PhD positions at Utrecht University

Mark de Berg markdb at
Thu Jan 21 10:16:16 PST 1999

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%               UTRECHT UNIVERSITY (the Netherlands)            %

The Applied Algorithms group at the Department of Computer Science
at Utrecht University is one of the world's largest research groups
in the area of computational geometry. Currently the group has several
openings for PhD students. We seek both students who want to do
experimental research as well as students who are interested in
theoretical research. Possible projects include, but are not
limited to:

  * MOCCAM: Moving Objects in Complex CAD Models

    The goal of the MOCCAM project is to develop algorithmic techniques
    for motion support in CAD models, that is, the CAD system should be
    able to answer questions about the feasibility of motions of objects
    through the model. Such functionality is important for, for example,
    maintenance and replacement operations. The approach will be based on
    the probabilistic path planner, a technique developed for robot motion
    planning. Depending on the applicant, research in this project can 
    be more theoretical or more experimental.

  * Algorithmic Techniques for Computer-Generated Forces.
    This is a joint project with TNO-FEL, one of the laboratories of
    the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).
    The goal of the project is to develop, analyze, and implement and
    test algorithms to support computer-generated forces, that is, computer
    simulations of real forces to be used for the training of military
    personnel. The project will focus on algorithms for geometric problems
    such as path planning, visibility computations, and collision detection. 
    This project has a clear experimental component.

  * Fundamental Problems in Computational Geometry

    Besides the two project above, there are also possibilities for
    PhD students interested in `pure' computational geometry. Possible
    topics are: kinetic data structures (where one studies geometric
    data structures for moving objects), realistic input models (where
    one studies computational geometry problems under certain restrictive
    assumptions on the input), or visibility problems.

Candidates should preferably have an MSc in computer science, and a firm
background in algorithms. Students with an MSc in mathematics will also
be considered if they have sufficient background in computer science.



The Applied Algorithms group is headed by prof. Mark Overmars.
The other staff members of the group are: dr Mark de Berg,
dr Marc van Kreveld, dr Twan Maintz, dr Frank van der Stappen,
dr Dirk Thierens, and dr Remco Veltkamp. In addition, there are
currently eight PhD students, two postdocs, and two scientific programmers.
The main theme of the group is computational geometry and its application
to areas like robotics, geographical information systems, computer vision,
and computer graphics and virtual reality. Besides that, research is
performed on medical image analysis and on evolutionary computing.


In the Netherlands, every PhD student gets paid a salary;
no additional grants are needed. Moreover, although PhD students
sometimes take courses, there is no minimum requirement.
Hence, PhD students are more like employees than like students.
Indeed, the Dutch word for PhD student translates to "research trainee".

The work of a PhD student includes assisting in courses
of the undergaduate program of the department. This amounts
to at most 20% of the time; the remaining time is spent on
research and research-related activities.


If you want to know more about the possibilities of becoming
a PhD student in the Applied Algorithms group at Utrecht University,
please contact dr Mark de Berg (markdb at

More information is also available on our web-page:

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