PhD Scholarship in Computer Science Focused on Sat Solving

KTH Royal Institute of Technology is offering PhD position in theoretical computer science. The funds for this position are available for two years. Applications should be sent before October 31, 2018.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe's leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden's largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

The Theoretical Computer Science Group at KTH ( offers a strong research environment spanning a wide range of research topics such as complexity theory and approximation algorithms, computer and network security, cryptography, formal methods and natural language processing. We have one of Europe’s most prominent groups in algorithms and complexity theory, and the research conducted here has attracted numerous international awards and grants in recent years.

The PhD student will be working in the research group of Jakob Nordstrm. Much of the activities of this research group revolve around the themes of efficient algorithms for satisfiability in propositional logic (SAT solving) and lower bounds on the efficiency of methods for reasoning about SAT (proof complexity). Within the framework of this PhD project we aim to develop mathematical methods for efficient 0-1 integer linear programming (a.k.a. pseudo-Boolean solving) based on the methods for conflict-driven clause learning algorithms used for SAT solving, and then implement these methods of reasoning in new solvers. Our ultimate goal is to build a proof-of-concept engine for pseudo-Boolean optimization and integer linear programming, based on new, original ideas, that would have the potential to be competitive in the relevant domains with packages such as SCIP or even CPLEX and Gurobi. We also believe that there should be ample room for technology transfer with related areas such as SMT solving and constraint programming, and so it could potentially be relevant to look into such topics.

This research project is financed by a grant from the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP), Sweden’s largest ever individual research program and a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. Software is the main enabler in these systems, and is an integrated research theme of the program. The PhD student will be part of the WASP AI-Math Graduate School, providing a valuable network with other students and researchers within WASP and presenting unique opportunities for students who are dedicated to achieving international research excellence with industrial relevance.

The research group at KTH currently consists of 4 postdoctoral researchers and 4 PhD students in addition to the PI. There are also several other professors, postdocs, and PhD students in the TCS Group working on other aspects of algorithms and computational complexity, and so this is a unique opportunity to explore new connections between theoretical and practical areas of computer science within a vibrant and growing research environment.
- The possibility to study in a dynamic international research environment in close cooperation with industries and advanced universities the world over.
- A personal study plan to support your development within your areas of interest.
- A workplace with many employee benefits and monthly salary according to KTH’s doctoral student salary agreement.
- Work and study in Stockholm, one of Europes fastest growing capitals, which is close to both nature and the sea.
- Help to relocate and get settled in Sweden and at KTH.

To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:
- completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
- in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.

In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:
- ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
- ability to collaborate with others,

The successful candidate is expected to have a strong background and passionate interest in computer science and mathematics. Problem solving skills and creativity are a must. Practical programming skills are also very important.

The working language of the TCS group is English, and knowledge of English is also fully sufficient to navigate life in Sweden in general. It might also be worth mentioning that Sweden routinely scores at the absolute top in rankings of quality of life such as, e.g., the OECD Better Life Index.

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may thereafter be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Apply for the position and admission through KTH’s recruitment system. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:
- Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals.
- Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
- Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.


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