Monday, November 12, 2012

Call for post-doctoral research positions at the Warsaw Center of Mathematics and Computer Science

I just received this call from Bartek Klin. Since it might be of interest to readers of this blog, I decided to post it. Warsaw is a hotbed for TCS research. Follow the links below for more details.


Call for post-doctoral research positions at the Warsaw Center of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Warsaw Center of Mathematics and Computer Science (WCMCS) is a joint project of two scientific units: the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of the University of Warsaw (MIMUW), and the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IMPAN). The Center is built on the long-standing cooperation between the two units, in both teaching and research. The Center was designated as a Leading National Research Center (Krajowy Naukowy Osrodek Wiodacy, KNOW) by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education in July 2012. The award comes with a substantial grant which will provide financing of the Center for the next five years. The grant will be used for enhancing the research potential of both participating institutions; this includes financing post-doctoral positions.

The post-doctoral research positions at the WCMCS are aimed at young researchers who have just received their PhD. Successful candidates will be employed as an adiunkt (assistant professor) at one of the following institutions, as indicated in the candidate’s application:
* the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics at the University
of Warsaw,; or
* the Warsaw branch of the Mathematical Institute of the Polish Academy of

The positions are for 6-12 months, with a possible extension to at most 18 months, altogether. The salary will be 7000 PLN per month, before taxes. In addition, the holder of the position will be eligible for financial support to participate in scientific meetings.

The position comes with a teaching load of up to 60 hours per semester. At least 3/4 of the position’s duration should be between October 1 and June 30.

The applicant should have defended their PhD not earlier than 4 years before the planned beginning of the position. This period can be prolonged by the parental leave.

The candidate applying for a post-doc position at the WCMCS should submit the following documents:
* a cover letter of application addressed to the Board of WCMCS,
indicating the institution (MIMUW or IMPAN) and the period of his/her
* a CV including a list of publications, and copies of 5 best papers, at
* a document that confirms holding the PhD Degree or information about the
expected date of obtaining such a degree,
* a research plan including a collaboration scheme with researchers from

All documents should be sent as pdf files to the following e-mail address: In addition, the applicant should ask at most two senior researchers to send their letters of support to the same e-mail address. The deadline for application is December 10, 2012.

A successful candidate can take his or her job immediately after the announcement of the results of the selection and not later than 8 months after that moment. If the candidate has no PhD degree while submitting, before starting the work he or she should present a document that confirms holding the degree.

More information about WCMCS at

Friday, November 09, 2012

Jean van Heijenoort: Kaleidoscope

Yesterday, an email message on the FOM mailing list alerted me to the availability of a special issue of the journal Logica Universalis in celebration of the centenary of the birth of Jean van Heijenoort. I could not resist reading the contribution entitled Jean van Heijenoort: Kaleidoscope by  Anita Burdman Feferman. This 15-page piece is a wonderful read and paints the picture of a personality who must have been truly (much) larger than life. How often does one meet a logician who was a personal secretary to Leon Trotsky from 1932 to 1939, and from then until 1947, an American Trotskyist activist? Not to mention that he also had a love affair with Frida Kahlo to boot and that he was killed by his wife in an act of passion.

The book Politics, Logic, Love: The Life of Jean van Heijenoort by
Anita Burdman Feferman is now firmly on my list of things to read. (You can read a review here.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Guide for Application to Obtain an Italian National Scientific Qualification

The new recruiting process for  full and associate professor positions in Italian universities is based on a two phase process. Candidates must first obtain the so-called Abilitazione, and then apply for a position at an Italian university. See here for more details.

In order to facilitate international participation in the first stage of this process, the University of Rome "La Sapienza" has created a guide and a series of video tutorials to help researchers who are not fluent in Italian or familiar with Italian rules apply.

For what they are worth (i.e. nothing), here are two considerations off the top of my head. 
  1. First of all, kudos go to "La Sapienza" for producing this supporting material. I am not aware of other Italian institutions that are taking this step and/or who have search committees that are actively looking for foreign applicants. (If you are, please post a comment.)
  2. There is probably something not quite right with a system that needs to be explained using four videos on YouTube :-)
Having said so, I sincerely hope that this new Italian process for recruiting university professors, based on scientific qualification criteria, will help the top Italian CS departments to become even stronger than they already are and that it will offer a ray of hope to young Italian academics. It will also be interesting to see how many non-Italians will apply for the abilitazione.