Humboldt Research Award for Jérôme Lang

Congratulations to Jérôme Lang , PRAIRIE Chair, who has been granted the Humboldt Research Award!

Jerome Lang

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards to internationally leading researchers from abroad, whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or findings  have had a lasting effect on their discipline beyond their immediate research area and who are expected to continue producing outstanding research in the future.

As this award comes with funding to spend some time in research departments in Germany, Jérôme Lang will work at the Universität Düsseldorf and Technische Universität Berlin.


5 gold medals at the Computer Olympiads!

Quentin Cohen-Solal (postdoc PRAIRIE since February 2020) and Tristan Cazenave (supervisor, PRAIRIE chair) won 5 gold medals at the Computer Olympiads in the following games: Othello 10x10, Breakthrough, Surakarta, Amazons, and Clobber.

The programs competing for each of these games use the same zero knowledge reinforcement learning algorithms (fundamentally different from the Alpha Zero algorithms), created by Quentin Cohen-Solal and then improved during the PRAIRIE postdoc. This is the first time that the same algorithms have made it possible to win 5 gold medals at the Computer Olympiads.


Missed the AI4Health Winter School?

Along with 3IA Côte d’Azur et MIAI Grenoble, PRAIRIE has been the co-organiser of the 1st edition of AI4Health Winter School, which covered the latest advances in the field of data science applied to health.

The presentations from the event are available here.

The AI4Health Winter School gathered more than 450 participants from 30 countries, representing a variety of profiles (60% of students, 20% academics and 20% of private sector professionals).

The General Chair of the event was Emmanuel Bacry, PRAIRIE Chair. Stéphanie Allassonnière, PRAIRIE Chair and Deputy Director, represented PRAIRIE at the opening ceremony.


The Royal Society Milner Award and Lecture for Cordelia Schmid

The Royal Society Milner Award and Lecture, supported by Microsoft Research, is the premier European award for outstanding achievement in computer science.

Cordelia Schmid

Dr Cordelia Schmid was awarded the Royal Society Milner Award and Lecture for her work in computer vision and her fundamental contributions to the representation of images and videos for visual recognition. Congratulations!

More information: https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2020/11/milner-lecture/


Young researcher Prize of the French Academy of Sciences for Stanley Durrleman

Stanley Durrleman, co-leader of the “ARAMIS – Algorithms, Models and Methods for Images and Signals of the Human Brain” team at the Paris Brain Institute, received the Inria Young researcher prize from the French Academy of Sciences for his work.

Stanley Durrleman

This €20,000 prize rewards the work of Stanley Durrleman and his team on the development of statistical learning methods and the design of predictive models of the evolution of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. He has developed algorithms capable of predicting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in patients over the next four years. This tool could play a key role in evaluating the effectiveness of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.


More information: https://institutducerveau-icm.org/en/actualite/stanley-durrleman-inria-academy-sciences/


Inria / ENPC / CIIRC CTU researchers win the 6D pose estimation challenge at ECCV 2020

The work “CosyPose: Consistent multi-view multi-object 6D pose estimation” co-authored by Yann Labbé (Inria), Justin Carpentier (Inria), Mathieu Aubry (ENPC), and Josef Sivic (Czech Technical University and former Prairie chair holder) has won 5 awards at the 6D object pose estimation challenge at ECCV 2020.

6D object pose estimation is one of the key problems in enabling autonomous systems equipped with visual sensors to accurately estimate the positions of objects in the environment in order to grasp and manipulate them. Think, for example, of an assistant robot at home, that can automatically fill-in a dish-washer or a manufacturing robot manipulating objects on the production line.    
The CosyPose approach estimates the 6D pose of multiple known objects in a scene captured by one or more input images with unknown camera viewpoints. The main innovation is a marriage of powerful deep neural networks trained from a combination of synthetic and real images together with multi-view geometric constraints. 

CosyPose: 6D object pose estimation optimizing multi-view COnSistencY. Given a set of RGB images depicting a scene with known objects taken from unknown viewpoints (top), our method accurately reconstructs the scene (bottom) recovering all objects in the scene, their 6D pose and the camera viewpoints. 
The award. The proposed approach achieves state-of-the-art results on multiple benchmarks, doubling the performance of existing methods on the most complex datasets that were beyond the capabilities of previous systems. The method won 5 awards including “The Overall Best Method” in the  6D object pose estimation challenge at ECCV 2020, outperforming other competitors by a significant margin in multiple categories and reaching the performance of methods that use further information from costly depth sensors (which are also sensitive to illumination) while only using non-expensive RGB sensors. The results of the challenge are available as slides and as an overview paper.

Support from the Jean Zay computing cluster. Training the 6D object pose estimation models requires a significant compute on multiple GPUs. Developing the method and winning the challenge would have not been possible without the generous support from the French National Jean Zay computing cluster.

ECCV 2020. The 6D object pose estimation challenge was held in conjunction with the European Conference on Computer Vision, (ECCV) 2020. ECCV is one of the top three computer vision conferences (together with CVPR and ICCV) and is listed among the top 100 most cited journals and conferences over all areas of science by Google Scholar. 


Two PhD awards for Gül Varol!

Gül Varol, co-advised by Ivan Laptev and Cordelia Schmid received the ELLIS PhD Award and AFRIF 2019 PhD award for her thesis "Learning Human Body and Human Action Representations from Visual Data".

The thesis of Gül Varol covers a wide range of challenging and important problems in human analysis within computer vision. In particular, it defined the state of the art in action recognition from videos with the use of long-term temporal convolutions, and it contributed a synthetic data generation framework for advancing human body shape analysis.
The scientific outcomes of the thesis have been followed up and extended by numerous groups. This has been supported by open sourcing of code and datasets.


More information: https://ellis.eu/news/ellis-phd-award-2020


A look at recent advances in automatic translation

What has boosted machine translation in recent years?

Thierry Poibeau

Over the last couple of years, automatic translation tools have done significant progress toward improving translation quality. What has driven this improvement in recent years? Listen to the latest podcast with Thierry Poibeau, PRAIRIE chair whose work focuses on Natural Language Processing: https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/le-code-a-change/la-traduction-automatique-avec-thierry-poibeau


An ELLIS unit launched in Paris!

An ELLIS unit (European Lab for Learning and Intelligent Systems https://ellis.eu/) has just been created in Paris.

Its goal is to actively participate in the coordination of actions around artificial intelligence in the Paris region, in interaction with other members of the ELLIS network.

Read the press release.

More information on the unit’s website https://ellis-paris.github.io/.



Candidatez au Prix de thèse Gilles Kahn 2020

Le Prix de thèse Gilles Kahn, patronné par l’Académie des Sciences et décerné par la SIF, récompense chaque année depuis 1998 une excellente thèse en informatique.

L’objectif de ce prix est de dynamiser et de motiver de jeunes chercheurs en les récompensant, et de faire connaître à l’ensemble de la communauté informatique d’excellents travaux de recherche.

Dossier de candidature

Peut candidater tout étudiant ou étudiante ayant soutenu son doctorat d’informatique dans une école ou université française entre le 1er septembre 2019 et le 31 août 2020. Toute candidature devra être explicitement soutenue par le(s) directrice(s) ou directeur(s) de thèse, qui ne peuvent en aucun cas soutenir deux candidats ou candidates.

Date limite de candidature: 14 septembre 2020

Plus d’informations : https://www.societe-informatique-de-france.fr/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/1024-numero-15_Article37.pdf