PamiTC Job Board - Posting Details

Title: PhD position: Eye-based Context-awarenessPosted: September 30, 2013
Company/Institution: Max Planck Institute for Informatics
Location: Saarbr├╝cken, Germany
Department: Perceptual User Interfaces Group

Description: The Perceptual User Interfaces Group ( at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, headed by Dr. Andreas Bulling, invites applications for a fully funded PhD studentship on eye-based context-awareness.

Context-awareness has emerged as a key area of research in ubiquitous computing and human-computer interaction (HCI). A promising new source of context information is in the movements of the eyes. The movement patterns our eyes perform as we carry out different activities reveal a lot about the activities themselves and the underlying cognitive processes. In a similar manner, location or a particular environment may influence our eye movements. Because we use our eyes in almost everything that we do, eye movement analysis has the potential to provide useful information for a variety of context recognition problems.

The proposed PhD project will develop and study pattern recognition methods and machine learning techniques for context inference based on eye movement analysis. Potential applications are in activity and health monitoring, location-awareness, assisted living, and cognition-aware user interfaces. The research will be experimental, using portable eye tracking equipment and wearable sensor systems, and will involve user studies and data collection in daily life settings. In addition to experimental skills, the work will require to develop a thorough understanding of pattern recognition, machine learning and statistical signal processing techniques suitable for inferring various aspects of context from eye movements.

The research directions of particular interest include but are not limited to:
  • Pattern recognition methods and eye movement features for modelling of visual behaviour
  • Machine learning techniques for context inference from eye movements
  • Context inference from simultaneous monitoring of eye and body movements in daily life settings

Application Instructions: The Max Planck Institute for Informatics offers a highly collegiate and stimulating environment for doctoral research training. The successful candidate will join a young and ambitious research group that is at the forefront of this emerging research area. The candidate will be expected to contribute to the strong profile of the group by participating in the preparation and publication of research results at the level of international excellence.

We invite applications from enthusiastic individuals, who are able to work independently and have an excellent first degree in Computer Science or a related field relevant to the proposed research, and very good knowledge of machine learning, pattern recognition, or statistical signal processing. The studentship is not restricted by nationality. Interested applicants are advised to consult previous work on eye-based recognition of activities and cognitive processes. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to initiate contact with Dr. Andreas Bulling prior to their application.

Applicants should submit their CV, a copy of school and university degree and course transcripts with grades (Abitur, Vor- and Hauptdiplom for German applicants), names and contact information of two references, a description of research interests and a short research proposal. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications should be emailed to
Applications are accepted until the position is filled.