[robotics-worldwide] Postdoctoral vacancy in reinforcement learning and human computer interaction at the University of Amsterdam

Shimon Whiteson shimon.whiteson at gmail.com
Tue Jan 11 06:33:37 PST 2011

The Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam invites applications for a fully funded post-doctoral researcher position in the area of Reinforcement Learning and Human Computer Interaction.  The position is within the Intelligent Autonomous Systems group headed by Prof. Frans Groen, with daily supervision by Dr. Shimon Whiteson and Dr. Vanessa Evers.

Application closing date: January 31, 2011.
Starting date: April 1st, 2011 (earlier starting date possible)
Duration: 12 months

The research will focus on developing novel reinforcement learning techniques for learning from interaction with humans.  The goal is to leverage insights from human-computer interaction to augment explicit feedback with implicit feedback (e.g., from facial expressions or voice analysis) and thereby make learning more efficient.

The position is within the European project entitled "Distributed Human-Robot System for Chemical Incident Management", whose overall goal is to develop an intelligent system that can detect potential chemical incidents and help crisis professionals make informed decisions about how best to respond to them.

Applicants must have a PhD (or be near completion) in computer science
or a closely related area.

In addition, a successful candidate should:

* have a strong track record of successful research in artificial intelligence.

* have good knowledge of modern machine learning methods (knowledge of reinforcement learning, decision-theoretic planning, human-computer interaction and/or user evaluation studies is a plus).

* have a good knowledge of programming in at least one of the following languages: C, C++, Java, Python, or Perl.

* have excellent oral and written communication skills.

* NOT be a Dutch citizen or have worked in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.

The successful candidate will be based in the Intelligent Systems Lab Amsterdam (ISLA) within the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam. ISLA consists of 20 members of faculty, 20 post-doctoral researchers, and more than 50 PhD students. Members of the lab are actively pursuing a variety of research initiatives, including machine learning, decision-theoretic planning and learning, multiagent systems, human-computer-interaction, natural language processing, information retrieval, and computer vision.

Some of the things we have to offer:

* competitive pay and excellent benefits
* extremely friendly working environment
* high-level of interaction
* location near the city center (10 minutes by bicycle) of one Europe's most beautiful and lively cities
* international environment (10+ nationalities in the group)
* access to high-end computing facilities (cluster with 4,000+ cores)
* brand-new building

Since Amsterdam is a very international city where almost everybody speaks and understands English, candidates need not be afraid of the language barrier.

To submit an application, follow the instructions at:


Informal inquiries can be made by email to Shimon Whiteson (s.a.whiteson at uva.nl).

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