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Position: Two PhD/Postdoc positions in theory of neuromorphic computing
Institution: University of Groningen
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
Duties: Both positions are about formal, theoretical analyses and algorithmic models of „neuromorphic“ computing in non-digital hardware (analog, unclocked, spiking microchips or even unconventional material substrates exhibiting relevant nonlinear dynamical phenomena)
Requirements: These two positions are a perfect intellectual challenge for adventurous mathematicians, theoretical physicists/biologists, theoretical computer scientists or analytically minded machine learners with a background in dynamical systems, dynamics on networks, information theory, or formal logic
   
Text: Two PhD/Postdoc positions in theory of neuromorphic computing, Groningen, Netherlands In the group of Herbert Jaeger two fully funded positions are open for PhD students (4 year contract) or Postdocs (3 year contract). Both positions are about formal, theoretical analyses and algorithmic models of „neuromorphic“ computing in non-digital hardware (analog, unclocked, spiking microchips or even unconventional material substrates exhibiting relevant nonlinear dynamical phenomena). Herbert Jaeger’s group is embedded in the Groningen Cognitive Systems and Materials Center (CogniGron, https://www.rug.nl/research/fse/cognitive-systems-andmaterials/? lang=en). CogniGron, founded in 2018, is an interdisciplinary initiative at the intersection of computer science, AI, machine learning, computational neuroscience and material science. With 10 new professorships and 30 PhD stipends, CogniGron stands out as one of the most visible scientific investments in the Netherlands in recent times. The first position is defined within the European H2020 project „Memory technologies with multi-scale time constants for neuromorphic architectures (MeM-Scales)“, whose central objective is to build (analog, spiking) neuromorphic microchips which can adapt to online input signals which display several or even many timescales. Since microchip physics will deliver only a few physical timescales, collective computational phenomena will have to be explored in order to realize the long-range memory timescales required by many tasks. Since at this point, numerous but hardly explored options are "in the air" for computational timescale management, this position offers much freedom to engage in original work. The second position is funded through university budgets and is independent of specific project demands. The position holder will enjoy unusual freedom, paired with intellectual risk, to contribute to the ultimate scientific goal of Jaeger’s group: a unifying formal theory of information processing in nonlinear dynamical systems - regardless of whether they are similar to biological brains, or rest on non-neural dynamical phenomena in novel material substrates. Obviously, such a unifying theory, which would play for neuromorphic computing a similarly central role as Turing computability theory plays for digital computing, is not in sight and may be even not possible. However, many mini-revolutions in mathematical description formats are possible, and needed. Each position will be filled by either a PhD student with a 4-year contract, or by a Postdoc with a 3-year contract. The only selection criterion is qualification (product of intellectual audacity, analytical thinking power, and relevant mathematical and factual knowledge). These two positions are a perfect intellectual challenge for adventurous mathematicians, theoretical physicists / biologists, theoretical computer scientists or analytically minded machine learners with a background in dynamical systems, dynamics on networks, information theory, or formal logic. Groningen is a beautiful and welcoming city, the university sits in the top 100 in virtually all global ranking lists, and the salary is highly competitive. More detail can be found in the official job announcements on the website of the University of Groningen: First position: https://www.rug.nl/about-us/work-with-us/job-opportunities/?details=00347-02S0007DOP (PhD version) https://www.rug.nl/about-us/work-with-us/job-opportunities/?details=00347-02S0007DQP (Postdoc version) Second position: https://www.rug.nl/about-us/work-with-us/job-opportunities/?details=00347-02S0007DNP (PhD version) https://www.rug.nl/about-us/work-with-us/job-opportunities/?details=00347-02S0007DPP (Postdoc version) Please apply for at most one of these formal job announcements, following the instructions given at these weblinks. For pre-application inquiries please contact me directly by email (h.jaeger@rug.nl). Applications received before December 1 will be given full consideration; however, the positions will remain open until filled. The earliest (and desirable) starting date for both positions is January 1, 2020.
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