[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Open calls for one PhD fellowships at ISR-UC from EU BAMBI project

Jorge Lobo jlobo at isr.uc.pt
Tue Sep 23 03:07:39 PDT 2014

Accepting submissions until September 29th for PhD and technical support fellowships at ISR-UC

BAMBI  Bottom-up Approaches to Machines dedicated to Bayesian Inference 


The Institute of Systems and Robotics - University of Coimbra (ISR-UC) is an associated research institution of the University of Coimbra that promotes advanced multidisciplinary R&D in Autonomous Systems and Robotics, and, in particular through the Artificial Perception for Intelligent Robotic Systems (AP4ISR) team that focus on the development of theoretical and technological solutions in the area of Artificial Perception and Intelligent Robotic Systems, with the aim of deploying Robotic solutions to improve mankind's quality of life.

Within the BAMBI consortium, ISR-UC in Coimbra will focus on the emulation hardware implementation and on the computational architecture to be developed, namely in the composition of basic building blocks for probabilistic computation. Target application in robotics, where robots need to dwell in uncertainty, will be pursued, taking advantage of the low power of reconfigurable logic devices and their flexibility and inherent parallelism.

One position for PhD fellowship (BD*):

The candidate will pursue PhD Studies on Robotics with experiments of probabilistic computation. The research will study probabilistic computation following two major axes: algebra and reconfigurable hardware. The activities will be in coordination with the Project Team at University of Coimbra ensuring the successful implementation of the aims of the BAMBI project (Bottom-up Approaches to Machines dedicated to Bayesian Inference).
requirements:  MSc degree in Electrical/Electronic/Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science or similar. Preference is given to candidates with academic background and MSc thesis experience in Robotics but also on reconfigurable logic devices or parallel computing. 
The work will be carried out at ISR-UC in a lab equipped with high end reconfigurable logic resources and several robotic resources for some target applications. When required, short stays at some of the project partners might take place, beyond the regular project meetings.

The scholarship has an initial probation period of 3 months, and will be anual and renewable during the duration of the project.

*The fellowship monthly stipend follows the rules in http://alfa.fct.mctes.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores.phtml.en, and for BD can include payment of the tuition fees.

Submissions should include an introduction/motivation letter indicating intended position, full CV and degree certificates, and be sent by email to: Jorge Lobo (jlobo at isr.uc.pt).

Summary of the project:

We propose a theory and a hardware implementation of probabilistic computation inspired by biochemical cell signalling. We will study probabilistic computation following three axes: algebra, biology, and hardware. In each case, we will develop a bottom-up hierarchical approach starting from the elementary components, and study how to combine them to build more complex systems. We propose Bayesian gates operating on probability distributions on binary variables as the building blocks of our probabilistic algebra. These Bayesian gates can be seen as a generalisation of logical operators in Boolean algebra. We propose to interpret elementary cell signalling pathways as biological implementation of these probabilistic gates. In turn, the key features of biochemical processes give new insights for innovative probabilistic hardware implementation. We propose to associate conventional electronics and novel stochastic nano-devices to build the required hardware elements. Combining them will lead to new artificial information processing systems, which could, in the future, outperform classical computers in tasks involving a direct interaction with the physical world. For these purposes, the BAMBI project associates research in Bayesian probability theory, molecular biology, nanophysics, computer science and electronics. 

The BAMBI project is a EU collaborative FET Project - FP7-ICT-2013-C, project number 618024.

Official project webpage: http://www.bambi-fet.eu
EU cordis: http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/110508_en.html

For more information on the project and the position, send an e-mail to: Jorge Lobo (jlobo at isr.uc.pt). 

 Jorge Lobo • Ph. D. • Senior Researcher • Assistant Professor with tenure

AP4ISR team  •  Institute of Systems and Robotics (ISR)
DEEC Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
FCTUC Faculty of Science and Technology,  University of Coimbra  
3030-390 Coimbra, PORTUGAL

email: jlobo at isr.uc.pt
url: http://ap.isr.uc.pt/?w=people_information&ID=40

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