New professor: Christian Schulte

Publicerad 2012-07-10

Christian Schulte has been working as an associate professor at School of ICT since 2002. From 1st of July 2012 he is promoted to professor in Computer Science and his research focus is on Constraint Programming.

Tell us something about your research area

– My current research focuses on constraint programming. Constraint programming is a set of methods and tools for modeling and solving combinatorial optimization problems. Typical problems include planning of personnel and resources, computing time tables, packing and placement problems. Even though these problems have in common that they are provably difficult to solve (they are said to be NP hard), constraint programming has been very successful in solving an array of these problems, typically with very high commercial significance.

Example research topics and activities include:
  • Techniques that underly efficient systems for constraint programming. This has also lead to the open source software system Gecode that has established itself as "the" free constraint programming system and is used by thousands of people in academia, education, andindustry.
  • The application of constraint programming to  code generation in the compilation of programs. This activity is lead by me and is done in collaboration with SICS (Swedish Institute of Computer Science). It includes basic research (funded by the Swedish Research Council) as well as applied research and transfer of results (funded by Ericsson).

Which challenges do you and your research area have in the near future?

– The following two challenges I find particularly significant. The first is how to utilize the ever increasing number of processor cores in a meaningful way for solving difficult optimization problems. The second challenge is concerned with accessibility of constraint programming. This is in particular hampered by a lack of textbooks: I am toying with the idea to write one.

What does the professor title mean to you and your daily work?

– Well, it is obvious that promotion to the new position comes with perks such as access to funding, standing, an so on. However, what matters a lot to me is the appreciation by my academic peers on which the promotion is based.

What are your wishes for the future for the school of ICT here in Kista?

– Just the best, of course! If I had to pick just one theme, it would be "inclusion". For example, better inclusion of staff (such as associate professors) in the school's decision processes and include more research-minded colleagues in basic education.

Read more about Christian Schulte here.