At this time,
there are no staff positions open. However, we have open research
positions for those interested in working towards a doctoral degree:
for Software Technology provides research opportunities for Ph.D.
Possible research topics include:
of applications and networks
design and evaluation
(code generation, optimization, runtime system interface)
If you are interested,
please contact Thomas Gross by email (thomas.gross at inf.ethz.ch).
Use ASCII -- no attachments please. Your message should include
some evidence of past performance and a statement about your research
objectives. The evidence of past performance includes usually a
CV (2 pages at most) and a transcript of your classes and a list
of 3 people who can provide information about you and your working
style. You don't have to send a photocopy at this time. You can
type in the classes you took, with your grade. If your curriculum
requires that you take classes outside your area (physical education,
history, etc.), you can summarize those as "other". We
care about the classes you took that are important for computer
The second item
is a statement that you have to write: Why do you want to get a
Ph.D. degree? What interests you in Computer Science? What topics
do you want to work on? What do you plan to do after you get a Ph.D.?
This statement is limited to two pages (in a font that can be read
without magnifying glass). A good estimate is no more than 110 lines
of (at most) 75 characters each. If you participated in some research
project as an undergraduate, then mention this fact in your statement
(and your CV). What did you learn? Why was your project interesting?
What was difficult about it? What kind of programming projects have
you done? You indicated an interest in software engineering -- what
is your experience, building software?
Keep in mind
that members of our laboratory try to design, build, and evaluate
systems. The first and third activity are highly verbal -- you must
be at ease writing text: describing a design, explaining an evaluation.
Your prose does not have to be error-free, but you cannot take the
position that writing is a waste of time. The second activity requires
another kind of writing -- writing code. Let us know what programs
you have written, what you have learned from writing them. And of
course you must enjoy reading -- text and programs. Also, as part
of your duties, you'll be a teaching assistant for classes. So you
should like to deal with undergraduates. Have you done some teaching
(or grading) before?
There are few
important differences between obtaining a doctoral degree at ETH
Zürich and a US or Canadian institution (and the comments about
ETH Zürich apply to many institutions in Central Europe). The
advisor plays a more important role in the life of an ETH doctoral
student than in the education at a US or Canadian institution. There
is no departmental or school-wide Ph.D. program that admits students.
Instead, every advisor selects students based on his or her model
of a doctoral education. The institution operates an office that
administers the sequence of steps that finally lead to granting
a degree, but the prospective student deals with this office only
after he or she has found an advisor. The institution imposes only
a few formal requirements (e.g., about taking courses or classes).
Most of the decisions regarding the student's program are made by
his or her advisor. Consequently, the expectations can differ significantly
between professors even in the same department.
opinion is that a person who holds a Ph.D. degree (or its equivalent)
should be an independent researcher. This statement implies that
this person should be able to identify a research topic, pursue
the research, and then report and disseminate the results. So an
important part of obtaining the degree is to find a topic in collaboration
with an advisor. If the topic is already defined (by the advisor
or another party) at the start of the doctoral education, then the
student may be able to demonstrate that he or she can carry out
a complex task. But such a plan does not allow the student to learn
what it takes to identify a research topic. And this skill of identifying
a research theme is essential for an independent researcher. It
is difficult to predict how long it takes to tackle these steps
mentioned above. A student must spend some time surveying the field
and may very well pursue a few dead ends. Better to do this as a
student than in your first job. Some advertisements may say that
an institution offers you a position for n years (often n=3) and
will reward you with a degree for working on the XYZ problem. If
you care about getting an academic title in a short time, such a
position may be ideal for you. On the other hand, if you want to
learn what it takes to do research then you may want to apply here.
The laboratory usually does not offer opportunities for internships,
practical training, or traineeships. The high volume of email does
not allow us to respond individually.