Chair in Computer Science

Dear Colleague,

Please find enclosed an advertisement for a Chair in Theoretical
Computer Science or Software Engineering at the University of 
Birmingham.  I would appreciate it if you could distribute it
to those who might be interested.  The deadline is 14th October 1994.  

With regards,

Marta Kwiatkowska

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{\bf DEPARTMENT} \hfill
School of Computer Science

{\bf JOB TITLES} \hfill
Chair and Head of the School of Computer Science

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{\bf STARTING DATE} \hfill October 1995

{\bf INFORMAL ENQUIRIES TO} \hfill Dr W P Dodd telephone 021 414 3711\\
\hfill                              email W.P.Dodd@birmingham.ac.uk\\

DATE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS} \hfill ~~~~~ 14th October 1994\\

\hs          The Director of Staffing Services
\hs          The University of Birmingham
\hs          Edgbaston
\hs          Birmingham B15 2TT
\hs          England
\hs    FAX NO. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~+44 (0)21-414-4802
\hs    TELEPHONE NO.     +44 (0)21-414-6486\\

{\bf The University of Birmingham is an Equal Opportunities Employer}
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School of Computer Science\\
Chair and Head of the School of Computer Science\\

Applications are invited from candidates with an eminent research
record who
able to contribute to research, teaching and leadership in the
School of Computer Science. There are no restrictions regarding areas of
expertise within the general context of
either Software Engineering or Theoretical Computer Science.  The
successful candidate will be expected to take on the Headship of the
School for a fixed term from 1st October 1995.
An  additional lectureship will be associated with this post.
\section{The School of Computer Science}
Computer Science is based in the Faculty of Science though there are
teaching and research links with most other faculties.

The School is now entering  a new phase of a programme of growth and
rationalisation that began three years ago with the appointment of,
first, Professor Sloman and then Professor Bocca.  This period has seen
a substantial investment by the University in Computer Science which is
reflected in an improved equipment provision and the establishment of
four new lectureships in the general areas of Artificial Intelligence,
under the direction of Professor Sloman, and funded by new degree
courses in AI.

This period has also seen the start of a redefinition of the School's
teaching and research priorities and these have been grouped into
the areas
of Software Engineering and Applied Computer Science, Artificial
Intelligence and Cognitive Science, and a new growth point, Theoretical
Computer Science.  The aim of the School, supported by the University,
is that all three of these areas should be headed by a professorial
appointment.  Professor Sloman who has recently stepped down from the
headship of the School, will continue to lead the AI and Cognitive
Science activities, and the current appointment is for someone to lead
either of the other two activities.  It is our intention to make an
appointment to the remaining area for October 1996, and again it is
likely that this post will have an additional associated lectureship.
\subsection*{Research and teaching facilities}
The School is located in pleasant recently refurbished offices with
spacious laboratories and a School library complementing the main
University library. Computing facilities are built primarily round a
network of Unix servers, workstations and X terminals. Most of the
research and advanced teaching is done on SPARCServers, SPARCStations
and X terminals linked to a Hewlett-Packard network, and we have access
via the High Speed Campus Network to powerful computing centre machines
and to national and international networks. Some research and teaching
is also based on Macs and PCs. Specialised equipment includes a
transputer network, image processing facilities and speech facilities.
\section{Academic and academic related staff in the school}
At present the school has the following members.

{\em Head of School}
\hs Peter Dodd

{\em Professors}
\hs Aaron Sloman,
\hs Jorge Bocca (based in Munich),
\hs Peter Jarratt (part time),
\hs Peter Horne (Apricot Computers, Honorary Professor)

{\em Senior lecturers}
\hs Tom Axford,
\hs William Edmondson,
\hs Jim Yandle

{\em Lecturers and temporary lecturers}
\hs Russell Beale,
\hs Mike Brayshaw,
\hs Ela Claridge,
\hs Antoni Diller,
\hs Peter Hancox,
\hs Bob Hendley,
\hs John Hollows,
\hs Lydia Kronsjo,
\hs Marta Kwiatkowska,
\hs Susan Laflin,
\hs Donald Peterson,
\hs Riccardo Poli,
\hs Mark Ryan,
\hs Alan Sexton
\hs Salleh Syed-mustaffa

