Inverted triangles and fake documentaries: stories from the Royal Society Media Skills Course

A team of motley researchers at the Royal Society’s residential  media skills course left gobsmacked, by the bizarre ways in which they can communicate their research (and by the candy collection at coffee break) – the previous line is the top of the inverted triangle of this blog post!

I recently came back from Chichester hall where the Royal society holds their residential communication and media skills course  where we were introduced to such blasphemies as inverted (i.e. downside-up) triangles.

Inverted triangles can give us researchers sleepless nights since that implies we write the conclusion of our article at the top and the introduction at the bottom! Moreover, we were assured of even stranger constructions with all kinds of combinations of triangles, trapeziums, circles and rhombuses – maybe even serpinski triangles –  Jon?

 

 

sierpinski.clear
Serpinski Triangle: a fractal of triangles!

The rationale is that for mobile devices and millenials (..and shortening time spans) the punch should come right up and further, as you may have noticed – paragraphs should be very short (even one sentence each! – if you don’t believe me, go to BBC’s websites).

More to follow, of course ….

Dr. Jon Copley the deep sea marine biologist can be found at http://www.joncopley.com and Geoff Marsh (not the cricketer) can be found at https://www.geoffmarsh.com – you didn’t think I would give you their links at the top of page and let you get away from my post, eh!!

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A week in Bergen!

…to try to fix a marriage between distributed computing and parametrised complexity!

UIBInformatics
uib Høyteknologisenteret: Unfortunately it is not at all as sunny in the picture (rain, rain everywhere!) 😉

 

This is ‘working day’ 2 of my week in Bergen! I was delighted to be invited by the incredible Saket Saurabh to visit their world leading research department. The aim of this week is for me to give a series of lectures (one per day (1.5 hrs)! – I am hoping that my new postdoc Jonas Lefevre will take one for me 😉 on distributed computing with the aim to find intersections and possible  influences between distributed algorithms and parametrized complexity. I hope I have only a fraction of the energy that Saket has in managing his 12+ PhD students and postdocs 🙂

It’s exciting being here and looking forward to a really productive week!

 

 

 

PhD studentship in algorithms/theory available again!

Funded PhD studentship in algorithms/theory at https://goo.gl/BfH7uP

A PhD studentship similar in description to the one advertised earlier is available. The application deadline is rather short: July 3rd! Details and an application link are available at http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BCG461/phd-studentship-graph-algorithms-and-foundations-for-networks-of-the-future/

We seek candidates with strong interest in and willing to explore topics from, but not restricted to the following:  i) Graph algorithms and theory, ii) Self-healing, byzantine and other forms of resilient algorithms, iii) Compact routing and memory limited algorithms, iv) Static and dynamic Leader election and consensus, v) Connections between distributed algorithms and research areas such as parameterised complexity, topology, combinatorics, communication complexity, spectral, algebraic tools, vi) Algorithmic game theory and decision making, vi) Modelling and application to modern networks such as IOT and SDN.

The successful candidate will work closely with active research groups centred around both CS theory and networks. In particular, the candidate can benefit from interaction with upcoming research on compact self-healing routing algorithms supported by EPSRC (EPSRC research grant EP/P021247/1).

Postdoc position: now accepting applications

Advertisement for postdoc position for working on distributed algorithms under the EPSRC project COSHER is now live at http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BBB561/research-associate/

Below is the message I have sent out to a few mailing lists!

Here are some related blog posts on this same blog related to the opening and the research:

Postdoc in distributed algorithms required

My exciting EPSRC first grant!

Belfast to Mexico City via Self-healing Compact Routing!

—-

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate position in the area of distributed algorithms in the research group of Dr. Amitabh Trehan at Loughborough University Computer Science.

The position is funded by an EPSRC first grant to work on an exciting new project called COSHER:  Compact Self-healing Routing (COSHER) (RCUK link) that aims to combine research on compact routing with resilience (self-healing) using the standard message-passing modelling of networks (as graphs) and mathematical analysis of proposed algorithms. The position is for a one-year fixed term in the present instance providing a competitive 12 month salary with standard benefits.  The expected start date is Fall 2017 (Available to begin as early as July 1, 2017).

The successful candidate should have a PhD in Computer Science, mathematics or related disciplines with knowledge and understanding of algorithms and CS theory and/or networks. Experience in designing distributed/network algorithms is highly desirable.

—–

More details and a link to the application is available at http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BBB561/research-associate/

The application deadline is June 1st, 2017.

The (online) application should include (1) Education details, (2) Supporting information in the form of a brief cover letter and research interest statement, (3) Names and contact information of three referees, (4) CV and publications list.

