which I first designed at the University of Nevada, explores
canonical examples of complex systems through agent-based
modeling and numerical simulation. I currently teach it at the
European , which I co-founded and
coordinated in its beginnings at Ecole Polytechnique, Paris.
I also co-organized a series of graduate seminars on cognitive
and neural science at the same institution. In addition, I led
the annual Summer School at the Complex Systems Institute in Paris
four years in a row, and taught six course semesters in .
the thesis and research of 17 postdocs, Ph.D. and M.Sc. students.
These two new Master's programs started in the fall of 2010.
I was member of the committee of 4 who wrote in 2008-2009 the "Erasmus
Mundus Joint Master's Course" that was approved by
the European Commission in 2010 for 5 years (10-15% rate of acceptance) with
a budget of ~€3.2M (~€600K/year for scholarships).
I closely collaborated to the design of the core curriculum common
to both Master's (based on Polytechnique's course offer for the
1st year M1, and an original creation for the 2nd year M2), and
coordinated the first year 2010-2011 at Ecole Polytechnique,
advising and following the progress of the students who were
accepted into the program that year. This degree
offers unique interdisciplinary experience and educational tools
for analyzing complex systems and understanding their emergent
20 Erasmus scholarships per year, distributed over 3 partner sites ≈ 13 M1+M2 per site per year
I created this course to explore the canonical families of
complex systems through "simple", non-mathematical agent-based
modeling and simulation. Relying on the NetLogo platform in a
computer lab setting, including a programming tutorial, students
could familiarize themselves with popular case studies (cellular
automata, pattern formation, swarm intelligence, complex
networks, spatial communities) and think about their unifying
key concepts (emergence, self-organization, decentralization),
then complete an original term project, with code, paper and slides.
2nd MS year (M2), 2 semesters, 10-12 Erasmus Mundus &
Polytechnique students, 6 sessions / semester, 3h / session
I co-led with
Pr. Yves Frégnac a series of 12 seminars
given by prominent invited neural and cognitive scientists
(including Jean-Pierre Changeux), on the multiscale neural
basis of cognition: from the microscopic level (molecular,
genetic and cellular foundations, individual neuron physiology)
to the mesoscopic level (computational neuroscience,
electrophysiology, complex neural dynamics, neural network
modeling) and macroscopic level (cognitive neuroscience,
functional imaging, phenomenology, social cognition). After a
1-hour seminar given by the guest researcher, a group of 2-3
students presented a review of selected scientific articles
relevant to the seminar's topic. I organized the entire program
of invited talks, the distribution of students into groups,
co-moderated the sessions with Pr. Frégnac and the guest speaker
(comments, questions), closely followed students' preparation
and progress by email, and gave one talk myself.
3rd year of engineering degree (= 1st MS year), 2 semesters, 35 students, 12 weeks / sem, 2h / week
See course description above in Adjunct Lecturer, Ecole Polytechnique.
An overview of spiking neural network models, introducing temporal
coding and the "binding problem", and describing various studies of
emergent spatiotemporal order of neural activity/connectivity at the
mesoscopic level of cognition (concluding Yves Burnod's course,
"Multilevels of Brain: Models of Sensorimotor and Cognitive Functions").
Example of a computational model and numerical simulation of biological
organism development based on intercellular coupling among gene regulatory
networks (concluding Nadine Peyriéras's course,
"Complex systems approach of multi-cellular organization and animal embryogenesis").
freshmen, seniors and graduates, 6 semesters, 110 students total, 16 weeks / semester, 2h30 / week
Created over 1,000 original PowerPoint slides, many of which are now used by other instructors.
Designed from scratch, fully developed and taught this original,
cross-disciplinary 3-credit seminar for graduate students, including
lectures, paper reviews, programming assignments and term projects.
We examined self-organized systems and emergence based on myriads of
simple agents, across a variety of topics: cellular automata, pattern
formation, insect colonies, spatial ecology, neural networks, complex
graduate (Master's & PhD) students, 2 semesters, 8-10 students, 16 weeks / semester, 2h30 / week
Taught the principles, components, and design of modern operating systems,
focusing on the UNIX platform. Topics included: concurrent processes, inter-process
communication, processor management, virtual and real memory management, deadlock,
file systems, disk management, performance issues, case studies, etc.
senior year ("4e année, L3/M1"), 2 semesters, 12-15 students, 16 weeks / semester, 2h30 / week
Taught an introduction to modern problem solving and programming methods
in C++, with emphasis on algorithm development. Also, an introduction to
procedural and data abstraction, design, testing, and documentation.
freshman year ("1re année, L1"), 2 semesters, 25-40 students, 16 weeks / semester, 2h30 / week
(the curriculum was coordinated in collaboration with 2 other instructors)
- Complex Systems Made Simple: A Hands-On Exploration of Agent-Based Modeling (2011)
- Morphogenetic Engineering: New Avenues Toward Self-Organized Architecture (2012)
The thorough interview process for this position was conducted
by a committee of 6 faculty members and consisted of one hour of
questions and 30 minutes of a teaching demonstration on a topic given
two days ahead. I was selected first among 6 interviewees.
(I later declined the position in favor of UNR.)
- CIS 386: Advanced Enterprise Java Programming
Organized and conducted credit seminar courses for graduate students
(in German), including lectures and student presentations. Developed
courses, selected literature, facilitated discussions:
- Language and Connectionism (Spring 1993)
Analysis of the formal vs. dynamical systems debate in cognitive
science (i.e., rule-based AI vs. example-based neural networks) from
a linguistic perspective.
- Learning in Artificial and Natural Systems (Spring 1992; co-organizer)
Overview of learning processes, theories and methods in
psychology, animal behavior, neurophysiology and neural networks.
