Two Ph.D. positions at TU Eindhoven (Netherlands)

Bettina Speckmann speckman at
Fri Jul 18 22:08:17 PDT 2003

%                                                                    %
%                   OPENING FOR TWO PhD STUDENTS                     %
%                                in                                  %
%                      COMPUTATIONAL GEOMETRY                        %
%                                                                    %
%                at the TU Eindhoven (the Netherlands)               %
%                                                                    %


Many application areas involve objects in motion.  Virtual reality,
simulation, air-traffic control, and mobile communication systems are
just some examples. Algorithms that deal with objects in motion
traditionally discretize the time axis and compute or update their
structures based on the position of the objects at every time step.  A
major problem with this approach is the choice of the perfect time
interval. If the interval is too large, important events will be missed
and the data structure will be invalid for some time. If, on the other
hand, the interval is too small a lot of computation time is wasted.
Even if the time interval is chosen just right, this is not always a
satisfactory solution: some objects may have moved only slightly, in
such a way that the overall data structure is not influenced. One would
like to use the temporal coherence to speed up the process - to know
exactly at which point we need to take action. In fact the
location of an object should require our attention if and only if it
triggers an actual change in the data structure. Kinetic data structures
do exactly that: they maintain not only the structure itself, but also
some additional information that helps to find out when the structure
will undergo a `real' (combinatorial) change. In this project we study
such kinetic data structures for a variety of problems.

There are two openings for PhD students on this project. One PhD student
will work on more fundamental issues regarding kinetic data structures:
he/she will do a theoretical study of trade-offs between the time needed
to maintain the kinetic data structure and the time needed to extract
the required information from it at any given time. The second PhD
student will work on more applied issues: he/she will study the 
performance of kinetic data structures in practice. Furthermore, he/she 
will work on extending the current theory on KDSs for collision 
detection to 3-dimensional space.


The Algorithms group is a new research group at the TU Eindhoven,
established in late 2002.  One of the focal points of the group is
computational geometry. Currently the group consists of prof.dr. Mark
de Berg, dr. Otfried Cheong, dr. Bettina Speckmann (permanent staff
members), dr. Joachim Gudmundsson (postdoc), and Micha Streppel (PhD
student). In the coming fall two more PhD students will start
(in addition to the two PhD positions advertized here).

The webpage of the group is at ""


The candidates should have a masters degree in computer science or
mathematics, with a firm background in algorithms. The second candidate
should preferably also have some experience (or at least interest) in
experimental research.


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 may include assisting in courses
of BSc or MSc programs of the department. This amounts
to at most 20% of the time; the remaining time is spent on
research and research-related activities.

Foreign PhD students need not speak Dutch: it is easy to get by
with English, not only at the university but also in everyday life.


* A research position in a young, enthousiastic, and internationally
    oriented research group.
* A four-year position with an evaluation after one year.
* A salary of 1526 euro/month in the first year, increasing to 2063
euro/month in the final year.
* Well organized support for your personal development and career policy.
* Excellent fringe benefits: reimbursement of the PhD thesis' costs up
to 1800 euro, outstanding sporting facilities, children's day care,
company savings.


If you want to know more about the project or how to apply, please
contact Mark de Berg (mdberg at or Bettina Speckmann
(speckman at

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