PhD positions in Discrete Math

I am looking for candidates for PhD-positions in Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorial Optimization here at the University of Tartu, for the academic year starting in Sep 2015.  Experience shows that some advance contact and collaboration is very helpful to get accepted into the PhD program.
The work environment is multi-national. The language of instruction and communication is English.
You should be interested in at least one of the following areas:
  1. Matrix theory;
  2. Probabilistic combinatorics and hypergraph theory, graph coloring, probabilistic methods;
  3. Computational discrete optimization
Please check out the "Problems" category here on the blog to get an idea of what kind of problems you might be working on.  (That list conveys only a limited selection, though, and is somewhat slanted towards matrix theory.)
The research group in discrete mathematics and combinatorial optimization was created in Feb 2013, and is in expansion (the web site still isn't up yet). As of September '14, it will consist of 2 PhD students, one early PostDoc, one advanced PostDoc, myself, and several half-members whose main research area has strong connections to combinatorics (Coding Theory, Cryptology). Expect a small and vibrant environment. Regarding supervising research students, I value working very closely with them. As a rule of thumb, I have 5+ hours of one-on-one face time per week with each student, usually condensed into one intensive afternoon research session.
The qualifications I am looking for are roughly the following. The ideal candidate would:
  • have an excellent background in mathematics;
  • be fluent in English;
  • be able to express concisely his mathematical ideas and questions;
  • hold a Masters degree (or equivalent), or be in the process of acquiring one, in Mathematics or Computer Science.
If you are interested, please contact me as soon as possible.  Informal inquiries are welcome: Just send a couple of lines about your education and your interests.
Below I have summarized some information about Estonia, Tartu, the University of Tartu, and the institute.

The PhD program
The 4-year PhD program (affiliated in Computer Science) requires to do ~50 ECTS (European credit points) of coursework. On the graduate level, we have 4 core courses covering basic research level combinatorics, which rotate every fall: extremal combinatorics, probabilistic combinatorics, enumerative combinatorics, and (hyper-)graph theory. The courses are heavily geared towards problems solving. The salary composition is competitive (i.e., depends on the candidate's qualifications). The generous version: you get ~1000 Euros; the other verions: you get ~590 Euros plus a half TA position worth ~410 Euros. (All these numbers are after tax.)
About half of the PhD students in the program are non-Estonian. Unfortunately, currently Discrete Math & Combinatorial Optimization is 100% expatriates.

Estonia is the Euro-zone country located directly south of Finland.
It is an ``E-Society'': Broadband Internet (e.g. LTE) is fast and inexpensive or free (public WiFi is ubiquitous). The country scores 1st in the world in Internet Freedom and 5th in Privacy. It is ranked directly behind Germany in the ``State of the World's Children's Index'' (10th). In the Human-Development index, it scores between the UK and Portugal. See Wikipedia for these and other statistical facts.
Pretty much everybody under 40 speaks English. It is not necessary (though polite) to learn Estonian. The language is similar to Finnish.

Tartu is a picturesque city in southern Estonia. Home to 17,000 students (in a population of 105,000), there are lots of inexpensive restaurants, bars, and caf├ęs. Tartu is also the destination of large numbers of Erasmus exchange students from the rest of Europe. Consequently, it has an outsize the nightlife, well beyond what you'd expect in a city that size.

Universitas Tartuensis
Founded in 1632, the University of Tartu is one of the most venerable centers of education and research in this part of the world. In rankings (e.g., Times Higher Education World University Ranking), it is ranked in the top 400 universities world wide, with a rapid ascent over the recent years.

The CS institute
A significant number of the Computer Science institute faculty are expatriates. The discrete math & combinatorial optimization group, of which you will be part, is still in expansion.  Research fields are Graph- and Hypergraph Theory, (Combinatorial) Matrix Theory, Combinatorial Number Theory, Probabilistic Combinatorics.  Within, CS, there are connections and interactions with the sprawling Cryptology group here, and with a small group in Coding Theory.
The faculty comprises the CS, Math, and Statistics institutes. In Math, there are large research groups in Algebra and Functional Analysis, but the Math institute is less international (e.g., all their courses are in Estonian), same holds for the Statistics institute.