Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
Something definitely worth watching:
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Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
Something definitely worth watching:
The ultimate test of human character
The ultimate test of character
Writing good scientific papers
Good papers are like good wine: they need time to mature.
Of course, there are a few jerks out there, as Marc Raibert puts it, who can write perfect manuscripts on the first try, but if you’re reading this, I assume you are not one of these disgusting individuals.
So, for the rest of us mortals, I have tried to collect advice from various sources about how to write good scientific papers. Also, I contribute some of my own humble personal experience.
One of my most favourite papers on this topic is, without doubt, Marc Raibert’s paper about “Spilling the beans”. If you haven’t read it yet, please do so!
I totally agree with Raibert, and always try to “spill the beans” in my own papers as much and as early as possible.
Another classic in the genre is Jim Kajiya’s article “How to Get Your SIGGRAPH Paper Rejected”.
The “Cargo Cult Science”, as named by Richard Feynman, is a must-see for all researchers, in my opinion. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I recommend watching Feynman’s commencement address at Caltech at my Inspiration page.
Open Post-Doc positions in Robotics at IIT
Postdoctoral positions in Machine Learning for Robot Control of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV)
The Department of Advanced Robotics (http://www.iit.it/en/advanced-robotics) at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT, an English-language research institute, located in Genoa, Italy) has 2 Post-Doc openings (starting from
January March 2012) in the research areas of Reinforcement learning and Imitation learning applied to robot control of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV).
The successful candidates will participate in a 3-year research project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-ICT, STREP, Cognitive Systems and Robotics) called “PANDORA” (Persistent Autonomy through learNing, aDaptation, Observation and ReplAnning) which will start in January 2012.
The project is a collaboration of five universities and institutes in Europe: Heriot Watt University (UK), Italian Institute of Technology (Italy), University of Girona (Spain), University of Strathclyde (UK), and National Technical University of Athens (Greece).
The accepted candidates will contribute to the development and experimental validation of novel reinforcement learning and imitation learning algorithms for specific application to robot control of autonomous underwater vehicles. The research work includes conducting experiment with AUVs in water tanks in collaboration with the other project partners. The developed machine learning algorithms will also be applied for other robots available at IIT, such as the compliant humanoid robot COMAN, the humanoid robot iCub, Barrett WAM manipulator arm, and KUKA LWR arm robot.
The research will be conducted within the “Learning and Interaction Group” (http://www.iit.it/en/advanced-robotics/research-areas/learning-and-interaction)
with team leaders: Dr. Petar Kormushev and Dr. Sylvain Calinon.
The salary will depend on the candidate’s experience and also includes additional pension and health benefits. Applicants may also qualify for reduced taxes benefits. Contracts are for up to 3 years with a possible renewal and future career options upon successful completion. Expected start date is
February March 2012.
International applications are encouraged and will receive logistic support with visa issues. For further information please contact: Dr. Petar Kormushev (by e-mail).
- PhD degree in Computer Science, Mathematics or Engineering
- High-quality publication record
- Strong interest in machine learning algorithms
- Strong competencies in some of these areas: machine learning, reinforcement learning, imitation learning, MATLAB and C/C++ programming
- Experience in robot control is a plus
- Fluency in both spoken and written English
To apply please send a detailed CV, a statement of motivation, degree certificates, grade of transcripts, contact information of at least two references, and other support materials such as reference letters to: Dr. Petar Kormushev (by e-mail).
For consideration, please apply by:
December 4, 2011
DEADLINE EXTENDED TO: January 29, 2012
Petar Kormushev, PhD
Team Leader – Advanced Robotics Dept.
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova
“Stay hungry, stay foolish” ― Steve Jobs
“I hear, I forget; I see, I may remember; I do, I will never forget.” ― Confucius
“Be prapared: ‘luck’ is where preparation meets opportunity” ― Randy Pausch
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past – into the impossible”.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away”
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” ― Alan Kay
“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.” ― Ludwig van Beethoven
“We must become the change we want to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
…to be continued
One of my favorite comics is the PhD comics (“Piled Higher and Deeper”), which relates to many problems and funny moments of a PhD-student’s and a post-doc’s life.
Open PhD positions in Robotics at IIT for 2012
The application deadline for the positions below has passed already!
But IIT regularly announces other open positions in several fields of science and has permanent ongoing calls here:
Doctoral Course on Robotics, Cognition and Interaction Technologies
Call for PhD students for 2012
30 open PhD positions with scholarship are available at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa, Italy.
Doctoral course starting in January 2012
Application deadline: September 23, 2011
Online application here
I have 2 PhD openings in my group, in the field of Reinforcement Learning with application to Robot Control. You can find details in this PDF document.
The 2 PhD positions under my supervision are in:
STREAM 3: Machine Learning, Robot Control and Human- Robot Interaction
For further details about these particular PhD positions, please contact me by e-mail.
Pizza robot @ AAAI 2011
At the international conference AAAI 2011 in San Francisco, my colleague Sylvain and I presented our pizza-making robot.
The event was the so-called “Robotic Challenge @ AAAI”, and this year the topic was “Food preparation”.
Our robot is a modified Barrett WAM 7-dof robot arm manipulator, with a wooden rolling pin at the end-effector.
The robot learns from demonstrations how to roll out the pizza dough, in order to make the most perfect circular pizzas! Below you can see a video of the Robotic Challenge event, and here are a few photos of our setup:
Learning from Demonstration Robotics Challenge @ AAAI 2011
Video credit: Brandon Rohrer
A collection of highly-motivational and inspirational materials (at least for me):
Steve Jobs’s Commencement Speech in 2005 at Stanford University
Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Jeff Hawkins’s TED Talk: Brain science is about to fundamentally change computing
Andrew Ng (Director of Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab) – The Future of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
Richard Feynman’s commencement address given in 1974 at Caltech – “Cargo Cult Science”
Bruno Bozzetto – Freedom must always be conquered (Celebration of 60 years of freedom, by Council of Bergamo)
Lectures in mechatronics and robotics
Sorry, this entry is only available in Български.
2012 Top 10 Robot Christmas Gift Ideas
DARPA Robotics Challenge Kick Off
2012 ASABE Robot Contest Photos
Interview with David L. Heiserman
David Anderson on Subsumption Robots
Review: Apocalyptic AI by Robert M. Geraci
Raspberry Pi Interview with Eben Upton
2012 VEX Robotics World Championship
Giant Dallas Robot Cited as Best Public Art
There's More Than One Way to Skin a Robot
Day of the Androids at Hanson Robotics