Hiring: CS/EE postdoc (m/f/d) & PhD positions (m/f/d) at Max Planck Institute for Informatics

Dr. Yiting Xia at Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPI-INF) has open positions for a postdoctoral researcher on optical networking and a PhD student on computer network and systems. These positions are fully funded and located in Saarbrücken, Germany. The program is English-based.

Dr. Xia is a tenure-track faculty (equivalent to assistant professor) at MPI-INF, where she leads the network and cloud systems research group as part of the Research Group on Internet Architecture lead by Prof. Anja Feldmann. Dr. Xia’s work is to build network infrastructure and software systems for the future cloud environment shaped by emerging applications such as machine learning and IoT. Her previous work was published on top conferences including SIGCOMM, INFOCOM, HotNets, ICNP, etc. She was a research scientist at Facebook before joining MPI-INF. She has rich production experience and close collaborations with the industry. Please refer to https://www.mpi-inf.mpg.de/departments/inet/people/yiting-xia  and https://sites.google.com/view/yitingxia/ for more information.

MPI is the most prestigious government-funded research institute in Germany. It has a world-leading reputation on fundamental, applied and social sciences. Recent examples are the two Nobel Prize winners in 2020. MPI-INF is at the regional tech hub, on the same campus with several other research institutes featuring computer science research, including Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS), German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), and Helmholtz Center for Information Security (CISPA). MPI-INF has the tradition of collaborating with these local resources and other top universities and research institutes in Europe and the US.

Saarbrücken is a small cozy city in western Germany at the French border. It is located centrally in Europe, with a short distance to many world-class travel destinations, e.g. 2 hours away from Paris, 1.5 hours from Luxembourg, 1.5 hours from Frankfurt, 3.5 hours from Zurich, etc. It is surrounded by many scenic towns in Germany and France, making weekend trips very convenient. For more information, please visit the webpage of the institute’s International Office: https://www.mpi-inf.mpg.de/services/int-office.

About COVID: MPI has friendly policies to alleviate the visa and travel difficulties caused by COVID. The start date of these positions is flexible. A postdoc contract can start right away, and working remotely is possible. If a PhD student wants to join before a regular semester begins, a full-time research engineer position can be offered, which allows the student to start working immediately. It will later be transferred to the PhD position, and graduation will not be delayed.

Starting at MPI: The team of the International Office department will help with any visa issues and support newcomers with e. g. administrative issues during the relocation phase. The MPI administration also offers support for researchers with family e.g. by organizing KITA places to promote equal opportunities: https://www.mpi-inf.mpg.de/services/equal-opportunities

The details of the positions are as follows. Please send the CV, transcript, and previous publications (optional) to yxia@mpi-inf.mpg.de for the application.

Position 1: postdoctoral researcher on optical networking (m/f/d)

The traditional data center network based on electrical switches cannot keep up with the growth of cloud traffic due to the fundamental limits on port density and power consumption. We aim to explore alternative data center network architectures using optical switching technologies. Our ongoing projects involve the design of optical network interconnects and switch fabric for intra- and inter- data center communications. The candidate should have deep understanding and hands-on experience with optical components and systems, being able to build optical testbeds to prototype the designs. Knowledge about communication networks is a big plus. There are opportunities to work with Facebook and Huawei, which are our project partners.

Depending on the interests of the candidate, there are also opportunities to drive research directions, mentor students, and apply for research grants.

Position 2: PhD student on computer network and systems

The landscape of cloud computing is evolving rapidly driven by emerging applications such as machine learning and IoT. It is time to rethink the design of cloud systems to support these applications. We are interested in exploring two directions: (1) cross-layer design of data center networks and cloud systems to accelerate distributed machine learning; and (2) leveraging programmable network components, such as programmable switches and smart NICs, to enable better performance and manageability of the cloud infrastructure. The candidate should have taken some courses related to computer systems and have strong programming skills to implement distributed systems. Knowledge about machine learning is a plus.