PhD Studentship on Visualizing Multicore Performance

Improved performance is one of the main motivations behind the move towards the use of many-core processors, but how do software engineers actually do performance optimization? Can we provide better visual tools to allow programmers to better understand and improve their many-core programs? This PhD studentship in Human-computer Interaction will examine these questions.

The successful candidate will work as part of a team of leading researchers working in the area of software tools for multi-core and many-core processors. The project will develop software tools to help the programmer to understand the complex interactions of software with dozens of threads running on many-core systems. This studentship will support the investigation of how multi-core development and performance optimization is carried out at the moment (in collaboration with IBM Research), and aims to dramatically improve the available tools by empirically investigating different forms of performance visualization, their effect on understanding and their potential contribution towards improving performance.

Candidates should have a masters degree in Human Computer Interaction, Information Visualization or a related discipline. While the focus of this studentship is not on software development they should be able to produce working prototypes, be enthusiastic, and be capable of working both independently and within a group.

Required skills:

  • Strong HCI or visualization background (experience of both an advantage)
  • Ability to prototype
  • Good written English

Desirable skills (one or more of)

  • Strong statistical skills
  • Experience of working with end-users
  • Familiarity with experimental methods
  • Knowledge of computer architecture and/or parallel programming

The studentship is for four years and will be based in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin. Situated in the centre of Dublin, Trinity College is a 400-year-old University with a large and active research profile in Computer Science. The work will be carried out in collaboration with IBM Research, and will use advanced many-core processor technology from IBM and other companies. The project is part of the Lero (Software Engineering Research Centre) activities at TCD.

The positions would be tenable from September/October 2011, and would include a stipend for living expenses and fees allowance, as well as covering equipment and travel as appropriate.

Interested candidates should send a copy of their CV, including the names of two references, to