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Immediate Openings: Three Paid Undergraduate Research Positions

The research group of Dr. Christof Teuscher has immediate openings for three paid undergraduate research positions in biomolecular and neuromorphic computation.

POSITION 1: NEUROMORPHIC COMPUTATION

The goal of the project is to propose energy-efficient neuromorphic algorithms, architectures, and hardware capable of analyzing data generated by spectroscopic sensors with minimal power consumption. We will develop a new application-specific neuromorphic algorithm inspired by a locally competitive spiking sparse approximation, build small-scale functional prototypes incorporating filamentary resistive random-access memory (ReRAM) arrays as a proof-of-concept, and test them in a real-world setup. We will develop, build, and test more advanced devices and algorithms that directly harness the device properties, such as reservoir computing, as well as improve and optimize the prototypes. Demonstration hardware will incorporate nonfilamentary ReRAM arrays.

The undergraduate research position is funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The project is a collaboration with the University of New Mexico.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Undergraduate student in CS, ECE, physics, or related disciplines.
  • Highly motivated, responsible, independent, with outstanding work ethics.
  • Outstanding academic records.
  • Excellent programming skills.
  • Ability to work at least 1 day (~8h) per week on the project. More is better.
  • An interest in neuromorphic computation.
  • Any knowledge about neural networks would be most useful.
  • Ability and willingness to learn new things.
What will you do:
  • Write software for neuromorphoc computing systems that learn and adapt.
  • Develop new models.
  • Run simulations.
  • Analyze data.
  • Create plots and visualizations.
  • Write and compile reports.
  • Participate in regular project meetings.

POSITION 2 and 3: BIOMOLECULAR COMPUTATION

Molecular computing is a promising computational paradigm, in which computational functions are evaluated at the nanoscale, with potential applications in smart molecular diagnostics
and therapeutics. However, despite recent advances in the field, prospects for direct application of these techniques to solve real-world problems are limited by the lack of robust interfaces between molecular computers and biological and chemical systems. This project will address these limitations by targeting two application domains, wide-spectrum chemical sensing and
cell surface analysis using molecular logic cascades. Drawing on a combination of experimental, theoretical, and computational tools, molecular computing systems will be developed for use in these application domains. Molecular circuit architectures that process sensor inputs from chemical sensors and cell-surface analysis reactions will be designed, modeled, and implemented in the laboratory, and computational modeling will be used to predict and optimize interactions between DNA circuit components and their binding targets. Furthermore, advanced molecular circuit architectures capable of adaptive, bio-inspired behavior, such as dynamic learning and adaptation, will be designed, with a view to future experimental implementations of these features.

The undergraduate research positions are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The project is a collaboration with the University of New Mexico and Columbia University.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Undergraduate student in CS, ECE, biology, physics, or related disciplines.
  • Highly motivated, responsible, independent, with outstanding work ethics.
  • Outstanding academic records.
  • Excellent programming skills.
  • Ability to work at least 1 day (~8h) per week on the project. More is better.
  • An interest in biomolecular computation.
  • Any “bio” background would be most useful.
  • Ability and willingness to learn new things.
What will you do:
  • Write software for biomolecular computing systems that learn and adapt.
  • Develop new models.
  • Run simulations.
  • Analyze data.
  • Create plots and visualizations.
  • Write and compile reports.
  • Participate in regular project meetings.

WHAT YOU GET:

  • An hourly wage. 
  • An opportunity to work on a cool project.
  • An opportunity to work on a larger team.
  • An opportunity to make an impact.
  • An opportunity to gain experience.
  • An opportunity to travel to project meetings and/or conferences.

WHAT teuscher.:Lab DOES:

Our goal is to develop disruptive new computing paradigms and machines that will allow for lasting breakthroughs and open new application domains in the next 5-20 years. For more information, see the research and mission pages.

APPLICATION:

E-mail the following documents to  to teuscher@pdx.edu:

  1. Your resume
  2. A letter of motivation that describes
    • why you want to get involved in undergrad research,
    • how this fits into your longer-term career plans,
    • and why you think you are an outstanding candidate for this project.
  3. Two references that I can contact.

The positions remain open until filled.

QUESTIONS:

Please do not hesitate to contact me in case of questions.

Immediate Opening: PhD Position in Molecular Computing

The research group of Prof. Christof Teuscher has an immediate opening for a paid PhD student in the area of molecular computing and novel computing paradigms.

Molecular computing is a promising computational paradigm, in which computational functions are evaluated at the nanoscale, with potential applications in smart molecular diagnostics
and therapeutics. However, despite recent advances in the field, prospects for direct application of these techniques to solve real-world problems are limited by the lack of robust interfaces between molecular computers and biological and chemical systems. This project will address these limitations by targeting two application domains, wide-spectrum chemical sensing and
cell surface analysis using molecular logic cascades. Drawing on a combination of experimental, theoretical, and computational tools, molecular computing systems will be developed for use in these application domains. Molecular circuit architectures that process sensor inputs from chemical sensors and cell-surface analysis reactions will be designed, modeled, and implemented in the laboratory, and computational modeling will be used to predict and optimize interactions between DNA circuit components and their binding targets. Furthermore, advanced molecular circuit architectures capable of adaptive, bio-inspired behavior, such as dynamic learning and adaptation, will be designed, with a view to future experimental implementations of these features.

 The position is funded by a new 5-year NSF award. The project is a collaboration with teams from the University of New Mexico and Columbia University.

Qualifications

  • The ideal candidate has experience in DNA and molecular computation, unconventional computation, computational intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, complex systems, and optimization techniques.
  • The candidate must have excellent programming skills, ideally in Java.
  • Other desired qualifications:
    • Masters degree in CS, ECE, or physics.
    • Eligible for PhD program in ECE.
    • Interested in far-reaching, cutting-edge, and interdisciplinary research.
    • Team player.
    • Experience in research environments.
    • Outstanding academic records.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
    • Highly motivated, responsible, independent, with outstanding work ethics. – Visionary, creative, outside-the-box thinker.

How to apply

Please complete the following application form.

The position remains open until filled. Portland State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Applications from women and minorities are strongly encouraged. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US and upon acceptance into the ECE PhD program.