Open-ended summary list of domains I have taught or can teach:
- Core topics: theory and practice of programming
languages (object-oriented, procedural, declarative; Java,
C/C++, etc.), data structures, algorithms, automata, compilers,
operating systems, GUIs, etc.
- Distributed systems: object distribution and
component/middleware frameworks (J2EE, CORBA, Messaging, etc.),
Web technologies, application servers, TCP/IP networking,
- Software engineering: object-oriented methodology,
design patterns, software architecture
- Complex systems, biological modeling & bio-inspired engineering:
multi-agent systems, agent-based modeling, cellular automata,
artificial life, pattern formation, morphogenesis, swarm
intelligence, genetic algorithms, evolutionary computation,
- Computational cognitive science: computational neuroscience,
artificial & spiking neural networks, neurobiological modeling,
cognitive linguistics, pattern recognition, machine learning,
Adv = main advisor: I proposed research topics and supervised the work
Co-Adv = co-advisor: I contributed to existing topics and co-supervised the work
- Taras Kowaliw, Institut des Systèmes Complexes, Paris Ile-de-France: Adv 2010–2013
- Neuroevolution applied to classification tasks.
- Quan Zou, University of Nevada, Reno: Co-Adv 2006–2007 (Adv: Philip H. Goodman)
- The role of spatiotemporal correlations in the encoding and retrieval of synaptic patterns by STDP
in recurrent spiking neural networks.
- Julien Delile, Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7): Adv 2008–2012 (Co-Adv: Nadine Peyriéras)
- Carlos Sánchez Quintana, Universidad de Málaga, Adv 2011–2012 (Co-Adv: Francisco Vico)
- José David Fernández, Universidad de Málaga, Co-Adv 2010, internship (Adv: Francisco Vico)
- Emmanuel Faure, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris: Co-Adv 2006–2007, Jury Examiner, 2009 (Adv: Paul Bourgine)
- Automated reconstruction of the spatiotemporal cellular lineage during embryogenesis.
- Rich Drewes, University of Nevada, Reno: Co-Adv 2004–2005 (Adv: Philip H. Goodman)
- Testing a proposed fundamental information processing function of cortical microcircuits.
- A spatially extended model of endogenous speciation without external environmental constraints.
- Christine Wilson, University of Nevada, Reno: Co-Adv 2004–2005 (Adv: Philip H. Goodman)
- A spatially-realistic multisensory/motor, cortical and subcortical brain system.
- Weibing Deng, L'Université Nantes-Angers-Le Mans (L'UNAM), France: Examiner, 6/2013 (Adv: Alexandre Wang)
- On the ranking property and underlying dynamics of complex systems.
- Anaïs Soubeyran, Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4), France: Reviewer, 12/2012 (Adv: Daniel Andler)
- Emergence and mind-body problem: towards a characterization of the contemporary notion of emergence and its application in cognitive science.
- Régis Martinez, Université Lumière Lyon 2, France: Reviewer, 9/2011 (Adv: Hélène Paugam-Moisy)
- Dynamics of cognitive and complex systems: The role of delays in information transmission.
- David Colliaux, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris: Reviewer, 5/2011 (Adv: Jean Petitot, Yves Frégnac)
- Classes of neuronal dynamics and experience dependent structured correlations in a visual cortex.
- Kristen Manac'h, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France: Jury Examiner, 1/2011 (Adv: Pierre De Loor)
- Towards the notion of "enactive" virtual agent: Application to a dynamic evolutionary approach.
- Daniel Lobo, Universidad de Málaga, Spain: Jury Examiner, 11/2010 (Adv: Francisco Vico)
- Evolutionary development based on genetic regulatory models for behavior-finding (generative systems based on string grammars).
- Sylvain Cussat-Blanc, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, France: Jury Examiner & Chair, 11/2009 (Adv: Yves Duthen)
- Artificial creatures: The development of organisms from a single cell.
- Heike Sichtig, Binghamton University SUNY, US: Committee Member & Jury Examiner, 4/2009 (Adv: Craig Laramee)
- The SGE paradigm: Exploring information processing in biological systems using spiking neural networks (S), a genetic algorithm (G) and expert knowledge (E).
- David Medernach, Master's in Philosophy of Science, Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7): Co-Adv 2012 (Adv: Taras Kowaliw)
- The usefulness of local rules in open-ended evolution of cellular automata.
- David Fourquet, Erasmus Master's in Complex Systems, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris: Adv 2011-2012
- Razvan Dordea, Erasmus Master's in Complex Systems, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris: Adv 2011
- Pierre Chaigneau, Master's in Philosophy of Science, Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7): Adv 2011 (Co-Adv: Jean Petitot)
- Can self-organization be architectured? The epistemological gap, and possible bridges, between natural complex systems and complex industrial systems.
- Adam MacDonald, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton: Adv 2008–2009 (Co-Adv: Mihaela Ulieru)
- Oscar Sessions, University of Nevada, Reno: Adv 2006–2007 (Co-Adv: Philip H. Goodman) &
- Milind Zirpe, University of Nevada, Reno: Co-Adv 2006–2007 (Adv: Philip H. Goodman)
- Recurrent Asynchronous Irregular Networks (RAIN) and NeoCortical Simulator (NCS) benchmarks.
- James King, University of Nevada, Reno: Co-Adv 2004–2005 (Adv: Philip H. Goodman)
- Brain communication server: A dynamic data transferal system for a parallel brain simulator.
- Andreas Schwarz, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany: Adv 1993–1994 (Co-Adv: Christoph von der Malsburg)
- Coding metric with delayed temporal correlations: An oscillator model of graph-matching.