The People-Centered Computing Lab in the Faculty of Informatics at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Lugano, Switzerland, is looking for a candidate for a 4-year PhD-student position in machine learning (ML). The position is funded by an SNF Ambizione project. Dr. Martin Gjoreski and Prof. Marc Langheinrich will be the co-supervisors. The project includes collaborations with leading research groups from MIT (US), Cambridge (UK), Melbourne (AU), and UNIGE (CH).

The Ph.D. position is full-time, with a competitive salary and social security insurance. Per Swiss regulations, Ph.D. student salaries range from CHF 47’040 (gross) in the first year to CHF 50’040 (gross) in the last year. Apart from performing research, the faculty’s Ph.D. program also expects students to complete coursework and acquire teaching experience.

As part of the project, the Ph.D. student will work on the development of novel methods for “Privacy-aware domain adaptation.” More specifically, the project envisions using the latest ML techniques for self-supervised and unsupervised learning to improve ML models’ personalization, accuracy, and data efficiency for estimating human affect (e.g., emotions and stress) from wearable-sensor data. The novel methods should also work under privacy constraints (e.g., using federated learning). The student will collaborate with a team working on Explainable AI (XAI) tools for the ML developed in the project.

Candidates should possess the following:

• MSc degree in computer science, computer engineering, AI, or a related field.
• Excellent background in ML and experience with ML libraries (e.g., TensorFlow and PyTorch) 
• Strong programming skills (especially Python) 
• Fluency in English, both orally and in writing

Applications should be sent to (CC: using the subject line “Ph.D. application” and should include the following:

• CV with contact information for at least one reference
• transcript of records for MSc and BSc studies
• 1-page statement of purpose (research interests & why you think you are a good fit)

Application deadline: 1st September 2023 (envisioned project start: 1st January 2024). Notifications will be sent by the 29th of September, 2023.
Extended to 27th October 2023. (Envisioned project start: 1st January 2024)

The Faculty of Informatics at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) is one of the largest research centers for Computer Science in Switzerland. Its vanguard educational model and passion for scientific research make it an ideal place to obtain a Ph.D., as it allows doctoral students to participate in cutting-edge research and teaching. Around 200 researchers from around the world conduct research in key Computer Science areas such as AI and Systems on the newly inaugurated Campus EST in the heart of Lugano.