[ecoop-info] PhD position on "Semantics and Verification of Accelerator Programming"

Marieke Huisman m.huisman at utwente.nl
Wed Jun 1 16:29:41 CEST 2011

The research group Formal Methods and Tools at the University of Twente 
(Enschede - The Netherlands) is looking for

a PhD researcher (4 years)

to work on the EU Strep project CARP (Correct and Efficient Accelerator 
Programming), funded by the European Union.

Within the context of the CARP project, the PhD student will work in 
particular on:

- requirements analysis for accelerator programming
- the formal semantics of an intermediate programming language for 
describing accelerator algorithms
- developing logic-based verification techniques for this intermediate 
programming language, taking into account common accelerator programming 

Our research:

In recent years, massively parallel accelerator processors, primarily 
GPUs, have become widely available to end-users. Accelerators offer 
tremendous compute power at a low cost, and tasks such as media 
processing, simulation, medical imaging and eye-tracking can be 
accelerated to beat CPU performance by orders of magnitude. Performance 
is gained in energy efficiency and execution speed, allowing intensive 
media processing software to run in low-power consumer devices.

Accelerators present a serious challenge for software developers. A 
system may contain one or more of the plethora of accelerators on the 
market, with many more products anticipated in the immediate future. 
Applications must exhibit portable correctness, operating correctly on 
any configuration of accelerators, and portable performance, exploiting 
processing power and energy efficiency offered by a wide range of devices.

The overall aims of CARP are to design techniques and tools for correct 
and efficient accelerator programming:
- Novel & attractive methods for constructing system-independent 
accelerator programs
- Advanced code generation techniques to produce highly optimised 
system-specific code from system-independent programs
- Scalable static techniques for analysing system-independent and 
system-specific accelerator programs, both qualitatively and quantitatively

The PhD candidate we are looking for is expected to work on the 
development of tools and techniques for correct accelerator programming. 
Within the consortium an intermediate programming language for 
accelerator programming will be developed. The PhD candidate is expected 
to develop a solid formal semantics for this language, together with 
appropriate verification techniques. An important focus of the 
verification work is that it will focus on bug finding, without too many 
false negatives, rather than on developing full correctness proofs. For 
the verification, it is expected that the logical basis will be 
permission-based concurrent separation logic. Sometimes the intermediate 
programming language will not provide the required efficiency, and 
programs will be written in a low-level language as OpenCL. Therefore, 
the verification techniques also will be extended to this lower level.

We seek:
An enthusiastic PhD student with an MSc degree in Computer Science (or 
an equivalent qualification). The candidate should have a thorough 
theoretical background, a demonstrable interest in program semantics and 
verification, and some knowledge about multithreaded programming (in 

We are looking for a researcher with an independent mind who is willing 
to cooperate in our team. It is understood that he or she works on the 
topics listed above, and contributes to the expected deliverables for 
the project.  Further we ask for good communicative and good 
collaboration skills. Candidates should be prepared to prove their 
English language skills.

As a research outcome we expect publications, (prototype) tools, and a 
PhD thesis.

Starting date of the position: December 1st, 2011, or as soon as 
possible thereafter.

We offer:
- A PhD position for four years (38 hrs/week)
- A stimulating scientific environment
- Gross salary ranging from EUR 2042 tot E 2612 (4th yr) per month
- Holiday allowance (8%), end-of-year bonus (8.3%)
- Good secondary conditions, in accordance with the collective labour 
agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities
- A green Campus with lots of sports facilities

You will be a member of the Twente Graduate School in the research 
programme 'Dependable and Secure Computing' under the leadership of Prof 
Dr Jaco van de Pol. The research programme offers advanced courses to 
deepen your scientific knowledge in preparation to your future career 
(within or outside academia). We provide our PhD students with excellent 
opportunities to broaden their personal knowledge and to professionalise 
their academic skills. Participation in national and/or international 
summer schools and workshops, and visits to other prestigious research 
institutes and universities can be part of this programme.

Further information:
- FMT group: http://fmt.cs.utwente.nl/
- Dr. Marieke Huisman (Marieke.Huisman at ewi.utwente.nl)

Please submit your application before 1st of July, 2011 via 
http://www.utwente.nl/vacatures/en/.  We strongly encourage interested 
applicants to send in their applications as soon as possible.

Your application should consist of:

- a cover letter (explain your specific interest and qualifications);
- a full Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses + marks, and 
a short description of your MSc thesis; and
- references (contact information) of two scientific staff members.

More information about the ecoop-info mailing list