{\em Research fellows}
\hs Konstantin Bazyk,~~~ Sophia Langley, ~~~David Murphy,
~~~Kal Natarajan,

{\em Honorary senior research fellow}
\hs John Newell

{\em Honorary visiting fellows}
\hs Peter Greenfield, ~~~Allen Long , ~~~Keith Jeffery

In addition there are three computer officers, a technician, a school
administrator and six secretaries.
\section{Research areas}
Our research activity includes both theoretical work and applications,
and much of it is cross-disciplinary. Links exist with several other
departments, including psychology, philosophy, medicine,
dentistry and engineering. We also have external research links with
software firms, industrial research centres, computer companies,
government research laboratories, Defence Research Agency laboratories,
and companies using advanced software technology. There is collaboration
with universities and industrial research laboratories in the UK,
Continental Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA.

Current research interests span the following overlapping range of

{\em Theoretical computer science, and semantics of computation}
This includes applications of logic to computer science and semantics of
concurrency. A central theme has been the connections between algebra,
topology and logic, including specific topics such as characterizations
of program properties,  reasoning with fairness, the modal
$\mu$-calculus, and applications of Stone duality in semantics, e.g.
domain logics. In the field of concurrency we are studying
non-interleaving calculi, timing-- and distribution--sensitive models of
concurrency, asynchronous communication, and enriched--categorical
accounts of process interaction.

We expect that research in theoretical computer science would be
expanded as a result of the appointment of a new professor in this
area and by
later new
posts associated with the development of a new undergraduate degree in
Mathematical Computer Science.

{\em Declarative programming and parallel processing}
This includes logic programming, functional programming, formalisms for
parallelism, analysis of complexity in parallel algorithms, and
properties of networks, implementation of functional languages on
parallel architectures.

{\em Software Engineering and Formal Methods}
This includes work on CASE tools for software performance and quality
evaluation, object-oriented program analysis, and methodologies and
tools for obtaining program code from a formal specification.

Recent work includes designing a formal system for the structured
specification of computer systems, using modal action logics and deontic

Work in AI on default reasoning and belief revision overlaps with this
area, as does work on the representatoin of normative statements.

A grant from the SERC-DTI initiative in Safety Critical Systems supports
work on AI tools and methodologies for risk assessment and risk
management in finance and insurance organisations.

{\em Databases}
This area is led by Professor Bocca, and builds on work done previously
at the European Computing Research Centre at Munich. It includes work on
logic based data and knowledge based management systems; research on an
integrated model to cover the main aspects of object oriented, deductive
and extended relational models; GIS, multi-media and constraint
database, and research on a new family of file structures for advanced

{\em Human-Computer Interaction}
This includes work on tools and methodologies for interface design,
cognitive modelling of interaction, analysis of different types of
interaction styles, computer based training and modelling of users. The
"agent-based" approach to interface design is being explored. All this
overlaps with the work on image processing and Cognitive Science.

Work on intelligent tutoring systems, a graphical tracer for Prolog,
and AI development environments, overlaps with research on Sofware

A recent project on User Interface design tools included Birmingham,
Sussex, Integral Solutions Ltd and BMT Ltd. Collaborative work includes
sponsorship by Xerox USA of one of our students. A grant from Apricot
Computers has provided a three year post for research on HCI.

{\em Image Understanding and Computer Vision}
This overlaps with studies of visual cognition, but has a strong
practical orientation, especially medical image interpretation,
including collaboration with clinical researchers, on mammography,
diagnosis of skin problems and analysis of muscle cells. Analysis of
medical images includes both analysis and interpretation of 2-D images
and also the representation and analysis of 3-D shape and motion.

An EC-funded AIM project in collaboration with academic and industrial
collaborators in Belgium, France and Germany includes work at Birmingham
on modelling and interpretation of brain images. Another project partly
funded by British Telecom is looking at early diagnosis of melanoma from
photographs of skin lesions. Research on human vision involves close
collaboration with the School of Psychology. There is also research on
analysis of historical texts, and work on computer graphics to aid

{\em Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science}
This area is being developed in collaboration with other Schools,
especially Psychology. It includes work on speech processing, language
understanding, language learning in children, computer vision, forms of
representation and reasoning, "broad" (multi-functional) architectures
for intelligent agents and the modelling of motive processing and
emotions (in collaboration with the School of Psychology) partly funded
by a grant from the Renaissance Trust, and a grant from the Joint
Research Council Initiative in Cognitive Science and HCI for work on
modelling "broad" (multi-functional) agent architectures, including
mechanisms of attention and motive-generation.

Recent additions include work on belief revision, default reasoning,
formal characterisations of verisimilitude, modal action logics and
deontic logic.

Work on AI development environments overlaps with HCI and Software

There is considerable overlap with the other areas listed. Growth of the
new undergraduate degrees in AI will lead to expanded research in AI.

{\em Neural Nets, Evolutionary Computation, Artificial Life}
This work includes the development of trainable recognition systems
non-linear tracking systems, and neural nets in computer interfaces
which learn to model users. A recent project included online analysis of
oceanographic survey data, funded by the Natural Environment Research
Council. Methods from the fields of evolutionary computation (including
genetic algorithms and genetic programming) and artificial life have
been used in developing image analysis systems and also for optimising
