PhD and Postdoc Positions on Symmetries and Optimization at the Frontiers of Computation (ERC Project)

We are inviting applications for several fully-funded PhD and postdoctoral positions as part of the ERC project Symmetry and Optimization at the Frontiers of Computation (SYMOPTIC).

Are you fascinated by what can be computed efficiently and what not?
Are you interested in finding hidden symmetries behind computational problems?
Would you like to design new optimization algorithms that exploit symmetries, to solve problems from machine learning to combinatorial optimization?
Or to understand if quantum computers can solve such problems in genuinely different ways?
Have you ever wondered about Riemannian convexity – or about algebra and its complexity?
Would you like to creatively combine ideas from different areas to make progress on central questions in the theory of computing?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then we hope that you will apply!

As successful candidates, you will work on questions such as the above as part of a diverse international team. At Bochum, you can expect an excellent research environment, including the Cluster of Excellence CASA and the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy. In addition to exciting research projects and a friendly and stimulating work environment, we can offer a generous travel budget that allows for attending relevant conferences and summer schools to present your work to the international community, visiting collaborators, etc. You will be employed on a fully-funded position (100%, E13 salary) with an initial appointment of by default three years.

Your profile:

  • Applicants for a PhD position should have excellent grades in classes related to theoretical computer science, mathematics, quantum computing, or similar. By default, you should have an MSc degree (in computer science, mathematics, theoretical physics, or a related field), but outstanding candidates with a BSc degree will also be considered.
  • Applicants for a postdoctoral position should have a track record in ideally at least one of the following topics: theoretical computer science, quantum computing, algebraic geometry, invariant theory, representation theory, mathematical optimization, or a related topic.
  • You are curiosity driven, enjoy combining creativity with mathematical precision, and are open to interdisciplinary collaborations.
  • You are fluent in written and spoken English (no German required).

To apply:

Please email with the following information:

  • Brief cover letter describing your background and research interests
  • CV, including transcripts (BSc + MSc)
  • Electronic contact details of 2 referees
  • Any other relevant material (thesis draft, GitHub link, …)

Applications received by December 15, 2022 will receive full consideration. Late applications will be considered until all positions are filled. We strongly encourage applications from members of any underrepresented group in our research area.