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Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford Project “Categorical unification: where foundational physics, natural language and rational processes meet” Grade 07S Research Assistants (Two Posts)

Posted: 3rd August 2012

The Department of Computer Science of University of Oxford seeks two postdoctoral researchers; for 33 months, to work on the JTF project `Categorical unification: where foundational physics, natural language and rational processes meet’.  The researchers will work with Professors Abramsky and Coecke. 

Executive summary:

Recent advances show that category theory can be used to capture the essential be-havioural properties of many complex systems, and provides the right language to study their foundational concepts across a broad range of disciplines, including the physical world, logical and deductive systems, the way that meaning is encoded into a sentence, and closely related, cognition.

Essential mathematical components of this work include monoidal categories, sheaf theory and coalgebra.  The mathematical study of these is currently separate, but the common mathematical formalism underlying them suggests that they should be studied together, as a part of a whole.  The ultimate aim is to develop a fully-integrated mathematical formalism for modelling the physical world, making deductions about it, and communicating those deductions linguistically - in short, a mathematical formalism for intelligent reasoning.

These developments would go hand-in-hand with ongoing projects which aim to automate reasoning about linguistic meaning and quantum processes, by exploiting the logical content carried by the graphical languages which describe these areas.

This project addresses both of the Big Questions of this call, by proposing a new paradigms for knowledge representation, language and reasoning, as well as for the artificial implementation of these.  The models of meaning moreover model the cognitive mind in a similar manner as we model abstract mathematical reasoning.

These posts are full time appointments and are available initially for 33 months (with the possibility of extension).  The post has a salary on the University grade 07 scale, currently £29,249 - £35,938 p.a

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday, 31st August 2012.   The starting date is October 2012.

For further details see documents below and to apply please visit:  

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