2 PhD position in EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), Switzerland

SNSF Project “Embodied Interaction in Immersive Virtual Environments” Topic: Finger-level control of the hands in embodied interactions.

Starting date: January 1st, 2019

Duration: 4 years

Your background:

– Research-oriented Master in Robotics or Computer Science with solid programming skills (C++, C#,
UNITY3D,…), a robust mathematical background in 3D interaction involving articulated structures,
and fluency in spoken and written English.
– Some background in Machine Learning is welcome as a secondary criteria.

Application procedure:

– if you are interested in joining the team, please first send an email to Dr Ronan Boulic (firstname
dot lastname at epfl dot ch) with your CV to express your motivation.

– Complete the full online application for the September 15th call of the EDRS “Robotics, Control and Intelligent Systems” doctoral program from the EPFL doctoral school. Be aware that the 3 requested
letters of reference must be obtained by the EDRS staff by the deadline of September 15th.

Overview of the research direction:

Virtual Reality immerses a person in a plausible simulation of reality. This project extends the possibilities of interaction in virtual environment with a 3D articulated avatar in the direction of introducing finger-level control of the hands while interactingwith the user own body and with the virtual world. The position has a strong 3D algorithmic and Robotics flavor with a validation in the context of real-time full-body interactions. Some background in Biomechanics or the modeling of 3D virtual humans can be useful but is not compulsory.

SNSF Synergia Project “Charting Emotion Components and Dynamics in the Human Brain using Virtual Reality and Cinema” Topic: Leveraging on Embodiment in Effective 3D VR Emotion-Inducing

Starting date: January 1st, 2019

Duration: 4 years

Overview of the research direction: our research group is part of a three partners consortium targeting a deeper understanding of the human emotions dynamics. For this we will exploit a MRI
device providing a fine analysis of the on-going neural processes in the brain while performing
controlled experiments. The other partners are respectively experts in the analysis of human
emotions and in MRI signal analysis while the challenge of our research group will be to offer
effective immersive VR experience while the subject is lying in the MRI device. For this project, the
recruited PhD student will collaborate with a postdoc (for the game-design) and a part-time VR
programmer.
Given the specificity of the MRI signal acquisition, the first challenge will be to assess motion
sickness and reduce such side effect for effectively inducing the planned emotions (in collaboration
the expert partner in human emotion analysis). The second challenge will be to investigate whether
and how the emotion-inducing experiment can take advantage of the subject embodiment (i.e. the
fact that the subject has an avatar body).

Your background:

– Research-oriented Master in Virtual-Reality, Computer-Human Interaction or Computer Science
with solid programming skills (C++, C#, UNITY3D,…), a robust mathematical background in statistical
analysis of experimental data and 3D interaction, and fluency in spoken and written English.

– Some background in Cognitive Neuroscience is welcome as a secondary criteria.

Application procedure:

– if you are interested in joining the team, please first send an email to Dr Ronan Boulic (firstname
dot lastname at epfl dot ch) with your CV to express your motivation.

– Complete the full online application for the September 15th call of the EDRS “Robotics, Control and
Intelligent Systems” doctoral program from the EPFL doctoral school. Be aware that the 3 requested
letters of reference must be obtained by the EDRS staff by the deadline of September 15th.

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