Open doctoral positions





Two doctoral positions are open in the Logic Systems Laboratory of the EPFL in a new research group. The planned research area is:



The funding for the project will be available in October 2003, but the starting date for the doctoral positions can be delayed by a few months if necessary.


The proposed project involves the development and implementation of novel computing architectures inspired by biology, and more particularly by the developmental (growth) process of multi-cellular organisms.

The multi-cellular paradigm is based on a hierarchical approach to computation, where systems (organisms) consist of homogeneous arrays of identical application-specific processing elements (cells). The arrays have several distinctive properties, such as homogeneity, redundancy, and scalability, which allow the implementation of processes such as dynamic growth, structural adaptation, and fault tolerance.

To obtain the desired properties, the cells are themselves made up of smaller elements. These molecules (to maintain the biological analogy) correspond, in the world of silicon, to the elements of a programmable logic device (FPGA). The entire system is then created by configuring the programmable logic as an array of processing elements, which then cooperate to execute the desired application.

Within this general topic, the candidates are called upon to find their own particular research interest (e.g., architecture design, design tools, developmental algorithms, etc.), keeping however in mind that at least part of their efforts will have to be dedicated to achieving the goals specified in the project proposal for which the funds were granted.



The planned research requires experience in the following fields:

-          Bio-inspired systems

-          Reconfigurable digital logic (FPGAs)

-          Design of application-specific processor architectures

Experience in one or more of the following fields would be a strong plus:

-          Fault tolerance

-          Neural networks

-          Digital logic design tools

A good knowledge of written and spoken English is also required.


Candidates will be evaluated in two phases. For the first phase, candidates are invited to submit their curriculum vitae, plus whatever additional material they deem relevant, to the following email address:

Selected candidates will be invited to submit a full application (details will be provided).


Important dates

Deadline for submission of CV (first phase): 27 July 2003

Deadline for first round of selections: 4 August 2003

Deadline for submission of full applications (second phase): TBA (end of August)



CHF 46,500 per year

Further information

The following documents provide some technical background for the proposed research :

-          Project proposal – This is the description of the project for which the funding was granted. Keep in mind that, while the doctoral research needs not be centered on this particular subject, the work described in this document will be part of the charges of the doctoral student.

-          Development – This is my latest article to date. It contains a fairly discursive analysis of the field of research and should give you a fairly good idea of the direction that will be taken by the new research group.

-          Embryonics – Much of the background work for the proposed research in the area of developmental hardware comes from this project. You can also obtain some general information from the website , with particular reference to the “Counter” application.

-          POEtic – The integrated circuit developed for this European project could provide the hardware substrate for the implementation of the architectures developed for the proposed reseach.