[Comp-neuro] Two PhD/Postdoc positions in theory of neuromorphic computing, Groningen, Netherland

Herbert Jaeger h.jaeger at rug.nl
Tue Nov 5 13:40:06 CET 2019

In the group of Herbert Jaeger two fully funded positions are open for 
PhD students (4 year contract) or Postdocs (3 year contract). Both 
positions are about formal, theoretical analyses and algorithmic models 
of „neuromorphic“ computing in non-digital hardware (analog, unclocked, 
spiking microchips or even unconventional material substrates exhibiting 
relevant nonlinear dyanmical phenomena).

Herbert Jaeger’s group is embedded in the Groningen Cognitive Systems 
and Materials Center (CogniGron, 
CogniGron, founded in 2018, is an interdisciplinary initiative at the 
intersection of computer science, AI, machine learning, computational 
neuroscience and material science. With 10 new professorships and 30 PhD 
stipends, CogniGron stands out as one of the most visible scientific 
investments in the Netherlands in recent times.

The *first position* is defined within the European H2020 project 
„Memory technologies with multi-scale time constants for neuromorphic 
architectures (MeM-Scales)“, whose central objective is to build 
(analog, spiking) neuromorphic microchips which can adapt to online 
input signals which display several or even many timescales. Since 
microchip physics will deliver only a few physical timescales, 
collective computational phenomena will have to be explored in order to 
realize the long-range memory timescales required by many tasks. Since 
at this point, numerous but hardly explored options are "in the air" for 
computational timescale management, this position offers much freedom to 
engage in original work.

The *second position* is funded through university budgets and is 
independent of specific project demands. The position holder will enjoy 
unusual freedom, paired with intellectual risk, to contribute to the 
ultimate scientific goal of Jaeger’s group: a unifying formal theory of 
information processing in nonlinear dynamical systems - regardless of 
whether they are similar to biological brains, or rest on non-neural 
dynamical phenomena in novel material substrates. Obviously, such a 
unifying theory, which would play for neuromorphic computing a similarly 
central role as Turing computability theory plays for digital computing, 
is not in sight and may be even not possible. However, many 
mini-revolutions in mathematical description formats are possible, and 

Each position will be filled by either a PhD student with a 4-year 
contract, or by a Postdoc with a 3-year contract. The only selection 
criterion is qualification (product of intellectual audacity, analytical 
thinking power, and relevant mathematical and factual knowledge).

Groningen is a beautiful and welcoming city, the university sits in the 
top 100 in virtually all global ranking lists, and the salary is highly 
competitive. More detail can be found in the official job announcements 
on the website of the University of Groningen:

First position:

(PhD version)

(Postdoc version)

Second position:

(PhD version)

(Postdoc version)

Please apply for at most one of these formal job announcements, 
following the instructions given at these weblinks. For pre-application 
inquiries please contact me directly by email (h.jaeger at rug.nl). 
Applications received before December 1 will be given full 
consideration; however, the positions will remain open until filled. The 
earliest (and desirable) starting date for both positions is January 1, 

Dr. Herbert Jaeger
Professor of Computing in Cognitive Materials
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Faculty of Science and Engineering - CogniGron
Nijenborgh 9, 9747 AG Groningen

web: minds.jacobs-university.de

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