Applications are open for a 4 year fully-funded PhD scholarship in the area of Mathematics and Computer Science and particularly in Algorithmic Mechanism Design for problems inspired by blockchains. We are seeking mathematically oriented and motivated PhD students with a background in theoretical computer science or mathematics.
This PhD project will be based at the Computer Science Department in the University of Liverpool, UK. The successful applicant will be part of the CDT in Distributed Algorithms (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/distributed-algorithms-cdt/), and will be a member of the Economics and Computation research group (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/computer-science/research/econ-comp/). Primary academic supervisor will be Professor Piotr Krysta email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>, and academic co-supervisors: Professor Rida Laraki email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>, and Dr Olga Gorelkina Olga.Gorelkina@liverpool.ac.uk<mailto:Olga.Gorelkina@liverpool.ac.uk>.
This PhD project is in partnership with TriliTech (https://trili.tech/), which is a London based company that develops one the global blockchains and cryptocurrencies Tezos. This project will be co-supervised by Mr Arthur Breitman, the creator and funder of the Tezos blockchain.
We will use and develop state of the art techniques from modern optimisation, e.g., polynomial time approximation algorithms for hard optimisation problems, mathematical programming, randomised algorithms and probabilistic analysis, game theory, reinforcement learning, and deep learning and address the following Algorithmic Mechanism Design problems within this PhD project:
(*) Blockchain setting is a dynamically changing and stochastic environment, with large number of users. We will design large scale, dynamic mechanisms and analyse their performance. Equilibria in repeated games and reinforcement learning will be used here.
(*) Blockchain protocols, including Tezos' protocols, are inherently randomised. We will model a problem of computing the probability that a blockchain protocol is successful. Probabilistic analysis and randomised algorithms will be applied here.
(*) We will apply machine learning techniques to model and automatically find efficient mechanisms for blockchain. Reinforcement learning and deep learning approach can help finding the best mechanisms for problems related to blockchain protocols.
The primary analysis of the designed algorithmic mechanisms will be theoretical/mathematical, but an integral part of the project will be an implementation and experimental evaluation, using Tezos data, of these novel mechanisms in the real Tezos operations.
Full project description:
Who can apply?
Qualifications: The candidates for the PhD position should have a strong Bachelor or Master's degree (or should be close to obtaining their degree) in computer science, mathematics, or a closely related academic discipline, with a background in at least one of the following fields: Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Optimisation, Randomised Algorithms, Probability Theory. Maturity in mathematics is desired, and prior exposure to game theory/mechanism design or machine learning techniques are a plus but not essential. Good programming skills in a general-purpose programming language are required.
This scholarship is open to Home and International candidates.
How and when to apply?
The deadline for application is 18 April 2022. Informal enquiries can be directed to Professor Piotr Krysta (email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>). This project is due to commence on 1 October 2022 (Covid-19 Working Practices available).
To apply follow this link: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/distributed-algorithms-cdt/apply/
Professor Piotr Krysta
University of Liverpool
Department of Computer Science
Ashton Building, Ashton Street
Liverpool L69 3BX, U.K.
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