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PhD Studentship: Machine Learning Technology to Improve Symbolic Integration and Simplification in a Leading Computer Algebra System

Coventry University - Research Centre for Data Science

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Coventry
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Bursary plus tuition fees.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 18th February 2021
Closes: 26th April 2021
Reference: CDS-Maplesoft-ME-09-21

Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably qualified graduates for a fully funded PhD studentship. Sponsored by the software company Maplesoft, the successful candidate will work on a new project to embed machine learning technology within some of the core symbolic routines of Maplesoft’s flagship product, the Maple computer algebra system. The aim is to optimise the performance of the system without any risk to the exact symbolic correctness which is central to computer algebra. 

Machine Learning (ML) refers to artificial intelligence techniques that employ a combination of statistics and big data to solve problems. A Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) is a piece of software that performs symbolic mathematical computations with exact precision, as a human mathematician would by hand. 

This project seeks to improve the performance of routines in Maple, a leading CAS, using ML technology.  It may seem that the probabilistic nature of ML would invalidate the exact results prized by a CAS.  However, many CAS algorithms come with choices which have no effect on the mathematical correctness of the output, but greatly affect its presentation and the resources required to find it.  Such choices are prime candidates for ML. 

The particular focuses of the project are the symbolic integration and symbolic simplification routines in Maple: two commands widely used by both users and other parts of Maple. Successful application here would in-turn impact on the wide range of engineering and scientific applications which users tackle with Maple every day. 

The project is hosted by the Coventry University Research Centre for Data Science, which is the university’s hub for cutting edge research in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Future Computing Technologies. The project is co-sponsored by the software company Maplesoft who develop Maple.  The successful candidate will interact not only with academics, but also the company’s engineers to ensure the speedy impact of their research in a product used globally in both academia and industry.

Applications require supporting documentation (if university transcripts are not available at the time of application please provide details of all grades achieved so far). All applications should be accompanied by a supporting statement (max 2000 words). This should address the following three topics:

(a)       The applicant's understanding of the project topic.

(b)       How the project topic compares with any similar research projects found in the literature.

(c)       How their personal expertise and interests are relevant to the project. In particular, include details of prior mathematics education, programming skills, and data science experience.

The project is open to all graduates (home and international) who meet the entry requirements. There is only one studentship which will be allocated following shortlisting and interviews. Applications must be received via the Coventry University website no later than 26th April. Interviews will take place in the middle of May with the successful candidate offered by the end of May. The programme will start in mid-September 2021.

Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Matthew England ( with any questions prior to the application deadline.

For further details see: 

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