problems are experienced, or you have any questions, please email disdis15@easychair.org for assistance.

The deadline for submission is 1 April 2015.