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PhD Studentship: Causal Representation Learning in Computer Vision

University of Sheffield - Computer Science

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Sheffield
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £18,622 Funding will cover UK home tuition fees and a tax-free stipend at UKRI rate (£18,622 for 2023/24) for 3.5 years
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 18th October 2023
Closes: 31st December 2023

Recent years have witnessed significant strides made by machine learning-based computer vision, thus enabling machines to interpret and understand visual information. However, most machine learning approaches exploit correlational relationships in a training data set to predict a target variable. When these correlations are spurious or unreliable, those methods often lack the ability to reason about the underlying causal relationships that govern visual phenomena. This PhD project aims to address this limitation by focusing on causal representation learning applicable to computer vision. The outcomes of this research will contribute to the growing field of causal reasoning/inference in computer vision. 

About the project

The primary objective of this research is to develop novel techniques for learning causal representations from visual data. The entire project will be carried out in two steps. Firstly, we will investigate new deep architectures and algorithms that can capture and encode causal relationships present in visual data. These models should be able to infer the underlying causes behind observed visual patterns. Secondly, we will develop causal reasoning to facilitate various computer vision tasks, such as scene understanding, and action recognition. 

For information and informal enquiries please contact: Prof. Jungong Han (jungong.han@sheffield.ac.uk). 

Supervisor bio

Prof. Jungong Han’s CV is at https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/dcs/people/academic/jungong-han 

About the Department and Research Group

The student will work in the Computer Vision Group within the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield. 

99 percent of our research is rated in the highest two categories in the REF 2021, meaning it is classed as world-leading or internationally excellent. 

Candidate requirements

  • A minimum 2:1 undergraduate and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) in a science and technology field: Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, with specialisation in Computer Vision, Machine Learning and AI
  • Familiarity with machine learning and probabilistic models
  • Relevant software knowledge and experience, for example Python and tensor frameworks (PyTorch or TensorFlow), C++, etc
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Information on English language requirements can be found here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/english-language 

Funding details

The studentships are for 3.5 years and will cover UK home fees only (overseas applicants are welcome to apply, but they must be able to fund the difference between home fees and overseas fees themselves/through additional funding). 

How to apply

To apply for a PhD studentship, applications must be made directly to the University of Sheffield using the Postgraduate Online Application Form via the 'Apply' button above. Make sure you name Jungong Han as your proposed supervisor. 

Information on what documents are required and a link to the application form can be found here - https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply/applying 

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