PhD Position in Trento on “Quantum Annealing for SAT Solving”

One PhD Student Position in Information and Communication Technologies on the research project

“Quantum Annealing for SAT Solving (QUASI)”

is available at the International Doctorate School in Information and Communication Technologies ( of the University of Trento, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Roberto Sebastiani, DISI, University of Trento, sponsored by and in direct collaboration with D-Wave Systems Inc. (

The goal of the QuaSI project is to investigate the usage of D-Wave’s quantum annealers (QAs) to solve hard SAT problems (and related NP-Hard problems) by exploiting quantum effects (superposition, tunneling) to cope with the inherent complexity of the problem. The ultimate goal is to solve problems (e.g., from cryptanalysis) which are currently out of the reach of state-of-the-art SAT solvers).

The proposed research is to develop effective and efficient encoding procedures from SAT to problems which fit into, and can be solved by, D-Wave’s QAs. These procedures will be presumably based on Satisfiability Modulo theories, automated-reasoning and graph-manipulation techniques.

Ph.D. courses will start in Autumn 2018, and the thesis must be completed in three-four years. The selected student should be available for an internship (e.g. a 3-month) at D-Wave, in Vancouver (CA). People enrolled in Ph.D. courses are expected to move to Trento, and will receive monetary support during phases of their activity.


The ideal candidate should have an MS or equivalent degree in computer science or engineering, mathematics or electronic engineering, and combine solid theoretical background (algorithms, logic) and excellent software development skills. NO BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE IN QUANTUM PHYSICS IS REQUIRED.

Background knowledge and/or previous experience is requested in at least one the following areas (in order of preference):
– Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT)
– Propositional Satisfiability (SAT)
– Automated reasoning and Computational Logic
– Constraint Solving and Optimization
– Operational Research

The candidate should be able to work in a collaborative environment, with a strong commitment to reaching research excellence and achieving assigned objectives. The position is subject to the acceptance of the assignment of the ownership of intellectual property to D-Wave Inc. of the research results.


Interested candidates should inquire for further information and/or apply by sending email to, indicating “PHD on Quasi Project” in the subject.

Applications should contain a statement of interest, with a Curriculum Vitae, and three reference persons. PDF format is strongly encouraged.

Emails will be automatically processed and should have as subject the sentence:


(Emails not complying with the above format have high chances to be ignored.)

Eventually they must apply to the international call of the ICT school of DISI (, which is expected to appear by the end of July 2018 (application deadline: end of August 2018).


Software Engineering & Formal Methods Research Program
DISI, University of Trento,
via Sommarive 14, I-38100 Povo, Trento, Italy
mailto: roberto[dot]sebastiani[at]unitn[dot]it


University of Trento ( in the latest years has always been rated among the top-three small&medium-size universities in Italy. DISI ( has been recognized among the top three ICT University Department in Italy. DISI currently consists of ~40 faculties, ~70 research staff and support people, ~20 postdocs and ~140 Doctoral students, plus administrative and technical staff. DISI covers all the different areas of information technology (computer science, telecommunications, and electronics) and their applications.


D-Wave ( is the world’s only commercial supplier of quantum computers. D-Wave’s systems are being used by some of the world’s most advanced organizations and D-Wave is the leader in the development and delivery of quantum and hybrid quantum-classical computing systems and software. D-Wave’s technology is focused on annealing-based quantum computing.


Trento is a lively town of about 100.000 inhabitants, located 130 km south of the border between Italy and Austria. It is well known for the beauty of its mountains and lakes, and it offers the possibility to practice a wide range of sports. Trento enjoys a rich cultural and historical heritage, and it is the ideal starting point for day trips to famous towns such as Venice or Verona, as well as to enjoy great naturalistic journeys. Detailed information about Trento and its region can be found at

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