Postdoctoral stipend (2 years) in autonomous systems that recognise, explain, and predict complex human activities

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Umeå University announces one stipend for postdoctoral research in autonomous systems that recognise, explain, and predict complex human activities. The stipend is part of a massive effort on autonomous systems for industry and society of the future, with eight postdoctoral stipends in eight separate subprojects. Welcome with your application!

The Department of Computing Science ( is a dynamic department with about 100 employees from over twenty countries. We are providing research and education within a broad spectrum of areas, and offer education on basic, advanced, and PhD levels. The research is internationally well recognized and includes basic research, methods development, and software development, but also research and development within various application domains.

The currently announced stipend is one out of two stipends that will be connected to the research group in user, interaction and knowledge modeling, whose research primarily addresses interactive intelligent systems, smart environments, knowledge representation and reasoning. The group includes around ten people with six researchers and three PhD students. The research is to a large extent funded by external resources. The research is frequently performed in a multi-professional research environment in collaboration with a number of research groups in the health domains and societal organisations like county councils, municipalities and industry. For a presentation of the research group and environment, please see The stipend project will also benefit from and collaborate within the expanding research environment on autonomous systems, where other advertised stipend projects have closely related focus.

Project description
We are opening a postdoctoral stipend for research on autonomous systems that recognise, explain, and predict complex human activities.

Understanding human activities and the context in which they take place are challenging, since a person’s activity is driven by goals, motives, needs and norms that may be conflicting in a situation. Moreover, activities may be overlapping in time and performed differently depending on constraints given by a context. Therefore, sound computational theories for dealing with complex human activities are needed in order to develop a new generation of autonomous ambient intelligence systems. Such context-awareness that is centered on the human and their activities enables the development of personalized and autonomously adaptive intelligent environments. The aim is to facilitate enhanced activity performance, for instance, with senior citizens who strive to continue living independently in their home environments.

The project is focused on the development of knowledge representation and automated reasoning techniques for recognising, explaining, and predicting complex human activities. Knowledge representation and automated reasoning techniques for performing this include temporal reasoning about actions, nonmonotonic causal logics, possibilistic logic, answer set programming, the treatment of incomplete, uncertain and inconsistent knowledge.

The project is part of a major effort including eight postdoctoral stipends in autonomous systems. For more information, see the following link.

Each stipend is for two years with a starting date to be negotiated. The stipend, provided by the Kempe Foundations, amounts to 300 000 SEK per year. The stipend is not subject to tax.

A qualified applicant is required to have a PhD degree or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence or another subject of relevance for the project. The PhD degree shall not be more than three years old by the application deadline unless there are special reasons. The applicant should be strongly motivated and interested to develop new competences, as well as to act in an international environment.

Documented knowledge and proven research experiences in at least one of the areas nonmonotonic reasoning, action reasoning, nonmonotonic causal logics, possibilistic logic, answer set programming is required. Good research merits and scientific publications in the area of the position are strongly meriting. International research experience is also a merit.

A successful candidate should be capable of practical implementations of theoretical models in intelligent systems, as well as producing high quality scientific publications in English. Very good knowledge in the English language, both spoken and written, is required.

The application, preferably written in English, should include:

  • An introductory letter summarizing your qualifications, research interests, and motivation for applying (max 2 pages)
  • CV with list of publications
  • Copies of PhD thesis and relevant publications
  • Copies of degree certificates
  • Name and contact information for two or three reference persons

Umeå university is an equal opportunity employer, therefore, we welcome female applicants in particular.

Further information is provided by Dr. Juan Carlos Nieves at

Your complete application, marked FS 2.1.6-2283-16, should be sent electronically (in pdf-format) to (provide the reference number on the email’s subject line). Application deadline is 2017-02-15.

We look forward to your application!

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