…to try to fix a marriage between distributed computing and parametrised complexity!
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
In the last quarter of 2016, I was co-teaching Theory of Computation to year 2 Undergrads – to a large class of about 150 students. This was challenge in itself but strongly compounded by the fact that not all CS students at QUB come with A level maths background!
I spent the first five weeks giving a ‘fun’ (hopefully) intoduction to the maths background needed for TOC while intoducing many interesting and thought provoking challenges this subject provokes. The slides are at my website:
For All. Happy new year 2017! Surely There Existsbetter things next year!