[Haskell-cafe] Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship, University of Leeds

David Duke D.J.Duke at leeds.ac.uk
Tue Feb 16 12:21:52 EST 2010

I'm pleased to announce a PhD Scholarship within the Visualization and  
VR group at Leeds, generously funded by Microsoft Research.  We are  
seeking a student to investigate how visualization techniques can be  
further developed to understand and improve the performance of
parallel Haskell programs running on multi-core CPUs.  Closing date  
for applications is 22 March 2010.

Could you please pass on this call to anyone who might be interested  
in applying.

Further details are included below, and are also available on the web,
at http://www.engineering.leeds.ac.uk/pg/studentships/duke.shtml

David Duke

PROJECT TITLE: "Visualizing Performance for Multicore Haskell"

     Dr. David Duke, School of Computing, University of Leeds, UK

     Dr. Satnam Singh
     Prof. Simon Peyton Jones
     Dr. Simon Marlow
     Microsoft Research Laboratory, Cambridge, UK


The GHC Haskell compiler now provides high-level abstractions that  
allow the programmer to benefit from multi-core CPUs.  These  
abstractions support implicit parallelism - the programmer can  
indicate expressions that could usefully be evaluated in parallel, but  
is freed from concerns about when parallel evaluation takes place.   
However, it now becomes more difficult to isolate and resolve  
performance issues.

Visualization of run-time behaviour can help. The Haskell community  
already have the benefit of a tool, ThreadScope, developed at  
Microsoft Research Cambridge (research.microsoft.com/en-us/labs/
Cambridge/) that provides insight into resource utilisation. However  
ThreadScope, like other performance visualization tools, presents the  
programmer with a view of low-level resources that differs from the  
level of abstraction at which Haskell programmers are encouraged to  
work. This studentship will investigate visualization techniques for  
linking high-level program abstractions with low-level runtime  
performance data. It should allow Haskell programmers to exploit  
parallelism more effectively.

The student will join the Visualization and VR group at Leeds (www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/vvr) 
. Work on the PhD will involve: understanding how information about  
run-time resources can be extracted and visualized, and how  
programmers use these representations to reason about design and  
implementation choices; building or extending visualization tools;  
conducting user evaluations; modify components of the GHC compiler and  
runtime system.  Work will be undertaken with support from the GHC/ 
ThreadScope team at Microsoft Research (Satnam Singh, Simon Peyton  
Jones, and Simon Marlow).  At the discretion of Microsoft Research,  
the student may also be offered an internship at MRL Cambridge.


The Scholarship provides a bursary of £20,000 per year for three  
years, covering fees and maintenance. A further £3000 per annum has  
been reserved for travel expenses to attend conferences and visits to  
Microsoft Research in Cambridge.  Applicants from outside of the EU
should note that higher student fees (currently £13,300) will  
necessarily reduce the amount available for maintenance. Home/EU fees  
stand at £3,390 currently. Microsoft Research will provide the  
successful candidate with a laptop equipped with a suite of software.


Applicants must hold a First-Class BSc (Hon) degree in Computer  
Science or equivalent. It is essential that applicants have excellent  
knowledge of functional programming and significant practical  
experience writing software in Haskell, Clean, or ML. Experience with  
GUI programming and/or information visualization is highly desirable.   
Knowledge of programming technologies, in particular compilers and  
implementation techniques for functional languages is also desirable.  
The position is open to students of all nationalities.


The School of Computing (www.comp.leeds.ac.uk) is among the 10 best  
Computing departments in the UK according to the 2008 Research  
Assessment Exercise (RAE).  An impressive 80% of staff is rated
internationally excellent or world leading. This clearly confirms the  
School’s position as one of the leading computing departments in the  
UK and a leader in the field internationally.


Formal applications for research degree study must be made either  
online through the University website, or on the University’s  
application form. Detailed information of how to apply on line can be  
found at: www.leeds.ac.uk/students/apply_research.htm

The paper application form is available at: www.leeds.ac.uk/rds/Admissions/Admis_home.htm
Please return the completed application form to: Research Degrees &  
Scholarships Office, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT.

Please provide all the documents required as soon as possible, either  
included with your paper application or sent directly to the School of  
Computing secretary (rsadmit at comp.leeds.ac.uk)  if you apply online.    
Scanned copies are acceptable for a conditional offer; however you  
will need to provide originals or certified copies at registration.   
These will include your degree certificate(s), transcripts of marks  
achieved in previous degrees, plus evidence of English language  
qualifications if your first language is not English and you do not  
hold a degree from an English-speaking country. Please note, if you  
intend to send academic references we can only accept them if they are  
on official letter headed paper and contain an original signature and  
stamp; they must arrive in sealed envelopes.  Alternatively, the  
School will contact your named academic referees directly.


Applications must be received by 22 March 2010.


For questions about the research topic, please contact
Dr. David Duke, University of Leeds;
Tel: +44 113 343 6800;
Email: D.J.Duke at leeds.ac.uk;
Web: www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/djd/

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