Funded PhD in Optimisation and Machine Learning

Applications are invited for a PhD student in computational optimisation, focusing on applications in machine learning, under the supervision of Calvin Tsay.

This project studies mathematical formulations and algorithms for optimisation over trained machine learning (ML) models. In contrast to optimisation schemes for training the parameters of ML models, optimisation over the inputs of a pre-trained model can be used to investigate extreme behaviour. Applications include embedding ML models in larger decision-making problems and finding adversarial inputs. This project can involve both theoretical developments, such as new formulations, and practical contributions, such as incorporating new developments into software implementations. More details can be found on the research page

Ideal candidates will have an interest and/or an existing background in: applied mathematics, mixed-integer programming, mathematical optimisation, algorithms, machine learning. Exact experience is not necessary, but a strong mathematical background is desirable.

Applicants are expected to have a First Class or Distinction Masters level degree or equivalent, in a relevant scientific or technical discipline, such as computer science or mathematics. Applicants must be fluent in spoken and written English.

Position Details

Studentship: Untaxed bursary of £18,062 per annum (2021/22 figure including London weighting plus home/overseas fees)

  • This position will be based at the South Kensington campus in central London.
  • The position is fully funded, covering tuition fees, travel funds and a stipend/bursary.
  • The position is available to home and overseas students.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please follow the Department of Computing application guidelines. In the application form, please write Optimisation and Machine Learning in the “Proposed Research Topic” field, and Calvin Tsay in the “Proposed Research Supervisor” field.

Early applications are encouraged. Informal inquiries about this position are also encouraged and can be directed to Calvin Tsay.

Applicants are advised to visit the prospective students page for general information on becoming a PhD student in the Department of Computing.

About the Department of Computing

The Department of Computing is a leading department of Computer Science in the UK and the world and has consistently been awarded the highest research rating. In the 2021 REF assessment, the Department claimed the top spot for computer science and informatics. Overall, Imperial College London ranked first in the UK for research outputs, first in the UK for research environment, and first for research impact among Russell Group universities.

We are committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Two Ticks Employer, and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people. We encourage applicants from underrepresented backgrounds to apply.