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Fully Funded Doctoral Studentship in Verification

Posted: 21st February 2017

Funded Doctoral Studentship in Verification

Department of Computer Science, Oxford University

Supervisors: Professor Tom Melham and Professor Daniel Kroening

Start Date: October 2017, or earlier if possible.

Oxford University’s Automated Verification Research Group is offering one fully-funded D.Phil. (PhD) studentship in the Department of Computer Science.

This project is in the area of formal verification for computer systems built from hardware and software components, such as devices in the Internet of Things.  The project aims to develop practical methods, algorithms, and tools for a use-case driven approach to system-level hardware/software formal co-verification.  A key objective, and the foundation for the methodology, will be the invention of a systematic abstraction framework that closes the gap, currently unaddressed, between a system and implementation levels in co-verification. 

Within this broad scope, the exact directions pursued in the research will be flexible, to suit the background and interests of the candidate appointed.  Areas of background experience relevant to the project could include, but are not limited to:

  • formal modelling and/or verification of hardware and/or low-level software
  • symbolic execution, model checking, or other formal analysis tools and methods
  • automated software verification for C/C++/SystemC
  • analysis of concurrent systems, system-on-chip
  • internet of things applications

The project will involve both theoretical foundations (but is aiming ultimately at practical results) and the implementation of prototype verification software tools. Candidates should therefore have good C/C++ programming and system-building skills. Further information about the project is available to potential applicants with a serious interest and suitable background.

The successful applicant will be working with a first-class team in Oxford’s globally leading verification research group.  The position is also associated with a research project funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) on Methodology and Abstraction for System-Level HW/SW Co-Verification, led by Professors Tom Melham and Daniel Kroening.  Through the project’s sponsorship by the SRC, the applicant will have the opportunity for engagement with top researchers and verification practitioners at SRC member companies in the semiconductor sector.  SRC mentors for the project include representatives of Intel, ARM, and IBM.

We will consider students with strong applied computer science engineering or application-focused theoretical skills. Candidates must also have good writing, communication, presentation, and organization skills. Applicants must in addition satisfy the usual requirements for studying for a doctorate at Oxford. See the University's web pages on the DPhil in Computer Science for details.

The studentship is funded at a level that will pay fees at home/EU student rates, with a stipend of at least £14,296 per annum. Applicants who will be liable for fees at the overseas rate are welcome, but will have to make up the difference between home/EU and overseas fees. There will also be provision for some funds to support research travel during the doctorate. The studentships will be funded for three years and will start in October 2017, although an earlier start date may be possible.

Please apply online by 10th March, 2017 quoting studentship reference code CS-TM-DK-2017.

If you have any questions about the studentship please email Tom Melham

If you have any questions about the studentship or the formal application University process please email Julie Sheppard.