Two PhD Studentships at UCL Department of Statistical Science

PhD Studentships in Statistical Methodology and its Application (x2)

Vacancy Information
Applications are invited for two PhD funding opportunities based in the UCL Department of Statistical Science, available immediately.

The studentships are funded by UCL Impact awards held by Professor Mark Girolami in collaboration with Xerox Research Centre Europe. The awards are tenable for 36 months and cover tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,590 per annum (based on the standard UK Research Council rate with London weighting). The awards may be used to support UK and EU nationals only.

The research will be carried out in close collaboration with Dr Cedric Archambeau and Dr Guillaume Bouchard. The successful candidates will have the opportunity to visit Xerox Research Centre Europe on a regular basis.

Studentship Description
Advanced Monte Carlo Methods for Images and Text. The Bayesian framework for statistical inference is largely dependent on numerical simulation for all but the most straightforward of statistical models. In the probabilistic representation of digital documents comprised of texts, images and embedded information, sophisticated statistical models are often required. It is hugely challenging to perform simulation based inference over these classes of models due to a variety of factors such as (1) exceedingly high number of parameters in the model, (2) the discrete nature of the configuration space, (3) lack of strong likelihood-based identifiability and (4) strong posterior correlation of parameters. This project will seek to develop generic Monte Carlo sampling methods that address some of the issues listed above.

Probabilistic Models for Adaptive Content Creation. This research project will focus on the development of structured prediction models to build document templates and learn to customize texts or sentences according to user preferences and habits. Conditional language models to generate human readable text based on the specific target application and device appropriate algorithms for the generation of small pieces of text, such as introductory sentences will also be developed. This project will draw upon recent advances in Natural Language Processing tools, Machine Learning algorithms and Stochastic Optimization techniques, in developing intelligent document creation tools.

Person Specification
The requirement for admission to the MPhil/PhD in Statistical Science is a 1st class or high upper 2nd class BSc degree, or an MSc with merit or distinction in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or a related quantitative discipline. Overseas qualifications of an equivalent standard are also acceptable.

Candidates should apply for the MPhil/PhD in Statistical Science in the usual way by completing the online form and, in addition, send an up-to-date CV and covering letter directly to the Department making their case for the funding. The CV and covering letter should be sent to Dr Russell Evans at the email address below.

Please note that while the closing date given below refers to the general admissions deadline, applications will be considered on a rolling basis and the process will close as soon as both studentships are filled. You are therefore advised to apply as soon as possible.

Contact name
Dr Russell Evans

Contact details

Closing Date
3 Aug 2012

Studentship Start Date
No later than 30 September 2012