Colloquium Details

Weakly Supervised Video Understanding

Speaker: Jean Ponce, Ecole Normale Superieure

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: May 29, 2015, 11:30 a.m.

Host: Yann LeCun


This talk addresses the problem of understanding the visual content of videos using a weak form of supervision such as the textual information available in television or film scripts. I will discuss two instances of this problem, the joint localization and identification of movie characters and their actions, and the assignment of either symbolic action labels or natural text annotations to video frames using temporal ordering constraints. Both problems can be tackled using a discriminative clustering framework, and I will present the underlying models, appropriate relaxations of the corresponding combinatorial optimization problems associated with learning these models, and efficient algorithms for solving the corresponding convex optimization problems. I will also present experimental results on feature-length films and cooking videos. Joint work with Piotr Bojanowski, Edouard Grave, Remi Lajugie, Francis Bach, Ivan Laptev, Cordelia Schmid, and Josef Sivic.

If you with to meet with Professor Jean Ponce, please contact Zaid Harchaoui (

Speaker Bio:

Jean Ponce received the Doctorat de Troisieme Cycle and Doctorat d’Etat degrees in Computer Science from the University of Paris Orsay in 1983 and 1988. He held Research Scientist positions at the Institut National de la Recherche en Informatique et Automatique, the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Stanford University Robotics Laboratory, and served on the faculty of the Dept. of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1990 to 2005. Since 2005, he has been a Professor at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France, where he has been heading the Department of Computer Science since 2011. Dr. Ponce is an IEEE Fellow and the recipient of two US patents, as well as an Advanced ERC grant. He has served on the editorial boards of Computer Vision and Image Understanding, Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision, the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, the International Journal of Computer Vision (for which he served as Editor-in-Chief from 2003 to 2008), and the SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences. He was Program Chair of the 1997 IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition and served as General Chair of the year 2000 edition of this conference. He also served as General Chair of the 2008 European Conference on Computer Vision. Dr. Ponce is the co-author of Computer Vision: A Modern Approach, a textbook that has been translated in Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.


In-person attendance only available to those with active NYU ID cards.

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