PhD Studentship in Computer Science

This advert is passed on request of Prof. Peter Andras

PhD Studentship in Computer Science

Understanding and modelling emergent functionality in small biological neural systems


Reference Number:  EPSAM2014-1

Application Deadline: 15th September 2014

Supervisor: Professor Peter Andras, School of Computing and Mathematics, Keele University

Project description:

The functionality of biological neural systems emerges through the interaction of neurons. Recent technological advances allow the recording and analysis of many neurons individually, making possible the understanding and modelling the emergence of system level functionality in biological neural circuits.

This project will use as model system the stomatogastric ganglion (STG) of brown crabs. The focus will be on the understanding how the roles of neurons may change in response to neuromodulation in the context of changing functional behaviour of the pyloric rhythm neural circuit within the STG. We will use fast voltage-sensitive dye imaging to collect the data about the activity of neurons and computational modelling of these neurons and the impact of neuromodulators on them in order to model and explain the observed activity of the STG. We aim to analyse the roles of apparently functionally equivalent neurons (e.g. two PD neurons, five PY neurons) and model computationally the changes in their functional roles in response to neuromodulation.

The successful candidate will be expected to learn the relevant biological experimental techniques, perform biological experiments, learn the relevant computational modelling techniques, and build and analyse computational models of neurons and neural circuits.

The stipend is £13,863 (2014/15) per year. The studentship is not available for candidates from outside of the EU.

Person specification:

You should have either a First class honours degree in Computing Science, Mathematics, Physics, Biology or other relevant science or engineering subject, or a or 2.1 in Computing Science, Mathematics, Physics, Biology or other relevant science or engineering subject and a distinction level Masters degree in a related subject. Equivalent experience will also be considered.

Application procedure:

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application website ( specifying the reference number EPSAM2014-1 and selecting PhD in Computer Science, as the programme of study.  Only mandatory fields need to be completed and a personal statement, CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications must be attached. The personal statement must state the title of the studentship, quote the reference number EPSAM2014-1 and describe how your research interests fit with the topic of the research projected outlined in the advertisement (max. 2 pages). If you already have published research papers a list of these providing bibliographic details should be included in the covering letter.

You should also send your personal statement and CV by e-mail to Professor Peter Andras, (

Further information:

For further details, please contact Professor Peter Andras (, 01782 733412 For general enquiries contact:


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Collaboration with Professor Barbara Kitchenham being a Visiting Scholar at Keele University

I conduct research related to e.g. meta-analysis and reproducible research in software engineering together with Prof. Barbara Kitchenham (ranked among top 5 researchers in software engineering, see her DBLP publication record). As a result I had an opportunity to visit Keele University, School of Computing and Mathematics.

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Chairing the 16th KKIO Software Engineering Conference

Being a PC co-chair of the 16th KKIO Software Engineering Conference I would like to invite all software engineering researchers and practitionares to submit papers and attend the conference which this year will take place from 22nd to 24th of September 2014 in Poznań, Poland.

Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:

  • Software requirements engineering and modeling
  • Software architectures (incl. components, MDA)
  • Software design
  • Software testing, analysis and verification
  • Project management
  • Agile software development methodologies and practices
  • Software quality
  • Software measurement and metrics
  • Reverse engineering and software maintenance
  • Empirical and experimental studies in software engineering
  • Open Source
  • Object-oriented software development
  • Aspect-oriented software development
  • Software tools, containers, frameworks and development environments
  • Formal methods in software engineering
  • Internet software systems development
  • Human-computer interaction
  • AI and knowledge based software engineering
  • Data mining in software engineering
  • Prediction models in software engineering
  • Mining software repositories
  • Software products and process improvement and measurement programs
  • Process maturity models
  • Software Engineering education

In this year the conference is organized by Polish Information Processing Society (Greater Poland Branch) and Poznan University of Technology (Faculty of Computing).


