Supaero Reinforcement Learning Initiative

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Here are some details about the position. I’ve tried to avoid jargon and go straight to the point with relevant details. Of course what is written below are my own views and are given only to help candidates quickly get acquainted with the position.

– Emmanuel Rachelson (Feb 24, 2019)

General stuff about ISAE-SUPAERO

How it works: professors at ISAE-SUPAERO don’t have a fixed teaching commitment, as in universities. Our job on the “teaching” side is to insure that the training goes well and stays at the best level possible (this is evaluated through the competitive exams applications and through the alumni’s careers afterwards - note that ISAE-SUPAERO is among the 5 first French Grandes Ecoles).

Currently, there are 101 professors at ISAE-SUPAERO, covering all disciplines, for 33 training programs including the flagship Grande Ecole program, and around 1700 students. Practically, it implies that we spend quite a bit of time managing teams of external instructors (almost 2000/year in total) and the associated network, delegating the construction of classes and the training, and coordinating the whole curriculum.

Consequently, a standard teaching volume for an ISAE-SUPAERO prof is around 60-80 hours/year with a high variance across professors (depending on their age, discipline, personnal preferences, etc.).

Concerning research, ISAE-SUPAERO hosts research in many different disciplines, including AI. SuReLI is the place where most of ML / AI related things happen but many great colleagues contribute in their respective application fields too. Professors have (quite reasonable) individual objectives set each year but little pressure. Although there is a strong encouragement for research excellence (and a good environment provided by our institution), our career and salary progression is not as strictly conditionned by our short-term research achievements than in universities.

On the AI side, SuReLI is one of the players in Toulouse with great connections at IRIT, LAAS, IRT Saint Exupéry, with most big private players (Airbus, Thalès, etc.) or within ANITI (the major AI cluster in Toulouse). We are also among the founders of the “Toulouse Interdisciplinary Deep Learning” group.

Teaching duties of this position in particular

The three first classes below are within the Data Science MS program in the Grande Ecole cursus, which is managed by me, so this is close work with me, as for most tasks in this position. The fourth is slightly less important (and also within my perimeter but outside the MS training). I make a point of having happy colleagues and I expect the new professor to be an autonomous contributor to AI related topics (both for training and research), so even though all these responsibilities are somehow related to what I have built over the last years, there should be a healthy balance between common work and autonomy.

Here are the classes that the new professor should manage and take the leadership on:

Of course, once the classes are under the responsibility of the new prof, he/she has the duty of keeping them at the best level possible, which might involve changing the contents, etc. But we generally do that together.

Here are extra hours that can be shared with the new professor if he/she wishes (no obligation here):

Finally, there are some student projects that should be tutored, within the Grande Ecole cursus and within the AI & Business Transformation executive Master that should start next september.

Here are the projects for the future that the new professor should be part of:

Research environment

Here are a couple of current hot topics in SuReLI that form a good basis for understanding what we do and where we want to go:

Other profs / researchers close to SuReLI:

A little further but still related: