University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate in Binary Translation (Fixed Term)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 December 2020 in the first instance.

* The Project *

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant/Associate to work on optimisation of program binaries using a combination of static analysis and dynamic modification.

Our research group focuses on a number of approaches to increase performance and improve the reliability and security of applications.

Recent work has developed Janus, a framework for binary modification that performs static binary analysis and feeds the results into a dynamic binary modifier to optimise the program as it runs. We have demonstrated Janus extracting thread-level parallelism from applications, vectorising their inner loops, and inserting intelligent data prefetches to improve performance.

We are looking to complement our research in the general field of binary optimisation. The main areas we wish to further develop Janus are in performance, reliability and security, although applicants need only focus on one of those. For performance, we wish to extract parallelism from loops that contain cross-iteration data dependences by leveraging speculation or synchronisation. For reliability, we would like to implement a novel form of software redundant multithreading to catch soft errors. For security we aim to investigate schemes to detect attacks and vulnerabilities that can be retrofitted onto existing binaries. The successful candidate will develop new analyses and transformations that can identify and take advantage of hidden program parallelism.

* Research Group *

Our group is a team of PostDocs and PhD students investigating performance, reliability and security in future many-core systems. The position is within the Computer Architecture Research Group at the Department of Computer Science and Technology in a joint project with Cancer Research UK and Arm. Collaboration with researchers at other universities and industry around the world is encouraged and there are strong links within the group with local companies.

* Candidates *

We seek candidates with a strong background in Computer Science with an interest in compilers, computer architecture or binary translation. Applicants who hold a PhD will be considered for appointment to Research Associate (£32,236-£39,609). Those who are close to submitting a PhD will be considered for appointment to Research Assistant (£26,243-£30,396). Knowledge of a related area would be advantageous but not essential. Candidates should provide evidence of relevant work, where possible, and must demonstrate a desire to perform internationally-leading research and to publish in the top conferences in the area.

* More Information *

The funds are available for a start date as soon as possible but some flexibility on this can be arranged.

Further details may be obtained from Dr Timothy Jones, email

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Please provide a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter outlining your relevant past experience. If there are specific areas you would like to research, please indicate these in the letter.

Please quote reference NR20455 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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