LINGUIST List 11.2693

Tue Dec 12 2000

Jobs: NL/Comp Sci PhD at U of Zurich, Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Michael Appleby <>


  1. Norbert E. Fuchs, NL/Comp Sci PhD Position at U of Zurich, Switzerland

Message 1: NL/Comp Sci PhD Position at U of Zurich, Switzerland

Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 01:48:52 +0100
From: Norbert E. Fuchs <>
Subject: NL/Comp Sci PhD Position at U of Zurich, Switzerland

Computer Science PhD Position at University of Zurich

Within the research project 'Practical Applications of Attempto
Controlled English' funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation we
seek applications for the open position of a PhD student.

The goal of this project is the practical application of the
specification language Attempto Controlled English in the fields:
medical documentation, Internet programming, and program specification
& synthesis. Background information on this project and on the
Attempto project in general can be found at the end of this message or
on our web page

We offer

 - a well equipped and stimulating working environment,
 - interdisciplinary research combining software engineering,
 computational logic, computational linguistics and theorem proving,
 - an innovative and exciting research project performed in cooperation
 with our partners at the universities of Barcelona, Edinburgh, Sao
 Paulo, Uppsala, and the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates who

 - have a master's degree or equivalent in computer science,
 computational logic, computational linguistics, or mathematics,
 - have experience in at least one of the following fields:
 software engineering, computational logic, computational linguistics;
 experience in Prolog programming would be an asset,
 - have an excellent command of English,
 - have a basic knowledge of German or are willing to learn German,
 - enjoy teamwork,
 - are highly motivated and committed to success oriented work.

The position is available from the beginning of the year 2001 for
initially 2 years. An extension by another 2 years is almost
guaranteed. Payment is SFr. 27,000 in the first year, SFr. 30,000 in
the second year, and SFr. 33,000 in the following years.

Interested candidates are encouraged to immediately contact the
project leader Norbert E. Fuchs ( for further
information. Please take into account that I may not be able to
respond right away to your emails from December 22, 2000 to January,
5, 2001.

Applications including a resume and curriculum vitae should be sent by
January 15, 2001 to

Norbert E. Fuchs
Institut fuer Informatik
Universitaet Zuerich
CH-8057 Zuerich


Background Information

The specification language Attempto Controlled English (ACE) is a
controlled natural language, i.e. a subset of standard English with a
domain-specific vocabulary and a restricted grammar. ACE
specifications can be unambiguously translated into first-order
predicate logic, and can be queried and executed to support
prototyping and validation. Thus ACE makes formal methods available in
familiar natural language.

Using ACE, we have already specified a simple automated teller
machine, a small library database, Schubert's steam-roller, data base
integrity constraints, and several other problems. In cooperation with
the University of Munich, we successfully used ACE as input language
to a model generator.

Since 1999 ACE has received a great deal of attention and recognition
by other researchers who realised that ACE could help them to solve
their problems. With several groups of researchers at other
universities we started a project to investigate the practical
applications of Attempto Controlled English (ACE) in the following
three fields:

 Natural Language Processing in Medicine
 Together with the Department of Information Science, Uppsala
 University, we will investigate the use of ACE for the description of
 medical diseases and their courses.

 Web Site Synthesis and Knowledge Sharing
 With the Department of Artificial Intelligence, University of
 Edinburgh, the Institute for Artificial Intelligence, University of
 Barcelona, and the Department of Computer Science, University of Sao
 Paulo we will use ACE for the synthesis of web sites and for knowledge
 sharing between web sites.

 Synthesis of (Constraint) Logic Programs
 In cooperation with the Department of Information Science, Uppsala
 University, and the Department of Computing and Electrical
 Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, we will investigate
 the use of ACE as the input language of a logic program synthesiser.

In each cooperation our partner groups will be responsible for the
technical contents of their respective applications while the Zurich
group will be responsible for the necessary extensions of ACE and for
the further development of the Attempto system. This involves
conceptual and practical work in natural language processing and
theorem proving, as well as implementing Prolog programs and web
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