LASA Family

In family life, love is the oil that eases friction,
the cement that binds closer together, and
the music that brings harmony.
– Eva Burrows

Posted by Seyed Sina Mirrazavi Salehian at 22:50
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An advice from the wise man


What's the most difficult part about being a professor?
I think I have not yet faced to the difficulty. :)
So to speak, how to manage the time.
Actually, I have not had enough time to do research since I have been a professor.


What advice do you have for phd students? About their future career and their phd life.
As for your career, I think "Ph.D" itself is just a kind of license and there is no farther meaning.
It is much more important what you want to do after finishing Ph.D.
Now, you should enjoy your Ph.D life!
As for your Ph.D life, you need to get really into the research, then the results will follow!

Posted by Seyed Sina Mirrazavi Salehian at 0:06
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Robot Story

Yes. Finally it released. Robot story, Chrismas version.Thanks to everyone who helped to make this movie and who didn't! Are you eager to watch it? can watch it here. I believe that it should be nominated for the best virsual effect movie in oscar ;)

Posted by Seyed Sina Mirrazavi Salehian at 11:53
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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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Awesome people

(... don't worry, the ones who didn't fit into the picture are awesome as well!)

Posted by Basilio Noris at 1:05
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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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Some of the Magnificent

Missing in action were

Klas, the two Guillaumes and Ajay

Posted by Basilio Noris at 17:28
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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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Farewell to wise men

It is always a bit sad to say farewell to someone who has been working with you for a while. The latest installment of our goodbyes is for Otpal Vittoz.

Since his very arrival, he was a vocal participant in the debates, discussions, gossip, elevated cultural diatribe and garroulous chit-chatting that goes on at the lab, in the coffee rooms and at the cantina. Amidst the world-spanning and exotic members of the lab, he's provided an inner view on the life and society of the place we live in that educated and entertained both the locals and those from far away. Wise and cultured, and with a pinch of cynical realism, Otpal has been a source of enjoyment to us all.

So good bye, good luck and see you in town, colleague and friend!


Posted by Basilio Noris at 14:21
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They say Belgians are the best...

Last friday saw the end of yet another short but very enjoyable stay from a visiting fellow researcher.

The latest temporary arrival to the LASA was Tim Waegeman. In but a few weeks, Tim managed to settle in, get to know the people and partake in the idiosyncracies that make the lab feel unique. (Plus turns out he's almost more of an apple fanboy than I am!)

So thank you Tim, good luck, fare thee well, and 'till next time from the LASA!

Posted by Basilio Noris at 17:39
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