Fully-Funded PhD Positions in Our Research Group

The Sape Research Group at the University of Lugano is recruiting PhD students for the ParaBoost project. The fully-funded positions include a competitive salary and generous support for conference travel and equipment.


Applicants need to:

  • have (or soon receive) a Masters degree in computer science/engineering, informatics, or related fields
  • be really excited about our project
  • be persistent (get back up and continue when things don't work out as planned -- true research rarely works out as planned)
  • be fearless (e.g., be ok hacking a virtual machine, a compiler, a kernel, or implementing a complex algorithm)
  • have a small child's attitude (to want to understand and learn about everything they encounter)
  • have an engineer's attitude (not to take the first solution that comes to mind, but to look at the key alternatives)
  • have a researcher's attitude (to want to truly understand something, and to not be satisfied with the first best explanation)
  • want to look at the simple and obvious before exploring the complicated
  • be able to focus (to ignore the many other cool things one could also do)
  • derive pleasure from coming up with a logical and clear argument or explanation
  • like to read (books, papers, papers, papers)
  • like to write (prospectus, proposal, dissertation, and papers)
  • like to present (at conferences, or in class)
  • like to convince others using sound arguments
  • be ok working hard
  • under-promise and over-deliver
  • be happy staying in Lugano for quite some time
  • be ok traveling long distance from time to time (e.g., for conferences, maybe internships)
  • be ok with the USI informatics PhD regulations (e.g., TAing and taking some courses)
  • be ok investing 3+ years as a "research apprentice" (aka PhD student)

ParaBoost Project

Read a brief description of the ParaBoost research project on our ParaBoost page. For more information please contact Matthias.Hauswirth@usi.ch.

Sape Research Group

The Sape research group is active in research in the area between programming languages, runtime systems, and software engineering, with a focus on the efficiency of software, its users, and its developers. We publish our work in top-tier conferences such as ASPLOS, OOPSLA, ISPASS, PLDI, and, most recently, ECOOP, where we are about to present a novel approach to quantify the algorithmic essence of a software system. We provide an excellent environment for doing high quality research in a highly competent and motivated international team.

University of Lugano

The University of Lugano is the youngest university in Switzerland. The Faculty of Informatics, founded in 2004, has quickly become the third-largest Swiss computer science faculty based on the amount of competitive research funding. We are a young, dynamic, and international faculty that is actively contributing top-tier research in several areas, amongst them Programming Languages and Software Engineering. Our faculty collaborates with the Swiss National Supercomputing Center, which is also located in Lugano, and which hosts Switzerland's largest supercomputer. The Faculty of Informatics is home to 21 professors and 100 PhD students. Because our faculty and students come from all over the globe, our working and teaching languages are English.

Lugano, Switzerland

The city of Lugano is located in Ticino, the Mediteranian part of Switzerland on the southern slope of the Swiss alps, just north of the Italian city of Milan. People in Lugano speak Italian, however, because Ticino is a bustling tourist destination, many locals also speak German and English. The city is located at Lake Lugano, in an area of beautiful mountains and lakes that also includes Lake Como and Lago Maggiore. In summer you can go hiking or mountainbiking starting right in your backyard, or you can sail on our lake. In winter you can go skiing in several local ski resorts, or you can reach world famous resorts such as St. Moritz or Davos in 2 to 3 hours by car. Lugano is connected by direct train lines to the city center of Milan (one hour) and Zurich (3 hour picturesque train ride through the Swiss Alps). Switzerland is currently digging the world's longest railway tunnel to shorten the trip to Zurich to less than 2 hours. If you prefer to spend a weekend at the Italian seaside, you can reach the beautiful Ligurian coast (Cinque Terre) in 3 hours by car.

Application Process

The application deadline is May 1, 2011, but we will consider applications until the positions are filled. The start date is negotiable. Candidates interested in a position are strongly encouraged to contact Matthias.Hauswirth@usi.ch before submitting an official application. The subsequent official application process is described on the Faculty of Informatics PhD Program Page.

In addition to the application material requested on the official application site, candidates are requested to also submit:

  • A list of their publications (if any)
  • A list of their contributions to open-source software projects (if any)
  • Their Masters thesis (if any; applicants who are not finished yet should include a draft)