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PhD Candidate, Energy Efficient GPU Computing

Vacancy number
Job type
PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
30 January 2024
Closing date
8 March 2024 15 more days to apply

Apply now

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) are looking for a:

PhD Candidate, Energy Efficient GPU Computing

We are looking for a fully funded PhD candidate in High Performance Computing (HPC). Powerful computers are driving the rapid advancements in science, industry, and society, but at huge energy and environmental costs. Software is often not fully optimized to use the underlying hardware in the most optimal way, leaving room to improve the energy efficiency. In this project, we will focus on automatic performance tuning (auto-tuning) of applications for Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for energy efficiency. This project will research new algorithms and methods to automatically optimize software for energy efficiency.

The specific focus of the research is to be determined in consultation with the supervisor, dr. Ben van Werkhoven https://benvanwerkhoven.github.io. The research will be related to Kernel Tuner, a software development tool for automatic performance tuning (auto-tuning) GPU applications. Kernel Tuner is developed by the Accelerated Computing group and several national and international collaborators.

The Accelerated Computing research group, led by Ben van Werkhoven, conducts research in the automatic optimization of software for performance, energy efficiency, and accuracy on advanced and emerging hardware platforms, including supercomputers and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).

Possible new research directions include (but are not limited to):

  • Fast and accurate power and energy measurement of individual GPU functions
  • Performance modelling for correcting and calibrating power and performance measurements
  • Code optimizations and sensitivity analysis for energy efficiency optimization
  • Use of large language models (LLM) in automatic code optimization
  • Auto-tuning for (energy) performance portability
  • Optimizing (machine-learning) algorithms and applications using auto-tuning

In this position, you are expected to develop your own research line; as such we ask for a brief research proposal (max. 1 page) which outlines your research project for the next four years.

You will be embedded in the Accelerated Computing research group, as part of the Computer Systems and Security cluster, at the Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) at Leiden University, supervised by dr. Ben van Werkhoven, and prof. dr. Rob van Nieuwpoort.

Key responsibilities

  • Conduct original research in the field of High Performance Computing, focusing on automatic performance tuning and energy efficiency;
  • Publish scientific work in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at top-level international conferences;
  • Pursue and complete a PhD thesis within the appointed duration of four years;
  • Engage in collaboration with other researchers within and outside LIACS;
  • Assist in relevant teaching activities;

Selection Criteria

  • Recently completed (or soon to be completed) MSc degree in Computer Science with a specialization in, for example, Parallel and Distributed Computing, High Performance Computing, Computer Systems;
  • You are eager to tackle complex scientific problems, and you are able to implement and evaluate new methods and algorithms;
  • You are passionate about working collaboratively with other researchers;
  • You are able to communicate fluently in written and spoken English.
  • Strong interest in GPU Programming and code optimization;
  • Strong academic performance in university-level courses in computer science;
  • Experience in programming in C++ and Python;

Research at our faculty
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2.300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. For more information, see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science and https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) is the Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Institute in the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. We offer courses at the Bachelor and Master of Science level in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, ICT in Business, Media Technology, and Bioinformatics. According to an independent research visitation, we are one of the foremost computer science departments of the Netherlands. We strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and diversity go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow. For more information about LIACS, see https://www.cs.leiden.edu

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time 1-year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary ranges from € 2,770, - to € 3.539, - gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/graduate-school-of-science Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

D&I statement
Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Enquiries can be made to dr. Ben van Werkhoven (b.van.werkhoven@liacs.leidenuniv.nl). If you have any questions about the procedure, please sent an email to: jobs@liacs.leidenuniv.nl.

Please submit online your application via the blue button in the vacancy. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • A motivation letter including choice to apply for and your applicability for the position;
  • A curriculum vitae, including your publications;
  • A short research proposal in line with the above-mentioned topics (max. 1 page);
  • Grade list (both bachelor's degree and master's degree);
  • Examples of scientific writing (e.g., scientific publication or master’s thesis);
  • Link to your GitHub account and list of open-source repositories you have contributed to;
  • Names and contact details of at least two academic references (who have agreed to be contacted).

Only applications received before March 8, 2024 can be considered.

Apply now

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