University or Organization: Ecole Normale Superieure
Department: Institute of Cognitive Studies Job Location: Paris, France Web Address: http://dec.risc.cnrs.fr/ Job Rank: Post Doc
Specialty Areas: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Neurolinguistics; Psycholinguistics; Natural Language Processing
The Institute for Cognitive Studies at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris is seeking to fill three postdoctoral positions within a multidisciplinary project at the intersection of speech engineering, computational neuroscience, developmental psychology and computational linguistics.
The aim of this project is to decipher how babies spontaneously learn their first language by applying a 'reverse engineering ' approach, i.e., by constructing an artificial language learner that mimics the learning stages of the infant. It uses engineering and applied math techniques (zero resource speech recognition, signal processing, machine learning) on large corpora of child-adult verbal interactions in several languages. It develops psychologically plausible (unsupervised) and biologically plausible (bio-inspired) algorithms that can discover linguistic categories (words, syllables, phonemes, features, etc.). The predictions of these algorithms are then tested against perceptual data gathered from newborns and older infants using behavioral techniques (eye tracking) or noninvasive brain imagery (Near InfraRed Spectroscopy, EEGs).
The project is hosted by the Institute for Cognitive Studies, which offers an international and vibrant research setting, at the heart of the Quartier latin in Paris. The institute has been ranked as one of the top research centers in France across all disciplines, and is one of the leading interdisciplinary centers in Cognitive Science in Europe. It contains 70 permanent researchers structured in interacting teams covering a broad range of topics, ranging from Philosophy of Consciousness to animal electrophysiology, with a strong core in cognitive psychology and language.
We are looking for young researchers able to build and maintain a high quality research program and to contribute to a growing international collaborative community in this area of quantitative cognitive science.
Applicants will ideally combine:
- A solid background in one or more of the following areas: speech/ language engineering, signal processing, statistical modeling, Bayesian methods, neuroimaging data analyses, computational neuroscience, computational linguistics,
- Considerable familiarity with general cognitive science and/or language science,
- A documented interest for interdisciplinary and team-based research,
- Research creativity, independence, and productivity.
The positions are for two years, with salaries set at a competitive European-level (between 2400 and 2700 euro/month depending on prior experience). We will also provide generous travel funds. There is no associated university teaching load, although researchers will be able to participate in the research culture of the Institute through seminars, supervision of students and other activities. Starting dates are flexible.
Women are encouraged to apply.
Candidates should send a letter of motivation (2 pages max.), the contact information of 2 to 3 referees, and a CV to the email address below by October 20, 2012. Interviews of short-listed candidates will be conducted in the Fall either in Paris or by video-conferences.
Further information about the project can be found at:
Email Address for Applications: email@example.com
Contact Information: Emmanuel Dupoux