[robotics-worldwide] International Research-Centric Summer School in Interactive Robotics and Cognitive Systems

Interactive Robots and Media Laboratory UAEU irmluaeu at gmail.com
Thu Apr 18 01:02:28 PDT 2013

4th International Research-Centered Summer School in
“Cognitive Systems and Interactive Robotics, Social Media, Digital

The Summer School is organized by the Interactive Robots and Media (
http://www.irmllab.com), the Software & Knowledge Engineering Lab at the
Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications of NCSR "Demokritos" (
http://www.iit.demokritos.gr) and the ARCOMEM (http://www.arcomem.eu) and
SOCIALSENSOR (http://www.socialsensor.eu) FP7 ICT research projects. This
is the fourth summer school in a sequence initiated by the Interactive
Robots and Media Lab. This year it will take place between July 4 and July
31 2013, at NCSR "Demokritos", in Athens, Greece.

The Summer School has an innovative format: it is Research-Centred, with a
strong focus on mini-projects of month-long duration, carried out by
multiple teams of 3-4 students including a mix of academic levels (Postdoc,
PhD, undergraduates). Selected seminars and lectures will also take place;
but not exceeding two hours per day. Exciting cultural events and
excursions will take place during the weekends. The outcome of the summer
school includes both numerous scientific publications, as well as
longer-term collaborations.

This year’s topic and research project areas, focus on the cognitive
systems viewpoint, as pertaining to:
- Human Robot Interaction and Whole-body HCI
- Dialogue Systems and Computer Vision
- Information Visualisation
- Social Media Analysis and Utilization
- Digital preservation and the Social Web
- User Modelling and Recommendation systems
- Affective science and computing
- ICT for sustainable development

The lab is equipped with multiple robots (The Ibn Sina human-size Android
with full facial expressions, the Indigo museum guide robot, Pioneer and
other mobile robots, manipulator arms, UAVs), as well as advanced vision
and other sensing systems.
In terms of computational resources, there is access to high-performance
computation, as well as multiple workstations. There is also close contact
with numerous world-class institutions and companies in the field, across
three continents, and numerous distinguished invited lecturers and
supervisors will be joining us for the summer school.

The Social Media and Digital Preservation theme is co-organised by the
EU-funded Integrated Project ARCOMEM. This year, a distinguished group of
lecturers, as well as experts from the Media sector and Parliamentary
Libraries will be present for the duration of the school that will present
the latest scientific findings in the area. A hands-on training session
will be available for the students on the applications and technologies of
Digital Preservation and the Social Web.

The SocialSensor project also supports the organization of this Summer
School and will provide the dimension of real-time multimedia indexing and
search in the Social Web. Engineers and researchers from the consortium of
the project will explain how to move beyond conventional text-based
indexing and retrieval models by mining and aggregating user inputs and
content over multiple social networking sites. New tools for Social
Indexing will be presented which incorporate information about the
structure and activity of the users’ social network directly into the
multimedia analysis and search process.

Finally, the summer school will cooperate with FONDAZIONE ROSSELLI AMERICAS
(FRA) through its ICT4DEVIS (Information & Communication Technology for
Development International School), to provide a better understanding on the
use of  ICT in project planning for sustainable development, specifically
focusing on developing countries. FRA’s ICT4DEVIS is conceived as a
for-credit, hands-on, practice oriented, cross-cultural summer school,
intended for students, professionals and practitioners who want to pursue a
professional career in deploying ICT as a means for international
development. In this Summer School ICT4DEVIS will present “best practices”
explaining the “life-cycle” of development projects aiming at improving the
living conditions of developing countries, through the deployment of ICT.

The Host Institution
The National Center for Scientific Research (NCSR) “Demokritos” is composed
of 700+ distinguished researchers, research support professionals and
scientific associates, and with a 50+ year experience of excellence, is
arguably the most prestigious Hellenic research Center. NCSR is
distinguished for supporting a visionary and dynamic research community
that is currently under the process of re-orientating its efforts with
emphasis on innovation exploitation and fostering of new businesses and
synergetic cooperation with the private sector. It is comprised of five
institutes, covering Informatics and Telecommunications, Biosciences and
their applications, Nuclear and Radiological Sciences, Materials, Physics (
NCSR Demokritos is furthermore tightly integrated with the European
Research ecosystem, with a long tradition of active collaboration and
exchange. Its green campus is situated in a beautiful natural environment
in Agia Paraskevi, Athens.

The place
Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating
from the first settlement in the Neolithic age. In the 5th Century BC (the
“Golden Age of Pericles”) – the culmination of Athens’ long, fascinating
history – the city’s values and civilization acquired a universal
significance. Over the years, a multitude of conquerors occupied Athens,
and erected unique, splendid monuments - a rare historical palimpsest. In
1834, it became the capital of the modern Greek state and in two centuries
since it has become an attractive modern metropolis with unrivalled charm,
with a huge number of world-class cultural activities.

A large part of the town’s historic centre has been converted into a
3-kilometre pedestrian zone (the largest in Europe), leading to the major
archaeological sites (“archaeological park”), reconstructing – to a large
degree – the ancient landscape. Numerous monuments where Aristotle, Plato,
Pericles, and others were once walking still exist today and invite you to
enjoy the Hellenic Sun.

Apart from the wonderful coast of Attica where you can swim or enjoy the
thriving nightlife, within a couple of hours travel from Athens you can
enjoy numerous historical sites, such as the oracle of Delphi or the temple
of Sounio, as well as amazing islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete.

This will be an unforgettable experience, not only of technology and
collaboration, but also of some of the best that European nature and
culture has to offer!

Applying for the Summer School
We are welcoming applications at multiple levels (final-year B.Sc, M.Sc.,
PhD, and postdoc levels). Necessary prerequisites include any one, and
ideally a mixture of the skills below:
- Programming in C++, Java or Matlab
- Pattern Recognition, Data Mining, Machine Vision, or Natural Language
- Psychological/Interaction experimental design and data analysis
- Information Visualization
- Social Media Analysis
- Sentiment analysis
- Digital Archiving
But most importantly, the creative imagination and the strong motivation to
produce innovative results in any of the main theme areas.

Scholarships will be provided to selected participants.
To apply, kindly send your CV, including emails of two referees, to
nmav at alum.mit.edu and cc vangelis at iit.demokritos.gr, by 10 May 2013.
Applications will be considered in a first come first served basis.

Looking forward to welcoming you in Athens!

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