News 2016

Join us! Applications invited for doctoral and post-doctoral positions

November 2016
MPI-SWS offers a vibrant, dynamic, multi-cultural environment for research and education. We have openings for both graduate students and postdoctoral research scholars.

Graduate students work as members of one or more of the institute's research groups, which perform internationally leading, highly visible research in their respective fields of specialization. Graduate students receive individual training and mentorship from MPI-SWS faculty, preparing them for leadership positions in academic or industrial research.

Postdoctoral Fellows have the opportunity to work with MPI-SWS faculty on existing lines of research, as well as develop their own research agenda under MPI-SWS faculty supervision.

For more information, see the overview of our graduate program, research careers at MPI-SWS, or apply for positions through our application portal.

Max Planck Society Seeks Nominations for Scientific Directors

November 2016
The Max Planck Society  seeks nominations  for scientific directors in several research fields, including Computer Science. Nominations should be received by Dec 12, 2016.

Multiple Tenure-Track Faculty Openings

October 2016
Applications are invited for tenure-track faculty positions in all areas related to the theory and practice of software systems, including security and privacy, embedded and mobile systems, distributed and parallel systems, computational social science, legal, economic, and social aspects of computing, NLP, machine learning, information and knowledge management, programming languages, algorithms and logic, and verification.

To receive full consideration, applications should be received by December 15, 2016. For further details see our job ad.

MPI-SWS student selected to attend Heidelberg Laureate Forum

August 2016
MPI-SWS Ph.D. student Aastha Mehta was selected to attend the 4th annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum in September 2016. An international committee of experts selected Aastha for one of only 200 spots reserved for young computer scientists and mathematicians from around the world. In addition to participating in the forum, she was one of 6 researchers invited for a blog interview. Aastha was provided funding to attend the forum through a Romberg Grant.

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum gives young computer science and math researchers the opportunity to interact with some of the world's top scientists. The twenty speakers for the 2016 Forum, for example, include 12 different Turing Award winners, as well as numerous winners of the Fields Medal and the Abel Prize.

MPI-SWS researchers win ECRTS best-paper award

July 2016
Felipe Cerqueira, Felix Stutz, and Björn Brandenburg have received the best- paper award at ECRTS 2016, for their paper "Prosa: A Case for Readable Mechanized Schedulability Analysis." Read more about Prosa.

Mitra Nasri awarded Humboldt fellowship

July 2016
MPI-SWS postdoctoral fellow Mitra Nasri has been awarded a two-year Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship. The fellowship enables highly-qualified scientists from abroad to spend extended periods of research in Germany. Dr. Nasrabadi will be spending her fellowship years with the MPI-SWS Real Time Systems research group.

Peter Druschel recognized as a Microsoft Outstanding Collaborator

July 2016
MPI-SWS Director Peter Druschel was honored with a Microsoft Outstanding Collaborator Award. The award was given for his numerous contributions to Microsoft Research over the years. Druschel's collaborative work with Microsoft Research has generated a long stream of seminal papers. One of the most noteworthy is his paper on the distributed hash table Pastry --- a paper that is one of the most highly cited papers ever written by MSR researchers.

Derek Dreyer awarded ERC Consolidator Grant

April 2016
Derek Dreyer, head of the MPI-SWS Foundations of Programming group, has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant. Over the next five years, his project "RustBelt: Logical Foundations for the Future of Safe Systems Programming" will receive almost 2 million euros, which will allow the group to develop rigorous formal foundations for the Rust programming language.

Summary of the RustBelt project proposal

A longstanding question in the design of programming languages is how to balance safety and control. C-like languages give programmers low-level control over resource management at the expense of safety, whereas Java-like languages give programmers safe high-level abstractions at the expense of control.

Rust is a new language developed at Mozilla Research that marries together the low-level flexibility of modern C++ with a strong "ownership-based" type system guaranteeing type safety, memory safety, and data race freedom. As such, Rust has the potential to revolutionize systems programming, making it possible to build software systems that are safe by construction, without having to give up low-level control over performance.

Unfortunately, none of Rust's safety claims have been formally investigated, and it is not at all clear that they hold. To rule out data races and other common programming errors, Rust's core type system prohibits the aliasing of mutable state, but this is too restrictive for implementing some low-level data structures. Consequently, Rust's standard libraries make widespread internal use of "unsafe" blocks, which enable them to opt out of the type system when necessary. The hope is that such "unsafe" code is properly encapsulated, so that Rust's language-level safety guarantees are preserved. But due to Rust's reliance on a weak memory model of concurrency, along with its bleeding-edge type system, verifying that Rust and its libraries are actually safe will require fundamental advances to the state of the art.

In this project, we aim to equip Rust programmers with the first formal tools for verifying safe encapsulation of "unsafe" code. Any realistic languages targeting this domain in the future will encounter the same problem, so we expect our results to have lasting impact. To achieve this goal, we will build on recent breakthrough developments by the PI and collaborators in concurrent program logics and semantic models of type systems. More

Announcing the Maryland Max Planck Ph.D. Program in Computer Science

April 2016
We are pleased to announce the formation of The Maryland Max Planck Ph.D. Program in Computer Science. This program offers students a unique opportunity to pursue a Ph.D. degree under the supervision of faculty from the University of Maryland, USA, and a Max Planck Institute in Germany. Students are co-advised, perform collaborative research, take advantage of the expertise, resources, and culture at both institutions, and spend time in both countries.

Joel Ouaknine joins the MPI-SWS faculty

March 2016
Joel Ouaknine joins the institute's faculty as a scientific director, effective Aug 1, 2016. Joel's research interests include the automated verification of real-time, probabilistic, and infinite-state systems (e.g. model-checking algorithms, synthesis problems, complexity), logic and applications to verification, decision and synthesis problems for linear dynamical systems, automated software analysis, concurrency, and theoretical computer science.

In 2015, Joel was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant, which provides almost 2 million euros of research funding over a period of five years. He is also the recipient of the 2010 Roger Needham Award, given annually "for a distinguished research contribution in Computer Science by a UK-based researcher within ten years of his or her PhD."

Joel will join MPI-SWS from the University of Oxford, where he is a Professor of Computer Science and Fellow of St John's College. Joel holds a BSc and MSc in Mathematics from McGill University, and received his PhD in Computer Science from Oxford in 2001. He subsequently did postdoctoral work at Tulane University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Visiting professor Patrick Loiseau wins Humboldt award

March 2016
Patrick Loiseau, an Assistant Professor in the Data Science department at EURECOM, has been selected for a prestigious Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. This award provides support for him to spend up to a year at the institute, where he will work with Krishna Gummadi and other MPI-SWS researchers on security and privacy issues in social computing systems.