Thursday, July 18, 2013

PhD student in Computer Vision and Machine Learning

Faculty of Science - Informatics Institute

The Faculty of Science occupies a leading position internationally in its fields of research and participates in a large number of cooperative programs with universities, research institutes and businesses. The faculty has a student body of around 3,000 and 1,500 members of staff, spread over eight research institutes and a number of faculty-wide support services. A considerable part of the research is made possible by external funding from Dutch and international organizations and the private sector. The Faculty of Science offers thirteen Bachelor's degree programs and eighteen Master’s degree programs in the fields of the exact sciences, computer science and information studies, and life and earth sciences.

Since September 2010, the whole faculty has been housed in a brand new building at the Science Park in Amsterdam. The instalment of the faculty has made the Science Park one of the largest centers of academic research in the Netherlands.

The Informatics Institute (IvI) is one of the large research institutes with the faculty, with a focus on complex information systems divided in two broad themes: 'Computational Systems' and 'Intelligent Systems.' The institute has a prominent international standing and is active in a dynamic scientific area, with a strong innovative character and an extensive portfolio of externally funded projects.

Project description

The topic of the PhD is to recognize objects in a visual data stream. In such a stream the object classes of interest shift over time. Hence, the traditional approach to learn classifiers for a predefined set of objects is unsuited. A promising approach in classifying unseen objects into a novel category is to learn a semantic attribute image representation. The aim for this PhD is to develop new algorithms to learn such a high-level semantic representation from weakly annotated images and to learn the mapping to an unknown class from freely available (textual) sources. Another project aim is to model the visual data stream to understand which images or novel concepts could become a visual trend.

  • Master degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science or related field;
  • excellent programming skills (the project is in Matlab, Python and C/C++);
  • solid mathematics foundations, especially statistics and linear algebra;
  • highly motivated;
  • fluent in English, both written and spoken;
  • proven experience with computer vision and/or machine learning is a big plus.
Further information

The position is within the Intelligent Systems Lab Amsterdam (ISLA) and will be supervised by dr. Thomas Mensink and dr. Cees Snoek. The position is part of a 5-year Personal VIDI Grant funded by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research. The successful candidate will work in a stimulating environment of a leading and highly active research team including one faculty member, a post-doc and six PhD students. The team has repeatedly won the major visual search competitions, including NIST TRECVID, PASCAL Visual Object Challenge, ImageCLEF, and the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge.

Informal inquiries on the position can be sent by email to:

You may also consult the following websites for more information:


Starting date: autumn 2013. The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The PhD student is also expected to assist in teaching of undergraduates.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,062 in the first year to €2,664 in the last year. There are also secondary benefits, such as 8% holiday allowance per year and the end of year allowance of 8.3%. The Collective Employment Agreement (CAO) of the Dutch Universities is applicable.

Some of the things we have to offer:

  • Competitive pay and excellent benefits;
  • extremely friendly, interactive and international working environment;
  • new building near the city center of one of Europe's most beautiful and lively cities;
  • direct access to high-end computing facilities.

English is the working language within the Informatics Institute. Moreover, since Amsterdam is a very international city where almost everybody speaks and understands English, candidates need not be afraid of the language barrier.

Job application

Applications may only be submitted by electronic mail by clicking the Apply now–button below or by sending your application to To process your application immediately, please quote the vacancy number 13-205 and the position you are applying for in the subject-line. Applications must include a motivation letter explaining why you are the right candidate, curriculum vitae, (max 2 pages), a copy of your master’s thesis, a list of projects you have worked on (with brief descriptions of your contributions, max 2 pages) and the names and contact addresses of two academic references. All these should be grouped in one PDF attachment.

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