A PhD student position and a two-year postdoc with competitive salary are both available in Nick Cheney’s lab in the Computer Science Department at the University of Vermont – and in close collaboration with the EvolvingAI Lab at the University of Wyoming. The research will be in the area of meta-learning for artificial general intelligence – applied to a variety of problems, especially those in deep reinforcement learning. Responsibilities include helping to design bio-inspired algorithms that enable agents to learn a variety of new tasks without losing the ability to perform previous ones (i.e. avoiding “catastrophic forgetting”) and testing these method on simulated and/or physical robots.
These positions will be advised by Professor Nick Cheney at the University of Vermont and Professor Jeff Clune at the University of Wyoming/Uber AI Labs. They are available immediately, and applicants will be considered on a rolling basis – though some flexibility on start date is possible. Experience in deep learning and/or reinforcement learning is desired. But applicants with strong research backgrounds in relevant fields (e.g. statistics, math, computer science), strong programming and communication skills, and a demonstrated desire to learn more about machine learning and neural networks will also be considered.
To apply please send application materials to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. These should include a CV with cover letter, transcripts, GRE scores (if available), contact information (including academic relationship to you) for 3 letters of reference, a representative publication, and any additional materials demonstrating verbal communication skills (e.g. a recorded academic talk, or a recorded summary of your research interests, motivation, and goals – please link videos rather than attaching them) or programming skills (e.g. link to a Github repository).
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The Evolving Artificial Intelligence Lab focuses on robotics and creating artificial intelligence in neural networks, either via deep learning or evolutionary algorithms. The lab is actively engaged in research. Just in the last three years, we have received an NSF CAREER award, participated in a cover article in Nature, produced the 63rd most talked about scientific paper worldwide in 2015, and our deep learning papers were awarded oral presentations (1-6% acceptance rates) at NIPS, CVPR, ICLR, and an ICML workshop. In that same time, we also produced six papers at GECCO, including a best paper award, and three papers in PLoS Computational Biology – including a cover article with a Reddit AMA about it that over 42,000 people joined to ask 1000+ questions. Additionally, our work has been covered by almost every major international news outlet.
Professor Cheney’s lab at the University of Vermont is a newly established core research group within the Vermont Complex Systems Center – a postdisciplinary team of faculty and students working on real-world, data-rich, and meaningful complex systems problems of all kinds. The lab focuses on developing bio-inspired design and machine learning methods to study and address important complex adaptive systems in our society – spanning robotics, digital fabrication, healthcare, and social-environmental problems. The lab is growing quickly and strongly funded by past and current projects from DARPA, NASA, the NSF, USDA, ARO, and industrial partnerships. In addition to research output (13 papers in the last two years), the group is also focused on the public engagement of science – working with government and industrial stakeholders to help realize real-world impacts of AI research, engaging nearly a millions viewers via scientific communication videos, and winning 7 conference/institutional awards for these efforts.
The University of Vermont (UVM), established in 1791, is a comprehensive research university with a current enrollment of 12,000+ undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. The scientific and academic environments in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, and throughout UVM, are dynamic, highly collaborative, and multi-disciplinary. UVM has state of the art core facilities, including the Vermont Advanced Computing Center, the Advanced Genome Technologies Core, and the UVM Medical Center. We also offer generous benefits packages, including health, dental, disability, and life insurance, personal and medical leave, and tuition remission.
The University is located in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, about 90 miles south of Montreal. Burlington is consistently ranked as one of the best small cities in America for quality of living, and features year-round outdoor recreation and cultural events. Greater Burlington has a population of approximately 150,000 and enjoys a panoramic setting on Lake Champlain, bordered by the Adirondack and Green Mountains.
The University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and actively encourages applications from women, veterans, and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
We frequently have open opportunities for exceptional students who wish to pursue a PhD in Computer Science or Complex Systems and Data Science. To apply please email a CV with cover letter, transcripts, GRE scores, contact information (including academic relationship to you) for 3 letters of reference, a representative publication, and any additional materials demonstrating verbal communication skills (e.g. YouTube link to a recorded academic talk) or programming skills (e.g. link to a Github repository).