Vacancy PhD student: Machine learning for insightful data visualization


The AI & Data Analytics (AIDA) team at the Internet and Data Lab of Ghent University is looking for a qualified and motivated candidate to work at the interface of Machine Learning, Knowledge Discovery, and Visual Analytics. A fully funded positions as PhD student (4 years) is available.

Your profile

You will need to hold a relevant master’s degree with demonstrated first-class performance (e.g., outstanding grades, thesis result, or publications). The ideal candidate would demonstrate mastery of the core aspects of machine learning and data mining:

  • Fundamentals of probability and statistics
  • Algorithm design, discrete/continuous optimisation
  • Programming (in Python, C++/Java, JavaScript, …)

Besides, provable experience with data visualization and/or user interfaces is a must.

The project

The project comprises fundamental research in the area of machine learning and knowledge discovery, at the interface with data visualization and visual analytics. The aim is to guide end-users in exploration and learning from data and to (partially) automate the process of creating insightful visualizations. Challenges include the formalization of what makes visualizations interesting and useful, the design of algorithms to construct such visualizations automatically, and to evaluate these in practice.

The research environment

The research will be supervised by Prof. Jefrey Lijffijt and embedded in the AIDA research team. We are an engaging international team with a considerable track record of world-leading research in data mining and machine learning. In 2020, we are hosting the top European ML & DM conference. The project includes collaboration with other partners (e.g., ASML, VDAB, UHasselt).

Ghent University, and the city of Ghent

Ghent University is a comprehensive internationally leading research-intensive university. English is the working language; knowledge of Dutch or French is not required. The university also offers a wide range of courses for skills professionalization (academic and beyond).

Ghent is a historical, vibrant, and internationally minded city in Belgium with 250k inhabitants. It is just 0.5 hours away from Brussels, 3 hours from London, and 2.5 hours from Amsterdam and Paris by train.

Further info & Application procedure

Applications can be sent by email to Please include cover letter, CV, and contact details of up to 3 referees. Do not include reference letters, these will be solicited by us. Suitable candidates will be invited for an interview (possibly over Skype) and may get a small assignment. Applications remain welcome until the post is filled.

Read more articles about: