Élie Michel

45 rue d'Ulm75005 Paris

Education Experiences Other Skills Interests Publications Motivations Dev work UI work

M.Sc. in Computer Science — M2 MVA, École normale supérieure de Cachan (Cachan)

Applied Mathematics, Machine Learning, Graphical Models, Reinforcement Learning, Computer Vision, Medical Imaging, Computational Photography, 3D Point Clouds

M.Sc. in Computer Science — M1 MPRI, École normale supérieure (Paris)

Category theory, Computer Vision, Machine learning, Robotics, Software engineering, Quantum Computing.

B.Sc. in Computer Science, École normale supérieure (Paris)

Algorithmics, Compilation, Formal languages, Lambda calculus, Hardware systems, Operating systems, Networks, Signal processing. Passed with Mention Très Bien (highest honors)

Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Écoles (MPSI, MP*), Lycée Saint-Louis (Paris)

Admitted at the École normale supérieure in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science, ranked 20 (out of 1480)

Scientific Baccalauréat, Lycée Les Pierres Vives (Carrières sur Seine)

With music minor, Passed with Mention Très Bien

Research intern in Computer Graphics, Télécom ParisTech, Paris, France

Geometry-Material-Lighting synchronized models for multi-resolution real-time rendering, supervised by Pr. Tamy Boubekeur.

Software Developer, rise|fx, Berlin, Germany

Development of pipeline tools for Visual Effects artists.

Independent Contractor in Deep Learning R&D, Interactions, Tele-working

Assist with Deep Neural Networks optimization activities for Automatic Speech Recognition.
Development of a flexible experimentation setup.

Research intern in Deep Learning, Interactions, New York, US

Exploration of applications of Deep and Recurrent Neural Networks to Automatic Speech Recognition, supervised by Dr. Patrick Haffner.

Research intern in Computer Graphics, IMAGINE, Inria Grenoble, France

Procedural generation of terrain from simple vector map using plate tectonics and erosion simulation on GPU, supervised by Pr. Marie-Paule Cani.

Developer and designer of CitizenWatt, http://citizenwatt.paris

Electrical consumption sensor and easy-to-use data visualization interface, supported by Paris city hall.

Computer Programming

Python, C, C++, C#, Lua, OCaml, Java, MATLAB.
Various programming paradigms and software architecture.

Deep Learning

Neural Net architectures (DNN, RNN, CNN).
Deep Learning tools (Torch, Theano, TensorFlow).

(Computer) Graphics

UI Design, Vector and pixel graphics, 3D modeling.

Web technologies

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, NodeJS, PHP.


French (mother tongue), English (business level), German (ein bischen).


Harpsichord (5 yrs), Guitar (2 yrs), Piano (2 yrs).
Studied solfège, and a bit of Music History.

Internet and Indie Web

Self-hosted web services and linux server administration.

Hacking and electronics

Member of the ENS hack-lab, hackEns (http://hackens.org/)


Especially related to digital worlds




Climbing, Walking, Nature

Generation of Folded Terrains from Simple Vector Maps

Élie Michel, Arnaud Emilien, Marie-Paule Cani. In Eurographics. 2015. [PDF]

Folded Terrains

Other academic-related writings

Review of Image Fusion with Guided Filtering

Élie Michel. For MVA lecture Introduction à l'image numérique. 2016-2017. [HTML] [slides]

Communication in Collaborative Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning

Élie Michel. For MVA lecture Reinforcement Learning. 2016-2017. [PDF] [slides]

Review of GPU-based Fast-FFD implementation

Mathilde Bateson, Élie Michel. For MVA lecture Introduction to Medical Image Analysis. 2016-2017. [PDF] [slides]

Using Deep Neural Networks for Automated Speech Recognition

Élie Michel. M.Sc. first year internship report. 2015. [PDF]

Génération procédurale de paysages à partir de cartes vectorielles

Élie Michel. B.Sc. internship report. 2014. [PDF]

Projet de microprocesseur

Élie Michel, Nicolas Jeannerod, Louis Garrigue, Aurélien Delobelle. For ENS lecture Système digital. 2013-2014. [PDF] [slides]

Jan 2015 (To be reviewed)

I have got an initial education centered on mathematics and physics, accompanied by knowledge computer science which I first acquired in my spare time and later through formal education at the École normale supérieure (Paris).

And I believe I could summarize my motivation by the fact that I like building.

I like building mathematical proofs out of axioms, logic circuits out of logic gates, programs out of instructions. And then I like combining all of them into more complexe systems and their multiple layers (Hardware, OS, Compilation, Program, Library, etc.) and their interactions (protocols, APIs). I also like discovering new building blocks (FPGA, Quantum computing).

This interest for building includes not only the result, but also the construction process itself, the way we need to design digital systems and organize their development and evolution.

Like any process, the architecture itself can be automated. It is called procedural generation and fascinates me because it is like teaching the computer how to build by itself. I have used it especially in computer graphics — particularly during my internship with M.-P. Cani — but we can also find auto-generated content, and even programs (genetic programming, machine learning).

But this automation still requires to communicate with humans, for them to explain what they need, and this issue meet another of my interests which is human/machine interaction. The machine should be able to understand the human.

And the opposite is interesting too. This interaction should provide humans both the ability to do things and the ability to do them easily. I like thinking about who is going to use the resulting product, how, and what for and design the experience and play with its affordances to build specific usages.

UI design also interests me for its aesthetic purpose. I have been playing with computer graphics and digital art since my first use of a computer and enjoy the issues, both artistic and technical, raised by matricial and vectorial drawing, 3D modeling and rendering, etc.

Still about getting the computer understand the human, I also investigated natural language processing, mixing formal grammar with the challenging human factor and the language reflexivity.

I think this human factor also motivates me to work with people with different backgrounds, and different points of view over what I do. I like teaching because I see it as yet another kind of construction, with human building blocks, and as for procedural generation, I enjoy seeing the creation growing by itself, learning from what I created myself.

I've once been ask for a visual summary of my UI design pieces of work.



CitizenWatt is a electrical consumption sensor that communicate though a web interface.

More screenshot can be found on twitter #expressyourwatt and @CitizenWattFr.

CitizenWatt CitizenWatt CitizenWatt CitizenWatt CitizenWatt



Freeder is a feed reader, and so has been focused on ease of reading and smoothness.

Freeder Freeder Freeder


VelibFxos is a project of web application for Firefox OS helping people to find Velib' (Paris' shared bicycles).

Velib Velib


Evernest is a project of cloud event store service.

Evernest Evernest


CitizenAir gathers geolocalized data from air quality sensors. Here is a poster presenting the project I made.




GooBlender was a small game highly inspired by World of Goo.

A walkthrough of levels 1 and 2 is available on YouTube.

GooBlender GooBlender GooBlender GooBlender GooBlender