[robotics-worldwide] [meetings] Last Call: 2nd PhD School on AI and Robotics

Alessandro Saffiotti asaffio at aass.oru.se
Sun Oct 12 06:57:38 PDT 2014

  *** NOTE: Application deadline is October 15 - strict! ***

 Second Orebro Winter School on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

               Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
                      December 8-12, 2014


The fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics were strongly
connected in the early days of AI, but have since diverged.  Today,
and with few exceptions, they are regarded as separate fields, with
separate communities and scientific traditions.  Typical graduate
student curricula concentrate on AI or on robotics, but rarely on
both.  Students in one area are seldom aware of the concepts, methods,
and achievements in the other one.  This separation is often
exacerbated by the barriers among traditional academic disciplines.

Despite this separation, many now feel that the two fields ought to be
brought together towards the development of fully integrated
intelligent robots.  The 2nd Winter School on AI and Robotics provides
a concrete step to fill this educational gap, and to create the next
generation of researchers who will realize integrated intelligent
robots.  These researchers should be familiar with the methods in the
two fields, and should be able to work across their traditional
boundaries.  They should combine theoretical insights from both areas
with practical understanding of physical robotic systems.

This School will provide graduate students in AI and in Robotics a
unique training and human experience.  Students will be exposed to
technologies at the forefront of research in AI and in Robotics, and
will apply some of these through exercises on real robots.  They will
have the opportunity to discuss their research work with top level
scholars as well as other students, and to extend their networks.


The School will run for one week, Monday to Friday, December 8-12, and
will offer a mixture of traditional advanced lectures and innovative
features.  The latter include:

o Two full-day sessions on specific topics, complemented by hands-on
  exercises on real robots.

o A half-day session on evaluation, complemented by hands-on exercises
  on real robots.

o A PhD symposium in which students will be given an opportunity to
  present their research and receive feedback.

Students will be assigned preparatory work to be done before the
school.  This will ensure that all students are sufficiently familiar
with basic tools (e.g., ROS, the Robot Operating System) and theories
needed to fully leverage lectures and the exercises.  Assignments will
be made in groups that mix students from different backgrounds.

Ample room will be provided during the School for group discussions,
interactions between students and teachers, and social activities.


o Constraint-Based Reasoning for Robots
  (full day session with hands-on exercises)
  - Dr Federico Pecora, University of Orebro, Sweden
  - Masoumeh Mansouri, University of Orebro, Sweden

o Answer-Set Programming and its Application to Robotics
  (full day session with hands-on exercises)
  - Prof Torsten Schaub, University of Potsdam, Germany
  - Dr Benjamin Andres, University of Potsdam, Germany

o Benchmarking and evaluation of intelligent robotic systems
  (1/2 day with hands-on exercises)
  - Prof Pedro Lima, Institut Superior Tecnico, Lisbon, Portugal
  - Prof Daniele Nardi, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

o Probabilistic logics for robotics
  - Prof Luc De Raedt, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

o Model-driven engineering for knowledge representation
  - Prof Herman Bruyninckx, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

o The openEASE, an open knowledge server
  - Prof Michael Beetz, University of Bremen, Germany 

o AI and Robotics from a commercial perspective
  - Dr Amit Kumar Pandey, Aldebaran Robotics, France


PhD students from any institution in any part of the world can apply
to the School.  Applications by motivated early-stage postdocs are
also welcome.  Applicants are not expected to have any specific
previous experience in the above topics, but they are expected to have
a strong background in robotics or in artificial intelligence, along
with the curiosity and drive in exploring the integration between the
two.  Applications by women and minorities are strongly encouraged.

The total number of participants is limited to 30.  To apply for
admission, send the following material as a single ZIP file:

1) a full CV, specifying the start date of the PhD
2) a 1/2 page description of the PhD thesis topic
3) a recommendation letter by the PhD advisor
4) a transcript of records of the BSc and MSc courses
5) a motivation letter: what do you expect to gain from the school,
   what experience you will bring to the school, not to exceed 1 page 

Documents should be in PDF format. Applications must be received by
October 15, 2014, strict.  Late applications will not be processed.
Admission decisions will be mailed on October 24.  Quality and
motivation of the applicant will be the main selection criteria;
balance across fields, genders, and geographical areas may be used to
tie breaks.

There is no registration fee.  Admitted students will be offered
accommodation in shared rooms (from December 7 to 13), course
material, lunches and social dinner.  All other costs, including
transportation, will need to be covered by the student or her/his


This School is fully supported by Orebro University, Sweden, through a
special strategic grant.


o Chair:
  Alessandro Saffiotti, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden

o Advisory committee:
  Joachim Hertzberg, University of Osnabrück, Germany
  Daniele Nardi, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
  Kanna Rajan, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, California

o Local organization:
  Federico Pecora, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden

o Secretariat: 
  Åsa Granlund, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden


 Oct 15, 2014: Deadline for applying to the school (strict)
 Oct 24, 2014: Admission decisions mailed
 Dec  7, 2014: Students arrive
 Dec 13, 2014: Students leave




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