The Faculty of Informatics of the Universita' della Svizzera Italiana (USI) invites applications for a fully funded full-time PhD position in "Conversational Information Retrieval” starting from January 2020.
Intelligent personal assistants and chatbots (such as Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa) are being used increasingly more for different purposes, including information access and retrieval. These systems differ from traditional search engines in several important ways, the main one being that they enable a more naturalistic human-like interaction, where search becomes a dialog between the user and the Information Retrieval system. Unlike in traditional search engines, where a user query is answered with a displayed search result page, conversational agents engage with the user in a variety of ways, for example, presenting results via voice, asking questions back for clarification, asking for relevance feedback, etc. This area of research has a diverse set of applications including: health, shopping, customer service, technical support, travel planning, and many others.
The ideal candidate will have a Master degree in Computer Science, Information Science, Math, Statistics, or related areas. He/she will have knowledge of information retrieval, text mining, topic modelling and/or speech processing, involving experimental software development with Java or Python. He/she will also have an independent and analytical working style and enjoy working in an heterogenous team.
We offer a competitive salary and social security insurance ranging, in accordance with Swiss regulations, from ~CHF 47,000 (gross) in the first year to ~CHF 50,000 (gross) in the last year. The University of Lugano provides excellent facilities for both professional and personal development, and the city of Lugano offers an enjoyable environment all year round.
The successful candidate will be supervised by Prof Fabio Crestani and will be part of the IR@USI research group.
We look forward to receiving your application including a research statement, a cover letter outlining areas of interest, CV, course transcripts (with grades) and contact details of at least 2 references.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Universita' della Svizzera Italiana