neural networks for medical image and signal processing.

{\em Philosophical Foundations of computing and AI}
Research is in progress on philosophical foundations of computing and
AI, including for example, the ontological status of virtual machines,
the study of conditions under which machines can have minds,
architectural requirements for intelligent agents, and the analysis of
the role of changing representations in problem solving and creative

For more complete information about research in all these areas please
consult the school research review booklet for 1992-3 and the update.
A new edition of the booklet, for 1993-4 should be available by January

\section{The Teaching Programme}
The School offers an integrated set of degree programmes at the
undergraduate and postgraduate level, and these are likely to be
extended over the next few years as the University moves to a modular
degree programme.

All undergraduate degree programmes are based on long running BSc in
Computer Science/Software Engineering and the more recently introduced
half degree programme in Artificial Intelligence.  The AI half degree is
currently combined on an equal basis with Psychology, Mathematics,
and Computer Science, with other combinations planned for future years.
 Computer Science is combined with Mathematics and Electronic
Engineering.  With the move to modularisation we are introducing
programmes in Software Engineering with Business Studies, and with  a
modern language.  Our future plans include the introduction of a BSc
course with the working title of Mathematical Computer Science, and
discussions with the School of Mathematics are underway.  We would
expect any new professorial appointment in Theoretical Computer Science
to play a major role in developing this degree programme.

An additional recent development, under the direction of Professor
Bocca, is a new international degree combining International Business
Management and Computer Science which is taught in combination with the
International Institute of Business Studies based in Munich.

At the postgraduate level we offer two taught
MSc courses  - a conversion
course in Computer Science (with streams in IT, AI and Software
Engineering) which has been supported by SERC/EPSRC for 25 years, and a
more recently introduced course in Cognitive Science which is taught in
combination with Psychology, Philosophy and English.  Both courses are
currently supported by ESF.

Research training towards MPhil or PhD degrees is offered in all the
above research areas.
\section{Responsibilities of a Professor}
A Professor in The University of Birmingham is generally responsible,
through the Vice-Chancellor, to the Council, for the overall academic
advancement of the University.  A Professor who is not a Head of School
is thus responsible not only for the progress of his or her own field of
knowledge and for the academic leadership in that field, but also for
assisting the Head of School in the overall management of the School,
including the monitoring of academic standards and the appraisal of

Apart from the privileges which go with the position of Professor, such
as ex officio membership of the Faculty Board, each Professor is also
particularly responsible for assisting the Head of School in maintaining
and promoting the standards of efficiency and good order of the School
in accordance with the University's regulations.  These may be
summarised as reaching  agreed academic objectives, maintaining and
setting up  strucutures for academic management and monitoring
performance, appraisal of staff, and other matters properly delegated.
A Professor who is not a Head of School may be called upon to act as
Head of School in the substantive Head's absence.
\section {Responsibilities of the Head of School}
The Head of School is responsible to the Dean for submitting the
School's plans, for reaching the academic objectives agreed with the
University and for the general academic administration of the School.
The Head of School is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor direct for
managing the School within the agreed budget.
\section {General Guidance for Candidates}
The initial salary will be negotiated between the successful candidate
and the Vice Chancellor.

No application form is provided and candidates are free to set out their
applications as they wish provided  it is typed on one side only of A4
paper. However, applications must include:

(a) a full curriculum vitae\\
(b) a list of publications\\
(c) the names and addresses of three referees\\

and should include

(d) the equal opportunities form enclosed.

Copies of the following publications are available on request from the
School Office.

The General University Prospectus\\
The School Annual Research Review\\
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Handbooks\\

The closing date for applications is 21 Oct 1994.  It is expected that
interviews will be held on 13th Dec 1994.
Applications ({\bf ten}
copies, one from overseas applicants) should be sent

Mr P J F Scott, BA, MIPM\\
Director of Staffing Services\\
The University of Birmingham\\
Edgbaston \hfill Tel: 021 414 3841\\
Birmingham  B15  2TT\hfill Fax: 021 414 7043\\
\section {Further Information}
For further information, or answers to specific queries, please contact
Dr W P Dodd (021 414 3711), email W.P.Dodd@birmingham.ac.uk.  All such
informal approaches will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The School of Computer Science has a World Wide Web directory of
information which is accessible from the following URL


This includes pointers to information about courses, an online
copy of the latest research booklet, pictures of the campus and our
laboratories and contact names.

The Academic Computing Service also provides a WWW service at


This gives access to information about other Schools in the University,
as well as more general information about the University. The two point
to each other.

Both of these information servers are constantly being updated and
extended, but you may find some of the information slightly out of date.
Please enquire by email or telephone if necessary.

A growing subset of research papers produced in the school is being
added to the school's ftp site in compressed postscript format. The
address is:



In order to assist the selectors in their assessment of your
application, you are requested to list your publications under the main
headings used by the HEFCE for the Research Assessment Exercise, as

1.  Authored books
2.  Edited books
3.  Refereed Journal papers
4.  Contributions to edited works
5.  Review articles
6.  Conference proceedings - refereed (not abstracts)
7.  Conference proceedings - not refereed (not abstracts)

Please list abstracts separately at the end if appropriate.