PamiTC Job Board - Posting Details


PhD in Vision-based Tracking of Quadrupeds (for EU residents)

Posted: April 7, 2014
Company/Institution: University College London, also with MSR-Cambridge and Royal Vet College

If you love computer vision and coding, and want to have major impact on science (and you are considered an EU-resident), please read on!
We have funding for an excellent student from the EU to complete a 3 year Computer Science PhD at University College London. The co-supervisors for this project are Jamie Shotton of Microsoft Research Cambridge who leads the Kinect pose-estimation effort, and Thilo Pfau & Andrew Spence, animal locomotion experts at the Royal Veterinary College in north London.
This PhD combines computer vision, machine learning, graphics, and biomechanics. Applicants will develop skills and make contributions in all these areas, but should already be fairly strong in one or two of them.
Under the interdisciplinary supervision of experts in computer vision, biology, and veterinary medicine, the student will both build computer vision systems and use these to investigate real outstanding scientific and clinical questions. On the vision side, we believe recent advances in understanding human shape and motion can be extended to work for quadrupeds. Animals are substantially different to humans in interesting ways, and we have identified many hard technical issues here. On the biological side, we aim to investigate how body morphology and the ultimate constraints of stability, energetic cost, and dexterity shape animal gait. On the clinical side, this studentship will make essential contributions to applying the developed techniques across species with the potential for large welfare and economic benefits. This project offers the student a rare opportunity to become a world expert, guided by top specialists in vision and biology, just when their respective strengths are ready to be exploited.
At UCL Computer Science, the PhD student will be based in Gabriel Brostow's group in central London. The student will make visits to collect data and run experiments to the RVC in North London, and will have opportunities to spend periods of time at MSR-Cambridge. The student is expected to work with other students and postdocs in our teams and with the larger cohort of researchers at the three sites.
Programming experience desired: high proficiency in one or more of Matlab / C++ / Python. The PhD is a time to learn new things, but the idealized candidate would have completed small projects with some combination of machine learning, GPU, Qt, OpenGL, and OpenCV-type libraries. As an example reference guide, see the topics covered in the Prince textbook,

Application Instructions: You'll need to submit an online application here as soon as possible: (Deadlines listed there do not apply to funded studentships like this. Recruiting ends when we find the right person.) Please make sure to put Gabriel Brostow as the supervisor but you should also email me *now* (g.brostow at so we know to look out for your application (and please use the text "kinect4legs" in the Subject line).