Umeå universitet, institutionen för datavetenskap

A position within the Wallenberg Autonomous Systems and Software Program.
Research topic: Socially Intelligent Systems for Human-Agent Collaboration

Umeå University is seeking outstanding candidates for a PhD student position in Computer Science with focus on socially intelligent systems for human-agent collaboration at the Department of Computing Science. The Department of Computing Science is a dynamic environment with around 100 employees representing more than 20 countries worldwide. We conduct education and research on a broad range of topics in Computing Science. The User, Interaction and Knowledge Modelling group at the department conducts research in formal methods for reasoning and decision making, methods for user modelling, user adaptation and human-agent collaboration. The group collaborates with a number of research groups in the medical and health domains, and is providing a vibrant multi-disciplinary research environment. Visit for more information.

The Wallenberg Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP)
The Wallenberg Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden's largest individual research program ever, and provides a platform for academic research and education, fostering interaction with Sweden's leading technology companies. The program addresses research on autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. WASP's key values are research excellence and industrial relevance.

The graduate school within WASP is dedicated to provide the skills needed to analyze, develop, and contribute to the interdisciplinary area of autonomous systems and software. The curriculum provides the foundations, perspectives, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the different disciplines taught by leading researchers in the field. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD students, researchers and industry.

The graduate school provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for students who are dedicated to achieving international research excellence with industrial relevance.

Research project
The aim of the research project is to develop socially intelligent software agents for human-agent collaboration. The fundamental challenge lies in how intelligent autonomous agents may collaborate with humans in decision making tasks to achieve goals, and in making prioritizations among potentially conflicting goals, needs, motivations, preferences and choices of actions, e.g. in medical situations where healthcare professionals diagnose or select treatment methods. This is also highly important in situations where a person aims to change unhealthy behaviour, or needs to take action in order to reduce risk in work situations.

To provide socially intelligent systems that humans can trust enough to collaborate with, algorithms for explaining automated learning, reasoning, and values of arguments and decision outcomes will be developed. Artificial intelligence-based methods for user modelling, user adaptation, and for the system to act in a socially acceptable way tailored to a situation will also be developed, partly by formalising theories about human behaviour. Methods that handle uncertain and incomplete information, as well as different types of values, norms, or utilities in such situations will be explored.

About the position
The successful applicant will receive a competitive salary for a period of four years full time research, provided that expected study and research results are achieved. The position may also include part-time teaching (normally up to 20%). If so, the total time for the position is extended accordingly (up to maximum five years). Expected starting date is 1st of September 2017 or as otherwise agreed.

Admission requirements
The applicant is required to have completed a second- cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from overseas, or equivalent qualifications. To fulfil the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in computing science, the applicant is required to have completed courses at second-cycle level degree equivalent to 60 ECTS credits in computing science, or in a subject considered to be directly relevant for the specialisation in question.

Candidates are expected to have a background in computer science; a specialization in artificial intelligence or human-computer interaction is a merit. Candidates from related disciplines, such as cognitive science, with a very good understanding of fundamental concepts of computer science and good programming experience may also be considered. Experience from healthcare, or research projects relating to healthcare is also a merit. Since research is conducted in an international research environment, the ability to collaborate and contribute to teamwork, and a very good command of the English language, both written and spoken, are key requirements.

A complete application should contain the following documents:

• A cover letter including a description of your research interests, your reasons to apply for the position, and your contact information
• A curriculum vitae
• If applicable, copy of completed BSc and/or MSc thesis and other original research publications
• Copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
• Contact information for two persons willing to act as references

Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system MyNetwork Pro, and be received no later than June 15, 2017. Reference number: AN 2.2.1-791-17. Log on to the system and apply via the button at the bottom of the web page.

The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (chapter 12, 2§) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed. The recruitment aims at a balanced gender distribution, and in particular women are encouraged to apply.

For additional information, please contact Assoc. Prof. Helena Lindgren

Umeå University is dedicated to providing creative environments for learning and work. We offer a wide variety of courses and programmes, world leading research, and excellent innovation and collaboration opportunities. More than 4 300 employees and 31 500 students have already chosen Umeå University.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment September 1, 2017 or as otherwise agreed
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-791-17
  • Helena Lindgren, docent, +46 90 7867773
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 04.May.2017
Last application date 15.Jun.2017 11:59 PM CET

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