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Eamonn O'Neill <[log in to unmask]>
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Eamonn O'Neill <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 May 2015 09:32:05 +0000
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The University of Bath, UK, invites applications for a PhD studentship in
Using High-Performance Computing (HPC) to develop novel models of human attention and visual salience

Academic supervisors: Dr Michael Proulx (Psychology), Prof Eamonn O’Neill (Computer Science) and Prof Peter Hall (Computer Science). 

Industrial supervisor: Dr Navid Hajimirza, Lumen Research, London. 

The movements of the eyes reflect complex information processing by the brain, and this is revealed by the development of novel models of saliency maps that detail areas of interesting contrast for humans, and other codes to account for how the human brain can segment, identify, and prioritise visual objects. These models can be used to predict and interpret human behaviour: by tracking the eyes it is possible to read the mind of the observer and know not only where, but what it is he or she is looking at by using machine learning algorithms for artificial intelligence, image annotation in large databases, and for the development of neurological treatments. 

HPC allows us to develop new models and codes with larger multimodal data sets than ever used before. The PhD student will have access to large data sets of human eye-tracking data and images to develop, test and analyse novel saliency and task-driven models of attention. The data include intensive image processing and text processing plus raw two-dimensional eye-tracking data. The research will develop prediction algorithms for newspaper reading and web browsing. 

The research will involve novel application of the University’s new HPC cluster through the use of NOSQL databases and attempt online processing in a development environment. As part of a collaborative research team, the PhD student will receive technical training and support from the industrial supervisor and Computer Science supervisors, and training and support in the theory and experimental skills from the Psychology supervisor. 

Candidates should normally have a good first degree (equivalent to a First Class or 2:1 Honours) or a Masters degree in computer science, psychology or a relevant discipline. Candidates must have interests in data analysis, computer vision, machine learning and human-computer interaction, strong programming skills and be willing and able to develop excellent knowledge and skills in research methods and data analysis techniques, including quantitative and qualitative methods. Experience with using and programming HPC is an advantage. 

Applicants must satisfy RCUK residency rules for the full studentship.  The full studentship will cover the full tuition fees at the Home/EU rate, as well as a training support fee and a standard tax-free stipend (at least £14,057/annum) for 3.5 years. 

The successful candidate is expected to start on 1 October 2015 although another date may be negotiable.

Informal inquiries may be sent to Dr Michael Proulx ([log in to unmask]). 

For more general information, see: 
To apply, please go to this page, click on “Apply Online” and select “PhD programme in Computer Science (full-time)”.

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