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A theoretical framework of multi-task optimisation


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Competition funded
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Dr Jian Liu
School of Computing
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

This project proposes a novel mathematical framework of Bayesian computing utilising the advantage of novel information units, neural spikes and synapses, of the brain. It aims to stimulate multidisciplinary innovations in establishing a neuro-inspired theoretical framework of statistical optimisation, achieving a transformative and general-purpose methodology for efficient, flexible and robust computing of multi-task optimisation.<br /> <br /> One of the driving forces in applied mathematics is the provision of a theoretical framework for understanding relationships between data generated by studies in diverse complex fields, which in turn stimulates developing new theories and methods in mathematics. In recent years, Brain Science, as one of the most demanding and highly interdisciplinary fields, has produced a large amount of data spanning different levels, from fundamental biological cells to complex human behaviours. It is noteworthy that neurons - the building blocks of the brain&rsquo;s information-computing units - encode information through individual events, or &lsquo;spikes&rsquo;, the timescale of which can be recorded in milliseconds. However, variables of cognition and behaviour are continuous. The discrete nature of spikes, generated from the dynamical equation of continuous neuronal voltage change, presents a challenge to classical statistical theories, where the mixture of discrete and continuous variables is not well addressed1. Thus the key question is how to develop a novel theoretical framework that can dissect and understand the complex interactions between discrete neural spikes and continuous behaviour variables. it is timely and meaningful to unify the inference of probabilities and learning of parameters into a single framework. To fill the gap of knowledge, we will develop a novel theoretical framework to take into account the sampling of neural spikes and synapses, achieving a general-purpose theoretical framework for flexible multi-task optimisation. <br /> <br /> The supervision team has expertise in mathematics, probability and statistics, machine learning, computational neuroscience, with regularly published research papers at the very top venues in related fields.

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly&nbsp;in the Planned Course of Study section&nbsp;that you are apply for <em><strong>PHD Computing FT</strong></em>&nbsp;and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research project you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>A theoretical framework of multi-task optimisation</strong></em>&nbsp;as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Jian Liu</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information including any alternative sources of funding that you are applying for or if you are able to pay your own fees and maintenance</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in writing and at least 6.0 in reading, listening and speaking or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK&nbsp;</strong>&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a>, <a href="">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a>, <a href="">EPSRC White Rose DTP</a> and <a href="">School of Computing Scholarships</a> are available to UK applicants.&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> &ndash; The <a href="">School of Computing Scholarships</a>&nbsp;and <a href="">ESRC White Rose DTP</a> are available to all International applicants. The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China. The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong>&nbsp; Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are not covered under this studentship.</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about this project, please contact: Dr Jian Liu e: <a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions:&nbsp; e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>