Phd position in active perception and control at the University of Amsterdam

The Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam invites applications for a fully funded position for a PhD student in the area of active perception and control. The position is within the Intelligent Systems Lab Amsterdam and will be supervised by dr. Gwenn Englebienne and dr. Shimon Whiteson.

Application closing date: 15 December 2012, or until position is filled
Starting date: 1 February 2013
Duration: 4 years

The research will focus on the development of active perception and control algorithms for teams of robots. This will require advancing the state of the art in computer vision, multimodal perception, and decision-theoretic planning and learning. The research will be conducted as part of a European project called “Multi-Robot Cognitive Systems Operating in Hospitals (MOnarCH)” in which the University of Amsterdam collaborates with several other European universities and companies. The project aims to develop a network of heterogeneous robots and sensors for deployment in the pediatric area of an oncological hospital. It will handle uncertainties introduced by people and robots, generate natural interactions, and engage in edutainment activities.

Applicants must have a master’s degree in computer science or a closely related area. In addition, a successful candidate should have:

* strong math and programming skills.

* strong background in artificial intelligence: particularly useful is knowledge of machine learning, reinforcement learning, robotics, and computer vision. Experience with human-computer interaction and multimodal interfaces are a plus.

* strong oral and written communication skills.

The successful candidate will be based in the Intelligent Systems Lab Amsterdam (ISLA) within the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam. The institute was recently ranked among the top 50 computer science departments in the world by the 2011 QS World University IT Rankings. ISLA consists of 20 members of faculty, 20 postdoctoral researchers, and more than 50 PhD students. Members of the lab are actively pursuing a variety of research initiatives, including machine learning, decision-theoretic planning and learning, multiagent systems, human-computer-interaction, natural language processing, information retrieval, and computer vision.

Some of the things we have to offer:

* competitive pay and excellent benefits
* extremely friendly working environment
* high-level of interaction
* location near the city center (10 minutes by bicycle) of one Europe’s most beautiful and lively cities
* international environment (10+ nationalities in the group)
* access to high-end computing facilities (cluster with 4,000+ cores)
* brand-new building

Since Amsterdam is a very international city where almost everybody speaks and understands English, candidates need not be afraid of the language barrier.

For further information, including instructions on submitting an application, see the official job ad at

Informal inquiries can be made by email to Gwenn Englebienne ( and Shimon Whiteson (