[Elsnet-list] Job opening: Computer Scientist / Computational Linguist (Digital Humanities, postmaster or postdoc level) f/m

Marieke van Erp marieke at cs.vu.nl
Mon Feb 4 14:48:37 CET 2013

*** Apologies for cross-posting *** 

The Axiom group at the Network Institute/Faculty of Philosophy at the VU University Amsterdam has 
a vacancy for a

Computer Scientist / Computational Linguist (Digital Humanities, postmaster or postdoc level) f/m
For 1.0 fte for a fixed period of 6 months
Vacancy number: 1.2013.00030

Axiom group
The Axiom Group investigates the dynamics of scientific concepts such truth, explanation, (logical) form and organism in historical texts from 18th-20th century Europe. These concepts are central to axiomatic and semantics and relevant to logic, mathematics and biology.
The group is led by Arianna Betti and organised around the ERC Starting Grant Tarski’s Revolution: A New 
History – Semantics and Axiomatics from Bolzano to Tarski against the Background of the Classical Model 
of Science.

We wish to complement our current research methodology with existing digital tools, and reflect upon the 
methodological questions arising by using such tools. Our key text is Bolzano’s Wissenschaftslehre a 2000-
page 19th century German text originally printed in blackletter gothic (Fraktur).

We host various projects in digital humanities, among which an ERC Proof of Concept,  GLAMMap, in 
collaboration with computer scientists and librarians. 

Based in a Philosophy Faculty, we also belong to and collaborate closely with an interdisciplinary institute 
connecting mathematics & informatics with social sciences and humanities, The Network Institute: 
www.networkinstitute.nl. We also have an extended international network of contacts and joint research & 
teaching initiatives.

More information on philosophy and the digital humanities: www.axiom.vu.nl/philosophy_dh

*Investigate, assess for suitability, and calibrate existing text mining tools for historical texts in German and 
English (18th-early 20th century, various scripts) in the field of history of ideas (concept drift), e.g. software 
such as the Stanford Core NLP Tools, MALLET, Voyeur/Voyant, WordSeer and techniques such as Parts 
of Speech tagging, Named Entity Recognition, Topic modelling and Latent Semantic Analysis;
*Closely support the Axiom group (consisting of philosophers) in working with these techniques and 
*Participate in discussion meetings that reflect upon the consequences that these digital tools may have 
for traditional research in the history of ideas within philosophy;
* Write joint proposals and possibly, joint papers, in Digital Humanities closely related to this expertise 
and on the basis of the results of the tool & software assessment.

* MA/Msc or a PhD in computational linguistics, computer science or comparable discipline;
* experience with and knowledge of natural language processing techniques and tools; the candidate is 
expected to master or being able to quickly master tools currently available for research in digital 
humanities, specifically tools that are text-based (such as latent semantic analysis), and to install and 
calibrate these tools such that they can be used by the Axiom group;
* affinity with/ interest in historical data and ability to work with German texts;
* excellent social and communicative skills;
* being able and willing to work in a team and in an interdisciplinary setting.

Our team is international, diverse and flexible as regards working times, habits and team organization. 
We currently have a 50% gender balance. We aim to start the position as soon as possible.

Further particulars
The appointment will be initially for 2 months. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be 
extended for a total duration of 6 months. You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of 
employment at www.workingatvu.nl like:
* remuneration of  8,3% end-of-year bonus and  8% holiday allowance;
* a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge;
* generous contribution (70%) commuting allowance based on public transport;

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and depending on 
experience, in the range of €2.042,- gross per month up to €2.612,- gross per month at a postmaster level 
and at postdoc level from €2.397,- gross per month up to €3.755,- gross per month (salary scale 10) based 
on full-time employment.

For additional information please contact:  Prof. Dr. Arianna Betti, e-mail: ariannabetti at gmail.com

Applicants are requested to write a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation, and stating 
at what level they wish to apply for the position (postmaster or postdoc). The letter should be accompanied 
by a curriculum vitae and two references. Please indicate clearly in your cv the languages you know and 
at what level. Applications should be sent before February 14th, 2013 to: 
VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Philosophy, attn.: Mr. A.W. Mulder, managing director, 
De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands, It is also possible to apply by e-mail to: 
secretaresse.thw at vu.nl

Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header or at the top of your letter and on the envelope.
Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.

VU University Amsterdam
Faculty of Sciences
De Boelelaan 1081a, Room U334   
1081 HV  Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 598 7449
Fax: +31 20 598 7728

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