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The following studentships should be of high interest to
type theoretists

PLanCompS: Programming Language Components and Specifications

Two fully-funded, full time PhD studentships

Applications are invited for two PhD studentships in connection
with a joint EPSRC research project:

 A.  Modularisation and multi-phase translation
     Centre for Software Language Engineering
     Royal Holloway, University of London

 B.  Foundations of component-based language specification
     Department of Computer Science
     Swansea University

Candidates from the UK, EU and overseas are welcome to apply.

*** Application deadline: 31st May 2011 ***


This exciting and highly ambitious project will develop and
test a novel component-based framework for the design,
specification and implementation of programming languages.
It includes:
 * Specification of a collection of highly reusable language
   components called funcons (fundamental constructs);
 * Translation of major general-purpose programming languages
   (C#, Java, F#) and domain-specific languages to funcons;
 * Validation of funcon and language specifications by testing
   generated prototype implementations;
 * Design and implementation of an Integrated Development
   Environment (IDE) for component-based specification; and
 * Creation of a digital library of language specifications.
PLanCompS is currently recruiting (preferably post-doctoral)
research assistants as well as PhD students.


 A. Modularisation and multi-phase translation

This PhD student will conduct research into the use of modular
grammars described in the LDT formalism and into applications of
Tear-Insert-Fold (TIF) annotations to Context Free Grammars.
The TIF operators allow (i) a limited set of local tree-rewrites
to be applied to a derivation tree and (ii) a new grammar (the
TIF-Transformed Grammar, or TTG) which describes the transformed
trees.  The TTG could be used to automatically generate tree
walkers, and as the input to a further phase of processing. Our
goal is to ease the development of Domain Specific Language
translators for non-expert users. Prior knowledge of the LDT and
TIF formalisms is not required, but a familiarity with context
free parser generators is desirable.

 B. Foundations of component-based language specification

This PhD student will carry out foundational research
related to the semantic specification frameworks used in the
project, and will be supervised by Professor Peter Mosses.
This theoretical research will extend and refine the semantic
formalisms used for specifying funcons. We aim to give an
I-MSOS for a revised version of the action notation used in
action semantics, prove various algebraic laws for action
notation, investigate how to specify continuation-handling
constructs in I-MSOS, and integrate the notation, modular
structure and foundations of the I-MSOS and action semantic
formalisms. We will also develop I-MSOS bisimulation theory.
Prior knowledge of action semantics and I-MSOS is not required,
but familiarity with some form of structural operational
semantics is desirable.


 * Candidates should have a first or upper-second (2:1) class
   honours degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science or a
   closely related area.
 * Candidates from the UK, EU and overseas are welcome to apply.


 * Each studentship will cover UK/EU Tuition Fees for 42 months
   full-time (starting 1st October 2011 or 1st January 2012)
   plus stipend of GBP 13,590 p.a. tax free
 * International candidates will have to cover the difference
   between the UK/EU-level fees and international-level fees
 * The studentship will cover the cost of attending two
   overseas conferences each year


 A. Modularisation and multi-phase translation

For general information on the research environment at Royal Holloway,
see http://www.rhul.ac.uk/studyhere/researchdegrees/home.aspx and the
CSLE home page at

For details of this PhD project and the application process, please see

Informal enquiries to a.johnst...@rhul.ac.uk

 B. Foundations of component-based language specification

For general information on the research environment in Computer Science
at Swansea, see http://www.swan.ac.uk/compsci/research/

For details of this PhD project and the application process, please see

Informal enquiries to p.d.mos...@swansea.ac.uk

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