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Aug 01, 2007

PhD Studentship: Intelligent Virtual Environments for Assessing and Training Spatial Skills

The Computing Department at Lancaster University invites applications for a PhD studentship available from October 2007. The successful candidate will join the cooperative and interactive systems group at the Computing Department, which is an international centre of excellence in research, rated 5A in the 2001 research assessment exercise.

Research into spatial skills has mostly focused on small-scale spaces relative to the human body that can be apprehended from a single viewpoint, eg images or manipulable objects. In contrast, this project aims to investigate the basic spatial skills and strategies supporting spatial tasks in large-scale spaces, eg learning the layout of new environments. The research will draw upon areas such as spatial cognition, learning technology, game theory, adaptive systems, user modelling, machine learning and virtual environments (VE), and will develop novel VE systems for measuring spatial skills, and for training of spatial skills and strategies.

The successful candidate will have prior experience of virtual reality software and hardware, excellent C and Java programming skills, and is expected to become highly familiar with the research methodology necessary for carrying out experiments and usability tests.

The studentships are open, due to the nature of funding, to UK nationals or EU nationals who have completed their undergraduate studies in the UK. Applicants should have an excellent first degree in a relevant discipline. The studentships are fully-funded (ie pay tuition fees at the UK/EU rate as well as a tax-free maintenance stipend of £12,600 pa for 2007/8; £12,900 pa for 2008/9; £13,200 pa for 2009/10). EU nationals who have not been resident in the UK for three years will be eligible for fees only.

In the first instance, applicants should send their curriculum vitae, with a cover letter detailing their specific research interest, to Dr Corina Sas at corina@comp.lancs.ac.uk.

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