[April 2018]

Post-doctoral Positions

PhD Positions

Research Engineers


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Topic Details

Situated Analysis of Human-Machine Interactions in Smart Environments

Post-doc position, 12 months, contact: Yvonne Jansen

Keywords: HCI; Haptics; sensory substitution; perception

This project involves studying how to best provide situated feedback to users of smart environments. The successful candidate will collaborate with other members from the ISIR laboratory and the COSTECH lab at UTC Compiègne working on haptics and sensory substitution to study how to best transform environmental sensor readings into haptic stimuli and how to distribute such readings across the visual and tactile senses (a second post-doc will be working on the questions related to vision). For this opening we are looking for a candidate with experience in sensory substitution (haptic perception) and interfaces and experimental study design.


Modeling Skill Acquisition in Human-Computer Interaction by Using Reinforcement Learning

PhD position, contact Gilles Bailly

Keywords: HCI; Reinforcement Learning; Artificial Intelligence; Skill Acquisition

This PhD thesis is at the crossroad of Human-Computer Interaction (human behavior) and Artificial Intelligence (Reinforcement Learning). The goal is to model and analyze the behavior of users with graphical user interfaces. By modeling human factors, we want to analyze the possible causes of failure explaining why most of the users remain in a local optimum of performance. For instance, explaining why many users continue to navigate in hierarchies of menus instead of using efficient shortcuts (keyboard and gesture shortcuts) even after many years of practice. We formulate skill acquisition in interactive systems as a Reinforcement Learning problem: users behaviors emerge by finding the optimal policy considering 1) the ecological structure of the interaction, 2) cognitive and perceptual limits of the users and (3) the goal to maximize the trade-off between short-term productivity and long-term performance. Methods will include state-of-art Reinforcement Learning algorithms but should be adapted to take into account the hierarchical and non-stationary nature of the problem. The outcomes of this thesis are threefold: (1) scientific. A better understanding of skill acquisition in graphical user interfaces; (2) Technical. Hierarchical reinforcement learning algorithms dealing with non-stationary armed-bandit problems and memory; (3) Engineering. Design tools integrating the models to help designers comparing different interfaces.

Design and Implementation of 3D Interaction Techniques to Explore and Interact with Archeological Data

PhD position, contact: Gilles Bailly

Keywords: 3D interaction; HCI; Virtual Reality; 3D Manipulation; Haptics

The PhD student will design, implement and evaluate interaction techniques for 3D archeological data. These techniques will facilitate the manipulation, the navigation and the exploration of these large sets of data. These techniques will also highlight the the internal structure of these data to facilitate the formulation of hypothesis and the works of scientists. The PhD student will propose, with experts of the domain, novel evaluation criteria that go beyond the traditional performance  criteria (speed/accuracy). The proposed solutions might software (gesture-based interaction, multi-touch interaction, etc.) or hardware (haptic devices, VR, etc.) or a combination of these approaches.

This PhD thesis is part of a multi-disciplinary project involving computer scientists, mathematicians, historians, archeologists.

Novel Multimodal Interaction Techniques on Multi-touh tabletops

PhD position with the company Intuito, contact

Keywords: HCI; Multi-Touch Interaction; Multi-Modality; Skill Acquisition; Gesture Input;

New technologies such as interactive tabletops, eye-tracker, HMD offer new perspectives for Human Computer Interaction (HCI) in collaborative environments such as planning or crisis rooms or to pilot complex machines or systems such as vehicles’ cockpits. While these technologies provide clear benefits, it remains unclear how to efficiently use them. Designers should precisely understand the perceptive, motor and cognitive human abilities, the task and the environment (e.g. safety requirements) in order to develop usable interfaces. The primary objective of this thesis is to design, implement and evaluate novel multimodal interaction techniques to favor performance, develop users’ expertise, improve cognition and decision making of the operator in a collaborative environment. The second objective is to develop a platform to facilitate the prototyping, the elaboration, the parameterization and the validation of these interaction techniques. In particular, it should help designers to (1) characterize and formalize multimodal interaction, (2) select relevant criteria and parameters in order to (3) define the design space.

IHM collaborative basée sur la Réalité AugmentéePhd position with the compagny Segula  contact

Keywords: HCI; Augmented Reality; Haptics; Learning; Guidance Methods

La Réalité Augmentée (RA) est un support très adaptable pour transmettre du contenu digital (image, vidéo, son, modèle 3D animé). Les cas d’application de la RA sont présents dans tous les domaines de l’industrie et implique plusieurs échelles d’acteurs :

  • dans le cadre de la Production, les opérateurs de métiers réalisent les tâches liées à leur poste (ex : assemblage) et la conformité de leur travail est validée par des contrôleurs qualité.
  • concernant la Formation, les élèves apprennent le fonctionnement d’un système et sont évalués après entraînement en présence d’un examinateur dans le but d’obtenir une certification.

Actuellement, Segula Technologies possède une offre de Réalité Augmentée basée sur un sens : la vue. Cette offre permet de couvrir une grande partie des besoins des groupes industriels et apporte une solution rapide à appréhender (la vue étant le sens le plus sollicité à notre époque).
Il est possible d’afficher tous les types de médias numériques mais les interactions avec ces objets restent limitées (déplacement, gestion de menu d’actions…).

Dans un souci d’apporter la bonne information au bon moment et aux acteurs impactés, Segula Technologies s’intéresse à la réalisation d’un IHM permettant les tâches collaboratives et coopératives.
La coopération se retrouve en Production où chaque employé réalise les tâches liées à sa fonction dans l’entreprise, la somme de toutes ses tâches représente alors l’objectif global de production. Chaque employé a donc essentiellement besoin d’avoir affiché les informations à son domaine (information complète) ainsi que certaines informations des domaines lié par le flux de production (informations résumées). A l’opposé, la collaboration se retrouve lors de la Conception d’un système, où tous les membres du groupe restent en contact régulier et les interactions sont permanentes. Ils ont donc besoin de l’ensemble des données sur le projet et d’un grand panel d’interactions sur les données affichées.

Il s’agira dans ce travail d’établir une Interface Homme Machine (IHM) adaptée aux technologies de la Réalité Augmentée permettant à chaque utilisateur d’avoir accès aux données nécessaires au bon déroulement des tâches liées à son métier, et de pouvoir interagir avec les données accessibles par un autre utilisateur. Une appropriation préalable des méthodes existantes et des solutions technologiques sera souhaitable, avant de poursuivre les réflexions et développements.

Camera control in Surgical Cockpit
PhD position, contact: Gilles BaillyKeywords : HCI; Robotics; Surgery; Navigation; Camera controlLaparoscopic surgery is one of the forms of miniinvasive surgery. In a laparoscopic procedure, an endoscopic camera and elongated instruments are inserted into the abdomen through narrow cannulas called trocars. The surgeon then exploits the images of the camera retransmitted on a video screen to manipulate the instruments inside the abdomen. The proposed thesis aims to design active (robotic) devices and interaction techniques for controlling the camera and optimizing visualization functions. This work is conducted in collaboration with surgeons (codesign).

Situated Analysis of Human-Machine Interactions in Smart Environments (this position has been filled)

Research engineer position, 12 months

Keywords: mixed reality displays, robotics, haptics

We are looking for a skilled research engineer whose main task will be to realize research prototypes involving haptic interfaces and various displays combined with robotic components to realize virtual and mixed reality interfaces. The ideal candidate has skills in electronics and micro-controller programming and an open and creative attitude.


How to apply?

If you choose to apply for one of the listed positions, please send an e-mail to the person indicated in the listing of the position or, if no specific person is indicated, to both gilles.bailly@upmc.fr and yvonne.jansen@upmc.fr
In your email please include

  1. A short statement of your interest in the position you are applying for,
  2. A recent CV,
  3. If applicable: a list of your previous HCI publications / HCI projects with links to the full-text of your publications,
  4. 1 reference (2 references for Post-docs) who can write a letter of recommendation for you.

Why apply at HCI Sorbonne?

The development and the success of our students (from Bachelor to PhD) is a high priority in our group. We provide regular and personal guidance to ensure that students learn to lead successful research projects.

Our group has a strong track record at the CHI conference and is part of the exciting and multi-disciplinary ISIR laboratory (robotics, machine learning, perception, cognitive science, haptics, social interaction, etc.). The ISIR lab is a part of Sorbonne University, formerly  Pierre et Marie Curie University, merged in 2018 with the University Paris-Sorbonne to form three autonomous faculties: Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences and Medicine.

Key Figures
58 800 students (10 000 are international students), 5 200 doctoral candidates, 7 700 professor-researchers in 200 laboratories.