This page is for PhD applicants looking to work with Dr. Rik Sarkar

Admissions are open for starting in 2016. See below for various topics and PhD positions. Students are strongly advised to apply by Jan 29.

Students with a scholarship to start earlier are advised to get in
touch immediately.

commonwealth scholarship.

Topics:

The following are
some sample research areas, and are all mutually related. You are
welcome to work on any combinations of them.

**Social & technological networks**

**Many large datasets are
either networks or closely related to networks. For example, social
networks, professional networks, biological networks, the internet etc. And we can ask many types of questions in them:
**

**What do social networks tell us about communities?**

**Can a social network help us predict which event or movie will be popular?**- Which long routes in a city are most popular? What should be the routes of a bus service?

**Which are the important nodes or people in a network?**

**What are the properties of networks that make them effieicent or inefficient in certain tasks?**

**How can we summarize networks and compare different networks?**

We aim to develop better understanding of networks and fast algorithms to analyze networks and events in networks.

**Sensor networks and mobile phones: Context, location and others
**

**Our goal is to use the
location technologies and sensors to detect the circumstances and behavior of users to optimize services:
**

**Where are the users and what are they doing?**

**Can we deduce social networks from mobile phone usage?**

**How can we find that and deliver better services and information to them? HOw do we make mobile apps adaptive to the user?**

- How do people move in a city, and how can we optmize traffic?

**Large datasets --
"Big Data" -- cannot be analyzed using a regular computer. They must be
processed using many computers in "clusters" or "data centaers."
However, many traditional methods of optimization, data mining and learning
assume computations on a single computer. Thus:
**

**How can we distribute the computations to process data on many computers?**- How can we leverage computaitonal power at small devices like phones and sensors to ease big data processing?

**Computational geometry and topology**

**Many types of data are "geometric"
if viewed in the right way. Computational geometry and toplogy are
about finding properties of locations and other coordinate systems to
identify the most important characteristics of data. ****This applies to mobile systems, sensor networks, big data and
complex networks. We are interested in:**

**Persistent topology of data**- Low dimensional embedding of networks into geometric spaces

**Algorithms**

**Algorithms are the most fundamental elements in computer science. We are intereseted in algorithms relevant
to all the areas above. In the modern age of massive datasets and many
different types of devices, we need algorithms that can operate
rapidly, producing good, but may be not perfect results. Thus we are looking for approximations,
and online, streaming algorithms.
**

POSITIONS:

The Univeristy of Edinburgh hosts multiple CDTs covering most aspects of computer science. The CDTs provide 4 years of support. You can work with me in either:

For students interested in big data issues like data mining, analysis etc:

EPSRC Center for Doctoral Training on Data Science

For students Interested in Systems:

EPSRC Center for Doctoral Training on Pervasive Parallelism

For students in interested in theory, algorithms, geometry etc, both the CDTs above are relevant.

In addition, you can also choose to do a regular Ph.D. outside of CDTs.

If you are not sure which option is best for you, please contact me. In fact, you should contact me anyway before applying. See below.

To apply,

Send CV and transcripts to Dr Rik Sarkar by email with subject “PhD in Networks” or “PhD in Algorithms” as appropriate and with an explanation of your interests.

When instructed to do so, submit formal application at: The PhD application page for Informatics, U. Edinburgh. You can choose to apply to the laboratory for foundations of computer science or to a CDT.

- For
international students, the deadline for the second step is around
December 12, 2015. So please start your process early. Other
students are also encouraged to get in touch sooner rather than later.

For the formal application you will need to write a research statement describing your interests, and will have to submit contact information for 2 referees who will be asked for letters of recommendation.

**Funding** Full funding for 3 years is available for
UK and EU students, covering tuition, plus a stipend at the standard
EPSRC rate. Partial funding is available for overseas students, who
must apply for additional scholarships to compelete their funding.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the top 20 in world in the QS rankings. The Edinburgh School of Informatics is the largest in UK and has consistently ranked as the top in research. The historic city of Edinburgh is lively, beautiful, and a great place to live. More information for students are available at here and here