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GTA - PhD Scholarship in Computer Science, Augmented Reality and Film & Media

School of Computing and Digital Tech

Location:  Stoke campus
Tenure:   Fixed term for 3 years from October 2019 - September 2022
Release Date:  Wednesday 17 July 2019
Closing Date:   Saturday 31 August 2019
Reference:  CDT19-GTAPHD02

Staffordshire University is pleased to announce 3 full PhD scholarships in the School of Computing and Digital Technologies, to commence September 2019. The successful candidates will receive an annual stipend of £15,009 with PhD tuition fees waived for three years. You will be expected to take up to 250 hours of teaching or teaching related activities per academic year in the School of Computing and Digital Technologies. The posts are located on the Stoke-On-Trent campus.

Duration: September 2019 – August 2022

Application deadline: 20 August 2019

General entry requirements:

The successful candidate will have or expect to have a UK Honours degree at 2.1 (or above), a Masters degree, or equivalent qualifications in a relevant subject area.

International applicants whose first language is not English are required to achieve IELTS 6.5 with a minimum score of 6 in each element.


Project 1: Application of Artificial Intelligence in Scaling the Blockchains 

Supervisors:

Dr. Mohamed Sedky, Associate Professor in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Staffordshire University

Dr. Justin Champion, Senior Lecturer, Staffordshire University


Applications are invited in the emergent areas of AI and its application in scaling the Blockchains. The blockchain technology is perceived by the computing community as the new developing technology that will replace the middleman and direct the digital services into a self-governed and driven architecture. Blockchains have proved throughout the past three years to be a promising replacement to the third trusted party paradigm. However, it is still far from the actual replacement of the current systems that have been lingering around for years like banks and state authorities. The investments in blockchains are increasing to include cryptocurrencies and other applications. It is time to consider the scalability problems that hinder the adoption of blockchains in the real world.


One of the key challenges to be solved is that the current techniques for Blockchains lack the ability to handle dynamic situations whereby process conditions can change in a seemingly random way to specific changes in operation. Through AI, it is possible to overcome this limitation. AI may offer improved mechanisms to validate transactions, identify invalid or malicious ones soon enough to save computations and decrease network traffic and to verify smart contracts as well as improving their quality.

In this project, you will study the challenges facing the scalability of a blockchain, investigate how AI techniques can be employed to scale blockchains operations. You will also develop Machine and Deep learning models that present a novel solution to this real-world problem. 


Specific requirements

* You will have or expect to have a UK Honours degree at 2.1 (or above), a Masters degree, or equivalent qualifications in computer science, computational mathematics, statistics, or engineering.

* Familiar with a programming/scripting language (C++ or Python).

* Experience of machine learning and deep learning is beneficial.


Informal inquiries can be made to Dr Mohamed Sedky (m.h.sedky@staffs.ac.uk).


Project 2: Interaction Design and Storytelling for Interactive Films with Group Audience Participation 

Supervisor:

Dr. Polina Zioga, Lecturer in Film Production, Department of Film, Media and Journalism

The project combines practice-based experimentation and theoretical exploration. The main objective of the research is to investigate and develop in practice a new approach to creating in parallel the interaction design and storytelling of interactive films that involve group audience participation in different settings, from the cinema theatre to online live streaming. It will also examine the affordances and challenges of the audience group dynamics and how these can be factored in the creative and technological processes of the interaction design and storytelling. 


Specific requirements

* You will have or expect to have a UK Honours degree at 2.1 (or above), a Masters degree, or equivalent qualifications in film production, moving image or digital media 

* Demonstrable skills and experience in interactive filmmaking or related media

* Working knowledge of relevant technologies (hardware and software) are desirable 


Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Polina Zioga at polina.zioga@staffs.ac.uk.


Project 3: Augmented Reality in Holocaust Memorials and Museums – A case study in the Neuengamme memorial site

Supervisors:

Prof. Minhua Eunice Ma, Professor of Computer Games Technology, Staffordshire University

Dr. Reimer Moller, Head of Archive, Neuengamme Memorial Site, Hamburg, Germany

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD scholarship in the emergent areas of Augmented Reality (AR) and its applications in Holocaust memorials and museums. AR research and development has made rapid progress in the past decades. More advanced and portable AR hardware has become available, and registration accuracy, graphics quality and device size have been largely improved, which led to a rapid growth in the adoption of AR technology in various application domains.

In this project, you will design and develop an augmented reality application that provides an immersive experience for visitors to the Neuengamme memorial site in Hamburg. The application will offer meaningful, critically informed interactions with Holocaust landscapes, relevant archives and other onsite material evidences. It will provide a creative window to the brickworks and slave labour in brick production in the concentration camp system, and help visitors to visualise and understand the chronology of the Holocaust and the connection between facts, locations, historical records, people and their memories, which are otherwise difficult to grasp or imagine. You will carry out user studies to evaluate the AR application, to investigate the impacts of AR technology on visitors’ understanding of the Holocaust and their memory of the visit.

Specific requirements

* You will have or expect to have a UK Honours degree at 2.1 (or above), a Masters degree, or equivalent qualifications in computer science, games art/ design/ development.

* Be fluent in 3D modelling software (Maya or 3ds) and a game engine (Unity or UE4)

* Familiar with a programming/scripting language (C++ or C#)

* Experience of VR or AR content development is beneficial.

* Able to solve complex technical problems that occur within the production

* Able to travel to the Neuengamme memorial site on regular basis


Informal inquiries can be made to Professor Minhua Eunice Ma (m.ma@staffs.ac.uk).


How to apply 

Please submit your application online at the relevant URL addresses below by the deadline (20 August 2019).

Project 1. Application of Artificial Intelligence in Scaling the Blockchains 

https://evision.staffs.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=DSSTK-12353AJA&code2=0003

Project 2. Interaction Design & Storytelling for Interactive Films with Group Audience Participation 

https://evision.staffs.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=DSSTK-04370ASE&code2=0066

Project 3. Augmented Reality in Holocaust Memorials and Museums – A case study in the Neuengamme memorial site

https://evision.staffs.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=DSSTK-04677ASE&code2=0066


  1. In the ‘Funding’ tab, tick ‘Scholarship’ under ‘How are you intending to fund your studies?’
  2. A PhD research proposal based on one of the three projects above. (Proposals on other projects will not be considered for the scholarships.)
  3. Your digital portfolio or a link to your online portfolio in the ‘Document Upload’ tab (optional)

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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