[Elsnet-list] PhD student: Interactive NLG, University of Potsdam

Alexander Koller koller at ling.uni-potsdam.de
Fri Jun 29 16:17:50 CEST 2012

The Department of Linguistics at the Faculty of Human Sciences of the University of Potsdam is seeking to fill the following position:

PhD student
Salary Scale: 13 TV-Länder (Tarifgebiet Ost)

to be part of the new research project "Structuring information in interactive natural language generation". The project is led by Prof. Dr. Alexander Koller and is part of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center 632, "Information Structure". The working hours for the position amount to 30 hours per week. Applications will be processed immediately. Work should ideally start no later than October 2012. The position is initially limited to three years. Notice that the University of Potsdam does not charge tuition fees for PhD students beyond a nominal registration fee.

The goal of the research project is to use machine learning techniques to predict what a user in a virtual 3D environment will do in response to an utterance; to compute discourse plans that maximize the chance of achieving the communicative goal; and to then monitor what the user actually does in order to identify and counteract problems with the execution of the discourse plan. A successful candidate will have (or be about to finish) an MSc in computational linguistics, computer science, or a related discipline. Ideally, the candidate will already have some background in NLG, dialogue systems, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and spatial reasoning, and be a competent Java programmer.

The computational linguistics group in Potsdam is part of the Department of Linguistics and the university's designated Area of Excellence in Cognitive Sciences. It provides a dynamic and international research environment and maintains close ties with the departments of computer science and psychology. The department offers a BSc in Computational Linguistics; an MSc (taught in English) is in preparation.

The city of Potsdam, once the residence of the Prussian kings and German emperors, is surrounded by rivers and lakes and supports a wide variety of recreational activities. It is part of the Berlin metropolitan area, one of the cultural and scientific capitals of the world. The city of Berlin is within commuting distance, and many researchers and students choose to live there. The region offers a high quality of urban life at very modest living costs.

Handicapped applicants will be given preference in case of equal suitability. The University of Potsdam strives to increase the proportion of women in research and teaching and specifically encourages female applicants to apply for this position.

Please send your application (including the requisition number 117/2012) to koller at ling.uni-potsdam.de by July 20, 2012. If necessary, you can also mail it to University of Potsdam, Department of Linguistics, Prof. Dr. Alexander Koller, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24-25, 14476 Potsdam. In this case, we request that you include a self-addressed stamped envelope so we can return your application documents.

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