Description of the PhD in Computer Science

The objective of the PhD programme is to prepare specialists with a deep and broad knowledge of computer science and with a strong abililty of understanding advanced research methodologies.The PhD graduate should be able to work on pure as well as applied and industrial research. For this purpose the programme includes several advanced training courses and requires the preparation of a final dissertation according to the highest international standards.

Each PhD candidate follows a specific training program and works on advanced research under the supervision of an advisor and with the approval of the teaching staff council. The training program is organized into six areas:

The formal methods and languages area deals with programming languages and formal methods for the design, analysis and verification of complex applications like algorithmic treatment of symbolic information, sequential, distributed and concurrent programming, databases, and new emerging models of computation. Semantics, formal languages, and complexity theory constitute the main background for the area. A good knowledge of algebra, discrete mathematics, and logic is assumed.

The multimedia area includes two main research streams: image processing and artificial vision, and sound analysis. The PhD candidate will deal with image processing from different sensors (e.g., optical, acoustic, radars, biomedical sensors), fusion of data, computer based graphics, sound synthesis and analysis, interfaces, augmented and virtual reality. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the area, the PhD candidate is required to have a broad culture ranging from foundations of computer science to mathematics and phisics.

The computer systems architecture area focusses on advanced methodologies for the design of complex interacting hardware systems. The main emphasis is given to languages for the description of interacting hardware and software systems and to problems like conformance testing, and automated design and optimization according to appropriate metrics. The idea is to use and adapt techniques from the area of software design.

The robotics and automation area offers the necessary knowledge for the design, simulation and anlysis of robotic and automated systems like computer assisted surgery, autonomous exploration devices, and security, and other robotic systems like devices for disabled or elder people, robots for cleaning, for constructions, and for logistic. The study of these devices requires deep knowledge in the areas of control systems, dynamic systems modeling, analysis of algorithms, geometry, topology, and calculus, which constitutes prerequisites for the area. Research in robotics is essentially interdisciplinary and combines theoretical results with practical realization of the proposed concepts.

The area of databases deals with theoretical foundations, design and implementation of databases, and with the design and analysis of information systems for highly complex organizations like the healt system. Main topics of interest are temporal database systems, object oriented databases and related query languages, semi-structured databases, workflow systems, conceptual design of semi-structured databases, and multimedia databases.

The area of artificial intelligence deals with the various forms of automated reasoning and their applications. Typical applications include hardware and software verification, planning, and theorem proving. Particular emphasis is given to automation of deductive logical reasoning via automatic theorem provers, and to the integration of general proof techniques with specialized decision procedures.