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My paper in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE) is available from the publisher

The paper entitled “Overcoming the Equivalent Mutant Problem: A Systematic Literature Review and a Comparative Experiment of Second Order Mutation” by Lech Madeyski, Wojciech Orzeszyna, Richard Torkar, and Mariusz Józala is now available from the publisher (DOI: 10.1109/TSE.2013.44).

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My paper in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE)

A new paper entitled “Overcoming the Equivalent Mutant Problem: A Systematic Literature Review and a Comparative Experiment of Second Order Mutation” by Lech Madeyski, Wojciech Orzeszyna, Richard Torkar, and Mariusz Józala has been accepted as a regular paper in an upcoming issue of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE).

TSE is ranked the highest within ISI Software Engineering journals in terms of impact factor, so I am happy.

A preprint PDF (22 pages) as well as an appendix to the paper (including statistical analyses) and a protocol for a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) of methods dealing with the Equivalent Mutant Problem are available here.

Here is the abstract:

Context. The equivalent mutant problem (EMP) is one of the crucial problems in mutation testing widely studied over decades.
Objectives. The objectives are: to present a systematic literature review (SLR) in the field of EMP; to identify, classify and improve the existing, or implement new, methods which try to overcome EMP and evaluate them.
Method. We performed SLR based on the search of digital libraries. We implemented four second order mutation (SOM) strategies, in addition to first order mutation (FOM), and compared them from different perspectives.
Results. Our SLR identified 17 relevant techniques (in 22 articles) and three categories of techniques: detecting (DEM); suggesting (SEM); and avoiding equivalent mutant generation (AEMG). The experiment indicated that SOM in general and JudyDiffOp strategy in particular provide the best results in the following areas: total number of mutants generated; the association between the type of mutation strategy and whether the generated mutants were equivalent or not; the number of not killed mutants; mutation testing time; time needed for manual classification.
Conclusions. The results in the DEM category are still far from perfect. Thus, the SEM and AEMG categories have been developed. The JudyDiffOp algorithm achieved good results in many areas.

A graphical abstract / teaser is here:


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PhD student positions in Software Engineering (in Sweden)

My colleague (Professor) is looking for four new PhD (post-graduate) students in Software Engineering in Sweden. I am ready to recommend only persons who I know personally.

Btw. There is also an open call for PhD candidates in Software Engineering at Wroclaw University of Technology.

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Continuous Test-Driven Development — A Novel Agile Software Development Practice and Supporting Tool

Continuous testing is a technique in modern software development in which the source code is constantly unit tested in the background and there is no need for the developer to perform the tests manually. We propose an extension to this technique that combines it with well-established software engineering practice called Test-Driven Development (TDD). In our practice, that we called Continuous Test-Driven Development (CTDD), software developer writes the tests first and is not forced to perform them manually. We hope to reduce the time waste resulting from manual test execution in highly test driven development scenario. In this article we describe the CTDD practice and the tool that we intend to use to support and evaluate the CTDD practice in a real world software development project.

Download paper to be presented at the ENASE’2013 conference as PDF file.

More publications are available here.

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Carlo Ghezzi (Professor of Software Engineering) joined the Editorial Board of e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal

It is a great pleasure that Carlo Ghezzi (Professor of Software Engineering) accepted my invitation and joined the Editorial Board of e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal.

Professor Carlo Ghezzi is a regular member of the program committee of important conferences in the software engineering field (e.g. the ICSE and ESEC/FSE), for which he also served as Program and General Chair. He has given keynotes at several international conferences, including ESEC/FSE and ICSE. He has been the Editor in Chief of the ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (from 2001 till 2006). He is currently an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Science of Computer Programming, Service Oriented Computing and Applications, and Computing.

He co-authored over 180 papers and 8 books. He coordinated several national and international (EU funded) research projects and he has been awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council.

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Coding Dojo at Wroclaw University of Technology – Roman Numerals Kata as sample Eclipse projects

Please find attached Roman Numerals Kata from our Coding Dojo as sample Eclipse projects:

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