Postdoc Available at the University of Vermont (in Meta-Learning for Artificial General Intelligence)

Nick Cheney

A two-year postdoc position with competitive salary is available in Nick
Cheney’s lab in the Computer Science Department at the University of
Vermont – and in close collaboration with the EvolvingAI Lab at the
University of Wyoming. The research will be in the area of meta-learning
for artificial general intelligence – applied to a variety of problems,
especially those in deep reinforcement learning. Responsibilities include
helping to design bio-inspired algorithms that enable agents to learn a
variety of new tasks without losing the ability to perform previous ones
(i.e. avoiding “catastrophic forgetting”) and testing these method on
simulated and/or physical robots.

The position will be advised by Professor Nick Cheney at the University of
Vermont and Professor Jeff Clune at the University of Wyoming/Uber AI Labs.
It is available immediately, and applicants will be considered on a rolling
basis – though some flexibility on start date is possible. Experience in
deep learning and/or reinforcement learning is desired. But applicants with
strong research backgrounds in relevant fields (e.g. statistics, math,
computer science), strong programming and communication skills, and a
demonstrated desire to learn more about machine learning and neural
networks will also be considered.

To apply please send application materials to ncheney@... and jeffclu
ne@.... These should include a CV with cover letter, transcripts, GRE
scores (if available), contact information (including academic relationship
to you) for 3 letters of reference, a representative publication, and any
additional materials demonstrating verbal communication skills (e.g. a
recorded academic talk, or a recorded summary of your research interests,
motivation, and goals – please link videos rather than attaching them) or
programming skills (e.g. link to a Github repository).

The Evolving Artificial Intelligence Lab (
<>) focuses on robotics and creating artificial
intelligence in neural networks, either via deep learning or evolutionary
algorithms. The lab is actively engaged in research. Just in the last three
years, we have received an NSF CAREER award, participated in a cover
article in Nature, produced the 63rd most talked about scientific paper
worldwide in 2015, and our deep learning papers were awarded oral
presentations (1-6% acceptance rates) at NIPS, CVPR, ICLR, and an ICML
workshop. In that same time, we also produced six papers at GECCO,
including a best paper award, and three papers in PLoS Computational
Biology – including a cover article with a Reddit AMA about it that over
42,000 people joined to ask 1000+ questions. Additionally, our work has
been covered by almost every major international news outlet.

Professor Cheney’s lab at the University of Vermont is a newly established
core research group within the Vermont Complex Systems Center – a
postdisciplinary team of faculty and students working on real-world,
data-rich, and meaningful complex systems problems of all kinds
( The lab focuses on developing bio-inspired
design and machine learning methods to study and address important complex
adaptive systems in our society – spanning robotics, digital fabrication,
healthcare, and social-environmental problems. The lab is growing quickly
and strongly funded by past and current projects from DARPA, NASA, the NSF,
USDA, ARO, and industrial partnerships. In addition to research output (13
papers in the last two years), the group is also focused on the public
engagement of science – working with government and industrial stakeholders
to help realize real-world impacts of AI research, engaging nearly a
millions viewers via scientific communication videos, and winning 7
conference/institutional awards for these efforts.

The University of Vermont (UVM), established in 1791, is a comprehensive
research university with a current enrollment of 12,000+ undergraduate,
graduate, and medical students. The scientific and academic environments in
the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, and throughout UVM,
are dynamic, highly collaborative, and multi-disciplinary. UVM has state of
the art core facilities, including the Vermont Advanced Computing Center,
the Advanced Genome Technologies Core, and the UVM Medical Center. We also
offer generous benefits packages, including health, dental, disability, and
life insurance, personal and medical leave, and tuition remission.

The University is located in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, about 90 miles
south of Montreal. Burlington is consistently ranked as one of the best
small cities in America for quality of living, and features year-round
outdoor recreation and cultural events. Greater Burlington has a population
of approximately 150,000 and enjoys a panoramic setting on Lake Champlain,
bordered by the Adirondack and Green Mountains.

The University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and
actively encourages applications from women, veterans, and people from
diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

More info available at:
Thank you for your interest in this position, or your help to advertise it!

Best regards,

Nick Cheney
Research Assistant Professor, Computer Science
University of Vermont

Jeff Clune
Associate Professor, Computer Science
Director, Evolving Artificial Intelligence Lab
University of Wyoming

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