Seminar: SMT, Planning and Snowmen

Event details

  • When: 6th August 2018 11:00 - 12:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: AI Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Professor Mateu Villaret, from Universitat de Girona is a visiting scholar with the AI group from July 1st until September 30th. Professor Villaret works on algorithms for routing and scheduling with the AI group at St Andrews.

As well as solving practical problems, he also enjoys puzzle games. That is the basis of this talk, about using Planning and SMT to solve the “Snowman” puzzle.

Seminar: AI-augmented algorithms — how I learned to stop worrying and love choice

The speaker is Lars Kotthoff, previously a PhD student here, now and Assistant Professor at the University of Wyoming. All welcome.


Often, there is more than one way to solve a problem. It could be a different
parameter setting, a different piece of software, or an entirely different
approach. Choosing the best way is usually a difficult task, even for experts.
AI and machine learning allow to leverage performance differences of
algorithms (for a wide definition of “algorithm”) on different problems and
choose the best algorithm for a given problem automatically. In AI itself,
these techniques have redefined the state of the art in several areas and led
to innovative approaches to solving challenging problems.

In this talk, I will give examples of how AI can help to solve challenging
computational problems, what techniques have been applied, and how you can do
the same. I will argue that AI has fundamental implications for software
development, engineering, and computer science in general — stop making
decisions when coding, having more algorithmic choices is better!


Funded PhD Research Studentship in Constraint Programming

Dr Chris Jefferson at the School of Computer Science is offering funding for a student to undertake PhD research in Constraint Programming.

He is looking for a highly motivated research student with an interest in Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms. The studentship offers costs of fees for UK or EU students and an annual tax-free maintenance stipend of about £13,726 per year for 3.5 years. It might also be possible to fund non-EU students on an equivalent basis, so students of any nationality are encouraged to apply. Students should normally have or expect at least an upper-2nd class Honours degree or Masters degree in Computer Science or a related discipline.

Research topics of interest to Dr Jefferson include the automatic generation of propagation algorithms (, the automated creation of combinatorial puzzles (, or advances in Computational Group Theory. Dr Jefferson is also interested in any student suggested projects in the area of Constraint Programming.

For further information on how to apply, see our postgraduate web pages (

Candidates should address general queries to, or specific queries on the research topics to The application process will require an interview (by phone or voice-conference if appropriate).

The closing date for applications is June 5th 2014 and we aim to make decisions on studentship allocation by June 20th 2014.