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Distributed systems and algorithms for Monte Carlo inference in statistical ecology

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Len Thomas
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Modern computing has revolutionized the way we do statistics. Monte Carlo algorithms such as MCMC (Markov chain Monte Carlo) and particle filters enable us to fit complex, realistic models to difficult datasets. Yet we still commonly run up against the problem of our algorithms taking too long to run. Parallel computing offers the potential to run an algorithm on multiple machines (or processors within a machine) and hence obtain reliable answers in far less time; the technology is widely used in many fields such as engineering but is still relatively little used in statistics. In this project the student will investigate and develop algorithms for parallelizing Monte Carlo methods, and test them on real-world problems such as fitting models of animal population dynamics to census data and mechanistic movement models to data from tagged animals.The project would suit a student with a strong interest in computing, as well as statistics.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Postgraduate Officer responsible for PhDs in Statistics, in advance of making a formal application. He is: Len Thomas, email [email protected]

To make a formal application, complete the appropriate online form at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/admissions/pg/apply/research/ (click on “Apply Now” on that page). You also need to provide the following supporting documentation: CV, evidence of qualifications and evidence of English language (if applicable). You are welcome to include a covering letter. You don’t need to provide a research proposal or a research proposal or a sample of academic written work. You will need to ask two referees to provide academic references for you – once you fill in their name on the form, they will be sent emails asking them to upload their references. Please note that we give serious consideration to both the stature of your referees and the remarks that they make about you. More details about the application procedure are given at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/admissions/pg/apply/research/


Funding Notes

Multiple sources of scholarship funding are potentially available, including university, research council (EPSRC) and research group (CREEM). Some are open to international students, some to EU and some UK only.

Applicants should have a good first degree in mathematics, statistics or another scientific discipline with a substantial numerical component. Applicants with degrees in other subjects, such as biology, are invited to discuss their qualifications with the Postgraduate Officer. A masters-level degree is an advantage.

Many details of the general requirements and admissions procedure are given at the university web site http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/admissions/pg/apply/research/

How good is research at University of St Andrews in Mathematical Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 30.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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