TU Delft

PhD Student in Static Semantics Specification

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Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Programming Languages Research Group is an internationally leading research group in programming languages, and active in areas such as language engineering, language design, domain-specific languages, software verification, and program logics. The section employs over 15 people, including academic staff, around 10 PhD students, and two postdoctoral researchers. The group is responsible for programming and programming languages education at the bachelor and master’s levels in the TU Delft Computer Science curriculum.

The Software Technology (ST) Department is one of the leading Dutch departments in research and academic education in computer science, employing over 150 people. The ST Department is responsible for a large part of the curriculum of the bachelor’s and master’s programmes in Computer Science as well as the master’s programme Embedded Systems. The inspiration for its research topics is largely derived from technical ICT problems in industry and society related to large-scale distributed processing, embedded systems, programming productivity, and web-based information analysis.

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) is known worldwide for its high academic quality and the societal relevance of its research programmes. Offering an international working environment, the faculty has more than 1100 employees (including about 500 PhD students) and more than 3000 bachelor’s and master’s students. Together they work on a broad range of technical innovations in the fields of electrical sustainable energy, microelectronics, intelligent systems, software technology, and applied mathematics.

Functie omschrijving

The Spoofax team at TU Delft is pursuing a broad research program to develop a language workbench that supports high-level declarative language definition, the generation of programming environments (including editors, parsers, type checkers, and interpreters/compilers) from language definitions, and the (automated) verification of properties of language definitions and their implementations.

One line of research in this program is concerned with the formalization of the name binding rules in programming languages. To that end, the group has developed a theory of name resolution based on scope graphs, and applied it in the design and implementation of a meta-language for static semantics. In dynamic semantics, scope graphs provide a uniform model for memory at runtime and serve as the basis for intrinsically-typed definitional interpreters, enabling the automatic verification of type soundness.

We are seeking a PhD student to join the Spoofax team to further develop the theory and application of scope graphs and its application in static semantics specification and type checking.

We are looking for a versatile candidate who can contribute to the development of theoretical foundations, design of meta-languages, implementation and integration of languages and libraries in the language workbench, and evaluate the new techniques in language design case studies.

For more information see the publications on scope graphs and the Spoofax website. For this project focus on the OOPSLA’18, PEPM’16, and ESOP’15 papers.

The PI on the project is Eelco Visser. The PhD student will be co-supervised by Casper Bach Poulsen.

Functie eisen

We are looking for an excellent candidate with the following qualifications, knowledge, and skills:


  • A master's degree (or equivalent) in computer science

  • A strong and demonstrable interest in program languages and language engineering, including experience with language engineering topics such as compiler construction, type checking, and definitional interpreters.

  • A strong commitment to research: turn insights about programming languages and software development into generalizable and elegant theory and solutions; investigate the state-of-the-art/literature; evaluate ideas and solutions against relevant and motivating examples from software engineering practice.

  • A strong commitment to turning theory into software and demonstrable software engineering skills (with object-oriented and functional programming languages) to realize that.

  • Independent, self-motivated, reliable, and eager to learn.

  • Ability to work in a project team and take leadership and responsibility for different research tasks.

  • An excellent command of English and good academic writing and presentation skills.    

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Informeren en solliciteren

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Prof.dr. Eelco Visser, email: e.visser@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 15 27 87088.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Roniet Sharabi, Secretary, email: r.sharabi@tudelft.nl

For more information about this position see the website (http://pl.ewi.tudelft.nl/hiring/2019-phd-student-language-engineering/) and/or contact Eelco Visser (http://eelcovisser.org), Full Professor, phone: +31 (0)15-2787362, e-mail: E.Visser@tudelft.nl.

All applications should include a PDF attachment with:

- a detailed CV (including list of publications if available)

- a statement of research interests

- a list of courses taken and grades obtained

- a copy or link to your Master's thesis

- contact details of 2-3 references

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

Uren per week: 38-40 uur per week

Salaris: € 2.325,- tot € 2.972,- per maand

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