Postdoctoral Researcher in Mathematical Machine Learning

University of Amsterdam Institute for Mathematics

Postdoctoral Researcher in Mathematical Machine Learning

Publication date 27 August 2021

Closing date 15 October 2021

Level of education PhD

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,836 tot €4,474 gross per month

Vacancy number 21-688

The Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) invites you to apply for a postdoc position in Mathematical Machine Learning for 13 months. You will carry out research within the framework of the VIDI Grant “Adaptive Online Machine Learning” of Tim van Erven. The starting date is flexible, but would ideally be around September 2022.

What are you going to do

You will be working with Tim van Erven to design and mathematically analyze new machine learning algorithms by proving new results in learning theory. The ambition is to publish at top-level international conferences and journals, like COLT, NeurIPS, the Journal of Machine Learning Research, etc.

Possible topics include:

Adaptive Online Learning: Online learning deals with learning algorithms that process data sets sequentially, one data point at a time. Such algorithms play a key role in machine learning for very large data sets, for instance when training deep neural networks. The goal of this project is to develop new online learning algorithms and prove that they are optimal for multiple types of loss functions and under multiple different types of assumptions, without the need to manually tune any hyperparameters.

Mathematical Formalization and Analysis of Explainability Methods: Recently there has been much interest in generating explanations that clarify and communicate how machine learning methods make their decisions. But none of the existing methods gives any formal mathematical guarantees on how well they can be expected to work and under which conditions their explanations can be trusted. The goal of this project is to formalize explainability and to design new methods with provable guarantees.

For a small part of your appointment (around 10%) you will be involved in teaching (in English). You will also assist with supervising PhD students. A travel budget will be provided to attend conferences and present relevant publications.

What do we require

  • A PhD in Mathematics, Computer Science, AI or related area.
  • Research experience in learning theory, as witnessed by publications with mathematical proofs at COLT, NeurIPS, ICML or in JMLR or Machine Learning.
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken.
  • Experience in teaching is a plus.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours a week for the duration of 13 months. The start date is flexible. The job profile Researcher level 4 is applicable. The salary will be €2,836 tot €4,474 gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

About us

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The KdVI is the mathematics research institute at the UvA. We conduct world-class research in the fields of Algebra, Geometry and Mathematical Physics; Pure, Applied and Numerical Analysis; Discrete Mathematics and Quantum Information; and Stochastics. A smaller portion of our research is directed at teaching (focus area blended learning) or history of mathematics. We are involved with various national and international research collaborations. In addition, we also provide the lecturers and instructors for the mathematics teaching within the Science faculty and within the national programme Mastermath. The institute has about 30 faculty members and 40 postdocs and PhD students.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

  • dr. Tim van Erven

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity. The Korteweg-de Vries Institute strives for a better gender balance in its staff. We therefore strongly encourage women to apply for this position.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 15 October 2021. You can apply online by using the link below. 

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter and CV, including a list of publications,
  • names and contact details of two references

Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.