Informal enquiries should be made to Dr. Amitabh Trehan by email at a.trehan@lboro.ac.uk or by telephone on +44 (0)1509 222564.

Please also refer to the blog www.huntforthetowel.wordpress.com for more pointers on the research.

Dr. Amitabh Trehan
Computer Sciece
Loughborough University
Loughborough, England.
www.amitabhtrehan.net
www.huntforthetowel.worpress.com

My exciting EPSRC first grant!

COSHER: Compact Self-Healing Routing at the RCUK portal: http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/projects?ref=EP%2FP021247%2F1

When I moved to Loughborough in February, I got one of the best gifts possible. In my first week here, I got the news that I had been awarded an EPSRC first grant. I had applied the grant while I was at Queen’s University Belfast – in fact, physically, I was in an AirBnB rental in Coycocan, Mexico city (as a visitor to UNAM for a Newton fund grant) when I had sent in the application. It was a stressful process, a stressful about three years procrastinating and agonising over the content and language. The primary reason being that you have only one shot at the ‘first grant’.

Anyways, it came through (hurrah!). Once you have been through one of these submissions, you discover this amazing maze of systems that bestow upon you the resources to help you conduct research!! You get to add a number of new keywords to your dictionary.

In brief, what happens is that you submit your application on the Je-S system with a number of documents after you have agonised, procrastinated, discussed, debated, tried to get industry support (or decide not to get, as in my case), written, re-written, accidentally deleted the whole application (as in my case on the eve of submission), got the application re-instated by calling somebody in charge etc etc… Then, the documents (and by extension, your career) passes through the hands of expert reviewers whose advice goes before a panel (which meet a few times a year). One fine (or horrible) day all is revealed – as in my case in the EPSRC ICT Prioritastion panel Jan 2017. As one can see, there are a number of different grants considered – the first grant seems to have a better chance being of relatively smaller value and of lower expectations than, say, the standard grants. In my panel, it seems 6 out of the 7 first grant applicants made it while only 4 out of 12 standard grants did. Sometimes, it can be far worse!

At the end of it all, Research Council UK (RCUK)’s nice sounding Gateway to Research  gives you a listing as a Principal Investigator and your successful project gets its own page and its own life! – Well, the real life for my project begins from July 1st when the money comes in and the expectations begin.

 

Postdoc in distributed algorithms required

A postdoc position to work with me on an EPSRC research project at Loughborough University is available from July 2017.

I have a position for a 1 year (in the first instance) postdoctoral research associate to work with me at Loughborough University. The position, supported by the EPSRC first grant COSHER (Compact Self-Healing Routing), comes with a good salary (in the UK system) and other perks and trainings. The project is available here at the RCUK gateway. The related research question is described in my earlier post here.

The earliest (and expected) start date is July 1st, 2017, but a later start date may be possible. The formal advertisement will be out in the coming week but please get in touch with me for more details!

Funded PhD studentship in Graph Algorithms/Distributed Algorithms/Dynamic graphs

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I am on the look out for an outstanding PhD student. Here is the advert! I will also be advertising soon for a postdoc position as I seek to grow my algorithms/distributed algorithms research group. The student will have the chance to work in the dynamic and fast growing Loughborough CS and one of the best campuses to be a student in the UK. For more on Lufbra, see my previous post.

In brief, you may create the next cutting edge graph algorithm for resilient networks or solve an open problem in graph theory! (..and add a figure from your research to those above!)

Here’s a more formal description of what I envisage the student could undertake (with guidance from me and my outstanding colleagues at Loughborough CS):

This project seeks to design and mathematically analyse distributed graph algorithms with an emphasis on resilience and dynamic scenarios and, in general, to explore decentralisation. Networks are pervasive and diverse and, with the upcoming Internet of Things, likely to be deeply integrated into our society. Networks often rely upon distributed protocols for their functioning. Failure of components and security also makes resilience a critical issue. Distributed graph algorithms allow us to model, explore and design solutions for all kinds of networks.

We seek candidates who have strong interest in and are willing to explore topics in this domain from, but not limited to the following: i) Self-healing, byzantine and other forms of resilient algorithms, ii) Compact routing and memory limited algorithms, iii) Static and dynamic Leader election and consensus, iv) Techniques such as topology, spectral and algebraic tools and communication complexity, v) Game theory applied to distributed algorithms and decision making, vi) Modelling and application to modern networks such as IOT and SDN.

Please apply via jobs.ac.uk at the link: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AYE112/phd-studentship-distributed-and-resilient-graph-algorithms/  – the opening is fully funded for UK/EU students with a comfortable stipend, and is open for international (Non-EU) but the stipend will unfortunately be adjusted towards the higher international fees to begin with!