The Computer Science PhD program is directed by the Program Leader and by the Doctoral Committee.
Prof. Ferenc GÉCSEG member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Chairman of the Doctoral Committee:
Prof. Zoltán ÉSIK
Deputy chairman of the Doctoral Committee:
Assoc. Prof. Zoltán FÜLÖP
Members of the Doctoral Committee:
János Csirik, Tibor Gyimóthy, Zoltán Ésik, Zoltán Fülöp, Ferenc Gécseg, Attila Kuba
UNIVERSITY OF SZEGED Department of Foundations of Computer Science Department of Computer Science Department of Applied Informatics Research Group on Artificial Intelligence of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
The aim of the program is to support postgraduate studies at the József Attila University leading to the degree of PhD in computer science, with an emphasis on theoretical aspects. As two major requirements of obtaining the degree, the program prescribes the completion of 8 selected courses and the successful defense of a doctoral dissertation containing new scientific results . The courses and the possible thesis topics embrace a number of fields in theoretical computer science. The topics range from the theory of automata and formal languages which, having a 30-40 years history, is considered a classical field by now, to the most up-to-date topics like computational geometry, advances in complexity theory, etc. Other practical aspects, such as designing programming languages and software utilities, implementation techniques, and computer applications also take an important part in the program.
The teaching staff of the doctoral program consists mainly of scientists working at the above four departments. Some faculty members of the Bolyai Institute of Mathematics, University of Szeged and scientist of further three institutions, namely the Computer and Automation Institute (SZTAKI) and the Central Research Institute for Physics (KFKI) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the Juhász Gyula Teacher's Training Faculty, University of Szeged, also participate in the program.
Description of the research areas concerned
The roots of automata theory, which is hardly separable from the theory of formal languages, can be traced back to the mid 1950's when S.C. Kleene introduced finite automata to model neural nets, and N. Chomsky gave a mathematical model of a natural grammar. This theory has become a universal knowledge by now in the sense that, in almost every area of computer science, no relevant research can be carried out without using the techniques and results known from automata theory. In Szeged, the study of finite automata originates almost from the birth of the theory due to the activity of László Kalmár. Then, from the beginning of the 60's, the study was deepened by his disciple Ferenc Gécseg. They together founded a school of automata theory in Szeged. Currently two research projects, supported by grants, help to maintain the traditions of this school in the Departments of Informatics .
The theory of computability, aiming at the classification of computational problems according to their solvability, resp. their degree of unsolvability, is another classical area of theoretical computer science that was founded before the appearance of computers. Historically, the theory of algorithms was motivated by this theory and by problems raised by applications of computers in practice. Its goal is to investigate the possibilities and limitations of the efficient solution of computational problems. The topic experienced extraordinary growth in the past decades, due in part to the emergence of new phenomena (parallelism, distributed computing, randomization) and in part to the application of further mathematical disciplines (e.g. combinatorics and algebra). By now, the theory of algorithms became one of the decisive branches of theoretical computer science. In Szeged, the topic was initiated by László Kalmár. The further development in the 80's was greatly influenced by the teaching and research activities of László Lovász. The participants of the doctoral program working in this area are his students.
In the doctoral program the areas that gained importance in the course of the development described above, get an important role. Among the current research projects one is connected directly, and two are (through applications in AI) connected indirectly to the topic.
Recent investigations in theoretical computer science provide ample evidence that general algebra and category theory are already important tools in the design of functional and imperative programming languages, implementation techniques, specification languages, semantic models of programming languages, concurrency, synchronous systems, and automata theory. The benefit of the general framework is that concepts may be accessed at a higher level so that inherent connections may emerge. One of the great successes of the field has been the development of a unified theory of the constructions that underline the study of the semantics of programming languages, notably denotational semantics, initiated by D.S. Scott and C. Strachey. In Szeged, research in this area started at the end of the 70's. Of the current projects at the Departments of Informatics, four are directly connected to the topic.
Software engineering cannot be considered a mature engineering discipline yet. Nevertheless, significant progress has been made in the field by elaborating formal methods to deal with different aspects of the software development process. The software engineering block of the present PhD program provides an excellent opportunity for the thorough study of important programming principles, compiler writing, database management and distributed computing. Emphasis is placed upon the investigation of modern programming language paradigms (e.g. functional and object oriented programming) and attribute grammars, which are powerful, yet efficiently implementable extensions of context-free grammars. Concerning attribute grammars, an active research has been going on at the Institute of Informatics and at the Research Group on Automata Theory over the past few years both in theory and in applications. This research is highlighted by two current projects related to the topic.
Applied computer science has long traditions in Szeged. It was professor László Kalmár who, already in the early sixties, launched a research program in order to find promising applications of computers in different fields of science. Among others, biological and medical applications have become extensively studied research areas at the Department of Informatics following his initiatives. There is an ongoing cooperation between research groups of the Departments of Informatics and some departments of the Medical University in Szeged. Neural nets, optimization, learning and decision making are newer but rapidly growing research areas at the department.
Students participating in the PhD program may benefit from four research grants and from a further educational grant held by the Departments of Informatics in the application area.
The order of class lectures and consultations
The 3-year doctoral training is based on one semester courses taught in 2+1 hours (2 hours class lectures +1 hour consultation) weekly. A course can be offered as a reading course provided that enrollment is low. In such cases 2 hours consultation/ week is granted. The courses are grouped into six blocks reflecting various specializations:
Block 1: Automata and formal languages Block 2: Discrete mathematics in computer science Block 3: Complexity Block 4: Universal algebra and categories in computer science Block 5: Software engineering Block 6: Applications
The postgraduate training has two more essential components beyond the courses: the departmental seminars and the research conducted by the supervisor in order to prepare the doctoral dissertation. Graduate students must attend the seminars selected by their supervisor and give a presentation within the seminar series in each semester from the third semester on at the latest.
János Csirik, Zoltán Ésik, Gábor Galambos, Ferenc Gécseg, Lajos Rónyai , Zoltán Hantos, Katalin Tarnay
Miklós Bartha, Tibor Csendes, Erzsébet Csuhaj-Varjú, József Dombi, Zoltán Fülöp, Péter Hajnal, Balázs Imreh, János Kincses, Attila Kuba, Árpád Makay, Eörs Máté, Sándor Vágvölgyi
Senior research fellows
Tibor Gyimóthy, András Lőrincz, András Márkus, Imre Pávó, Tibor Remzső, György Turán
For further information, send an email to Zoltán Fülöp.
Institute of Informatics, University of Szeged H-6720 Szeged, Árpád tér 2. Phone:(36-62) 544-289, 544-305 Fax:(36-62) 420-292 http://www.inf.u-szeged.hu/starten.xml
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