PhD position in "Graphs for Software Language Definition"

PhD position in "Graphs for Software Language Definition"

From: Arend Rensink ^lt;>
Date: Tue 28 Jun 2005 - 07:51:36 BST
Message-ID: <>
[ Apologies for the reception of multiple copies of this message ]

To carry out the recently awarded Dutch (NWO) research project entitled "Graphs
for Software Language Definition" (GRASLAND), we are offering a position for a
PhD student (fully funded) for a period of four years.

- Deadline for applications: July 10, 2005
- Start date: Negotiable, but preferably September 1, 2005

The Context

The project takes place jointly at the Software Engineering chair (prof. Mehmet
Aksit) and the Formal Methods and Tools chair (prof. Ed Brinksma) of the
University of Twente. These chairs are part of the Department of Computer
Science, one of the largest academic institutes for computer science in the
Netherlands.  Project leaders are Dr. Arend Rensink (University of Twente) and
Drs. Anneke Kleppe (Klasse Objecten).

The Project: Graphs for Graphs for Software Language Definition (GRASLAND)

In the context of the MDA (Model Driven Architecture) methodology for designing
maintainable software systems, model transformation is a central concept.
Models are used to describe the system in all phases of development and on
various levels of abstraction; they are specified in diverse (modeling and
programming) software languages (SLs). Model transformations typically
introduce concrete, implementation specific details. Such transformations are
intended to be semantics preserving: they should not introduce errors or
essential changes. This, however, can be guaranteed only if the meaning of the
SLs involved is defined with sufficient precision. Unfortunately, this is often
lacking: many SLs have a well-defined syntax but only an informal semantics. A
primary reason for this is that MDA does not include a general method for
easily and consistently defining the subtler aspects of SLs, such as their

The purpose of this project is to define a meta-language in which all aspects
of SLs, besides their concrete syntax, can be defined in a consistent manner.
As a common formal foundation of this metalanguage we propose graphs and graph
transformations, which we believe to be powerful enough to capture all relevant
SL aspects. This meta-language will enable us to provide semantic definitions
of the source and target SLs involved in a given model transformation on a
compatible basis; this in turn will enable us to precisely formulate and check
the requirement of correctness preservation. We believe these abilities to be
essential in realizing the full potential of MDA.

The full project proposal can be found at

The position

You should have a MSc or equivalent degree in computer science or a closely
related area, or be able to show that you will receive the degree this year
(2005). Familiarity with visual and programming languages, object-orientation
and graph transformations is considered an advantage. You are expected to
cooperate in an internationally oriented research environment. Good English
speaking and writing skills are demanded, as well as the willingness to learn

You will be appointed for a period of 4 years with a gross salary starting at
around  1900 per month (first year) and reaching  2400 per month (final
year), plus an 8% holiday allowance and other benefits.

Your Application

You can obtain further information about the positions by enquiring from: Arend Rensink,,
   tel: +31 (0)53 489 4862
   fax: +31 (0)53 489 3247

If you are interested, please send an application by email to the above
address, including:

- A cover letter stating your *specific* interest in the position, indicating
also your motivation and qualifications for joining the project. (In the
absence of such a cover letter your application will be rejected without

- A full curriculum vitae, including the subject and supervisor of your
graduate thesis.

- Letters of recommendation or references of at least two scientific staff members.

All applications must be received ** at or before 10 July  **
Received on Tue Jun 28 07:51:50 2005