Visitors @ LASA

LASA was very honoured as we received the delegation from Wuhan University and from the Chinese Province to discuss future collaborations between the two universities. 

Visitors included;

  •  Mr. Ying Weiwei, Vice President for Finance
  •  Mr. Liu Sheng, Dean, School of Power and Mechanical Engineering
  •  Mr. Li Deshi, Dean, School of Electronic Information
  •  Mr. Lei Aiwen, Associate Dean, Institute for Advance Studies
  •  Mr. Zhou Xiaolin, Section Chief of Department of Human Resources
  •  Ms. Xu Xin, Department of Human Resources

We look forward to seeing what the future might hold for both LASA & Wuhan University. 


Posted by Seyed Sina Mirrazavi Salehian at 13:45
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Farewell Mioa...Farewell our friend

"What was the happiest moment of your Phd life?"

Miao: The experiments with the hand worked as expected.

"Do you remember the saddest moment of your Phd life?"

Miao: There is a huge gap between the fingertips of hand and the objects and nobody in the paper dares to admit this fact!

“Is there anything you would like to do that you haven’t done yet?”

Miao: I will make a new robotic hand and save all the poor grasping researchers' time. I will do this in the future.

“What will you miss the most from your time as a PhD student in LASA?”

Miao: All the nice discussions with the lab's members during meetings, lunchs, seminars, talks and drinking breaks.

“What advice can you give to new PhD students?”

Miao: Do something which you really enjoy!

"What do you feel most guilty about?"

Miao: I didn't change the grasping world too much. Although, I've known that there is something wrong with the grasping world.

Farewellour friend:


Posted by Seyed Sina Mirrazavi Salehian at 18:49
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Live from Ann Arbor

An Update:

Posted by Seyed Sina Mirrazavi Salehian at 12:28
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Hannover Mess 2015, Day 4


Posted by Seyed Sina Mirrazavi Salehian at 12:23
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Posted by Seyed Sina Mirrazavi Salehian at 17:07
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Ashwini's public defence

A big thanks to everyone for making this evening, and many others, so memorable. The more warmth I receive from you, the more I worry about the fact that "winter is coming" soon for me. I just hope it does not last for long!

Posted by Ashwini Shukla at 13:15
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LASA FUN @ IMT Fete 2014!

We had a wonderful time together during the IMT Party hosted at the Neuchatel Microcity. Here we are after a few bottles of champagne, wine, mojitos and food "from around the world".


Posted by Nadia Barbara Figueroa Fernandez at 22:17
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At the end of the day

It's winter and the weather gets colder when it is a time to say goodbye to most awesome people in the world...

So we keep our finger crossed and wish you guys best..

After eating delicious sweets, we start thinking that there is no regrets for goodbye, for friends are destined to meet again ;)

Posted by Seyed Sina Mirrazavi Salehian at 23:41
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Goodbyes are in order

It is an interesting conundrum, when the person responsible for writing the usual farewell blog is also the person that has to say goodbye. Now, while talking about myself in the third person and saying goodbye on behalf of the lab definitely caters to my oversize ego, I will instead turn things around and take this space to talk in the first person instead.

I arrived at LASA in 2006, and since then I've had the opportunity of doing plenty of things, meet and get to know a lot of people, and had immense fun. I've compiled a quick list of things I did during my stay in the lab, which you can see below (click to get the proper size!).

It is always difficult to point to specific events in the time between my arrival and my departure, as events and encounters mix together in a non-linear set of multi-modal experiences that as a whole make up what I will carry with me as I go on. However it is much easier to think of beginnings and endings: I remember Florent (Guenther!) talking and joking from his computer while I set up lights to take the picture of the Hoap2 robot that still decorates the first page of our web side; I remember discussing with Sylvain and Eric about the merits of having multiple monitors while I set up my computer on a temporary desk in their office; I remember Aude telling me "talk with the gals and guys if you have any problems and you'll be fine" on my first day in the lab, which is an advice that I took to heart ever since (you might have noticed that :D).

And while memories are a fond luxury to dwell on, I've actually got pictures of what my departure has looked like!



Needless to say, I was touched and moved (and incidentally very well fed!) by your efforts, kindness and friendship.

So as a final note, good bye, fare well and see you again in the lab, in the city, at barbecues or elsewhere. I'm like bad weed, you won't get rid of me that easy…

Basilio out.

Posted by Basilio Noris at 1:03
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"Run... you fools..." (aka les 20 km de lausanne)

Running, on a rainy day...

In an everlasting effort to partake of the local life, to experience the place in which we live, and to enjoy a grand event together, the Lasa team took part in the 20km de Lausanne this saturday, sporting 8 participants to the celebrated running competition. Since we're still scientists and not weathered sportsmen, we elected to run the 10km, which accompanies the participants along the lake shore, then sends them up to the Parc de Milan, down again through the Vallée de la Jeunesse and eventually back to the Vidy park.

The weather was bad, rain and cold worsening by the kilometre, but it could not mar the spirits of the Lasa members and their support teams (wives, girlfriends, friends, sisters) who cheered and motivated the by then soaked and trembling runners in the middle and in their last stretch of the race.

As for the aftermath, the humble author of this here text will spend the day on the couch, dreading the moment in which he will have to get up to fetch the laptop charger, and generally trying to remember that, while not necessarily being able to sense them, he still has 4 articulated limbs…

In any case, to provide some data (we are, after all, a machine learning lab) here are some results on the race itself.


The LASA Participants:

  • Guillaume de Chambrier
  • Mohammad Khansari
  • Seungsu Kim
  • Klas Kronander
  • Basilio Noris
  • Guillaume Pihen
  • Nicolas Sommer
  • Ajay Tanwani

Plus some 7000 other people who managed to finish the race..

So let's have a look at the age distribution for all participants to the 10km race

We could speculate about what this graph says about the competitive spirit, or the willingness to take care of one's own body, or health consciousness of men and women, but to be on the safe side, let us just remark the definite shift toward a younger age for female runners, and the curious gap between the peak age (28 for women, 34 for men) and the plateau of participants that are some 10 years older than that...


Race Results

Let us start with the overall results for the 7000 something participants to the 10km race, segmented by age.

It is interesting to note that, while it is true that women run a tad slower than men (this can be explained in part by the fact that on average they have shorter legs...), their performance does not seem to suffer from age as much as men's (this tendency is clear as day in the 16-60 years range).



And now, since we're here to talk about us after all, let us look at the results, in infographic format, of the LASA participants:

And here are the same results plotted on the same graph above

And to describe these results in terms of numerical achievements:

  • The LASA team's average time was below one hour (58 min 40 sec), thanks in no small parts to Guillaume P and Klas
  • Guillaume P and Klas ran faster than the men's average time of 52 min 4 sec (std: 7 min 37 sec)
  • All LASA members ran in less than 1h 10 minutes
  • All LASA members were within two sigma of the men's average
  • LASA members had an average running speed between 9.0 km/h and 12.6 km/h

And of course, the methodological caveats (latin for "excuses for why we're so bad…") :

  • The dataset contains only people who DECIDED TO PARTICIPATE to the race
  • The results are only for those who FINISHED the race


The Verdict

All in all, these results count as AWESOME in my book! So kudos to Guillaume Pihen and Klas Kronander for their outsdanding results, congratulations to all the others for finishing the race so fast and a big hooray to the LASA team and friends for an unexpectedly and deserved good performance!

Posted by Basilio Noris at 14:51
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