The project is currently recruiting post-docs, doctoral students and master's and engineering school internships to work on the following two topics:
Topic 1. Applying machine learning, computational linguistics or signal processing techniques to large corpora of spontaneous speech in typologically diverse languages in order to model the unsupervized discovery of linguistic structure in the human infant. Background required: engineering, computer science, applied maths, physics or formal/computational linguistics. Familiarity with cognitive/language science is a plus. Possible topics (not exhaustive):
- modeling neural processing in the auditory cortex, context effects, inverse articulation modeling
- unsupervized discovery of spoken terms, of phonetic, prosodic, semantic or grammatical categories
- modeling the effect of external feedback loops (babbling, social, interactions)
- testing the universality of learning algorithms across very different languages
Topic 2. Conducting experimental work in the human infant in order to probe for the emergence of phonological or lexical knowledge during the first year of life, using behavioral techniques (eye tracking) or non-invasive brain imaging (EEGs, fNIRS). Background required: neurosciences, experimental psychology or medicine. A good command of programming and statistical data analysis is clearly a plus. In addition, for testing infants in Paris, a good command of French is important.
Inside these general topics, short internships (3-4 months) minimum, master internships or PHD projects can be defined. Part of the work can be conducted in collaboration with our colleagues in Tokyo (Riken Institute, University of Keo), or at Johns Hopkins University (USA).
The detailed open positions are listed below:
Master's internships (open)
A limited number of positions for a Master's internship are open every year (Topic 1 or Topic 2). These internships should be for a minimum of 3 months, preferably for 5-6 months. (for Topic 1, see here; for Topic 2, contact us).
If you are interesting in applying to a relevant master, here is a non limitative list): Cogmaster, Dual Master, BIP Neuroscience, MVA, etc. For international students, there is the possibility of funding through the ENS/IEC program or the ENP program.
Engineer Internships/stages d'école d'ingénieur (open)
A limited number of positions are open for engineering internships throughout the year (last year internships, master's internships, etc.). These internships should be for a minimum of 3 months, preferably for 5-6 months. They concern Topic 1 (see detailed announcement HERE).
The project is currently recruiting 2 post-docs for a two year position, with two different profiles.
The first profile is in computational modeling/machine learning, and concerns a joint project between Ecole Normale Supérieure/INRIA in Paris and Microsoft Research (Redmond). The general topic is unsupervised learning of speech representations using several machine learning techniques.
The second profile is in EEG data collection and analysis. It consists in establishing a robust method to assess language development landmarks in infants at the phonological and lexical level. This method will be used to test the empirical predictions made by machine learning algorithms developped in the team and elsewhere.
One doctoral position is open per year (pending competitive funding) (Topics 1 or 2). It is strongly advised to first do an internship in the lab (Master's or Engineering) before applying to a doctoral position. Indeed, French PhDs are only 3 year long, and the requirements are high (original research topic, 3 published papers, etc). A preliminary internship enables to explore a topic, gather initial results, and writing a strong thesis proposal.
Regarding funding (3 year fellowships), students will typically apply through the Ecole Doctorale 3C (preselection Feb, selection July), the Ecole Doctorale Frontiere du Vivant (preselection Feb, selection July). Additional possibility for funding are to be found through specialized agencies (eg; DGA) or through an industrial cooperation (CIFRE). The ITI PSL program is a 4 year program which includes a year with courses and internships before the student can apply to a 3 years PHD fellowship.
For international students, there is in addition, the possibilility of a 4 year fellowship (incorporating a first year of lab rotations's) through Ecole de Neurosciences de Paris (ENP program, preselection February, selection April).
There is only a limited number of open positions for doctoral students every year. Potential applicants should contact syntheticlearner at gmail dot com for more information.