Artificial Intelligence & Advanced Visual Computing Master


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Register now to our virtual Open Day on October 10th 2020:

This new Master curriculum strongly focuses on Artificial Intelligence, including statistical learning and applications to data science. It also covers the complementary field of advanced Visual Computing, including 3D computer graphics, virtual and augmented reality, multimodal interaction, computer vision, robotics, and 3D Fabrication, which either make use or lead to the development of novel AI methods. This curriculum in Artificial Intelligence and Visual Computing is therefore at the heart of digital sciences and of its most promising, recent applications.

Courses are given by Professors from Ecole Polytechnique and partner institutes and companies. All courses are held in English. Both French and foreign students are welcome.

Academic Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. Applicants must have followed at least one Statistics course and at least one Algorithmics course.

Candidates with other degrees may be considered, provided that they have a strong background in the mentioned subjects.

Why study Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, A Sector in Constant Evolution...

At the edge between computer science and applied mathematics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a constantly growing field, and its recent advances are highly impressive. Its goal is to create intelligent agents or systems capable of operating on their own to achieve difficult goals, such as decision-making or creation tasks.

This can be done using the modeling of knowledge and of reasoning mechanisms and/or by relying on statistical learning (from Bayesian models to Deep Learning) where the training data is either collected at once or on the fly. Besides developing these methods, competitive research on their reliability is of primary interest.

...Leading to Strong Societal Impact Applications

Combined with Visual Computing techniques, a part of computer science which studies the processing and simulation of visual information in all its forms (from images and videos to 3D virtual worlds), Artificial Intelligence leads to strong societal impact applications, as for instance:

  • Searching the mass of online audio-visual contents, to process, edit, or re-arrange them, leading to the creation of new interactive educational or cultural media;
  • Controlling drones or autonomous vehicles so that they move according to the surrounding dynamic environment and to some pre-specified rules;
  • Synthesizing virtual 3D characters for gaming, online retailing, serious games and simulators, with behaviors matching to some extent those of real humans;
  • Designing, fabricating, and controlling soft robots dedicated to various difficult tasks, from personal assistance to micro-surgery.

Program Structure

The program structure detailed below has been shortened.

Based on your academic profile, you can submit your application either for Year 1 or Year 2.

Year 1

All courses are 36 hours and will represent 4 ECTS. The two first courses for each period are mandatory. Each student should choose two courses among the three other ones. Besides, there is a mandatory MIE course in each of the first two periods.

Period 1

  • INF554 - Machine Learning I (Michalis Vazirgiannis, EP)
  • INF555 - Constraint-based Modeling and Algorithms for Decision Making Problems (new course, François Fages, Sylvain Soliman, Inria)
  • INF573 - Image analysis (Renaud Keriven, EP)
  • INF574 - Digital representation and analysis of shapes (Maks Ovsjanikov, Luca Castelli EP)
  • MAP555 - Signal and sound processing (Olivier Rioul, Telecom ParisTech)
  • MIE556 - Marketing and Strategy Introduction, P. Ginier-Gillet

Period 2

  • MAP569 - Machine Learning 2 (Stéphane Gaiffas, EP)
  • INF585 - Computer animation (new course, Damien Rohmer, EP)
  • INF562 - Algorithmic geometry: from theory to applications (Luca Castelli, EP)
  • INF584 - Image Synthesis: Theory and practice (Tamy Boubekeur, Telecom ParisTech)
  • MAP566 - Statistics in action (Marc Lavielle, Inria)
  • MIE564 - Technology-based entrepreneurship and new business creation

Period 3

  • MAP/INF590 - Internship (4 to 6 months)

Year 2

Pre-training period

  • MAP630 - Refresher in Statistics: statistical analysis, introduction to Machine Learning techniques (Pierre Latouche, CNRS)
  • INF630 - Refresher in Computer Science: C++ programming, basics of 3D modeling, algorithmic geometry and computer animation (Pooran Memari, CNRS and Damien Rohmer, EP)

Scientific courses, period 1

  • MAP631 - Deep Learning (48 hours, 5 ECTS), Erwan Scornet (EP)
  • INF631 - Data Analysis: geometry and topology in arbitrary dimensions (24 hours, 2 ECTS), Steve Oudot (EP)
  • INF632 - Natural Language and Speech Processing: from knowledge modeling to machine learning (24 hours, 2 ECTS), Chloé Clavel (Telecom ParisTech), Fabian Suchanek (Telecom ParisTech)
  • INF633 - Advanced 3D Graphics (24 hours, 2 ECTS), Marie-Paule Cani (EP), Julien Pettré (Inria)
  • INF634 - Computer Vision (24 hours, 2 ECTS), Renaud Keriven (EP & Bentley systems)

Transverse courses and projects

  • MIE630 - Seminar on ethical issues and novel applications of AI (3 ECTS): Every Tuesday, 2 pm-3:30 pm Students will be sensitized to ethical issues and law, and introduced to the novel application of artificial intelligence and visual computing through a weekly seminar with key-note talks from both institutional and industrial partners.
  • MAP/INF630 - Transverse project (3 ECTS): Students will work half a day a week on a transverse project, corresponding to a challenging question either raised by an industrial partner or by a researcher in the domain spanned by the graduate degree.
  • Courses in humanities and sports (8 ECTS total)

Scientific Courses, period 2 (January - March)

  • MAP641 - Reinforcement Learning (48 hours, 5 ECTS), Odalric-Ambrym Maillard (Inria Lille), Bruno Scherrer (Inria)
  • INF641 - Robot motion planning, verification, and control of hybrid systems (24 hours, 2 ECTS), David Filliat (ENSTA), Eric Goubault (EP), Sylvie Putot (EP)
  • INF642 - Socio-emotional embodied conversational agents (24 hours, 2 ECTS), Catherine Pelachaud (CNRS - ISIR)
  • INF643 - Soft robots: simulation, fabrication, and control (24 hours, 2 ECTS), Christian Duriez (Inria Lille), Sylvain Lefebvre (Inria Nancy)
  • INF644 - Immersion and interaction with virtual worlds (24 hours, 2 ECTS), Anatole Lecuyer and Maud Marchal (Inria)

Final project - 30 ECTS

MAP/INF690 - Internship: 5 to 6 months project, either in the R&D department of a company or in a research lab.

Career Outcomes

The graduate degree of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Visual Computing will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the most recent Artificial Intelligence techniques together with the ability to implement them efficiently. This program responds to the growing demand by companies that aim to recruit researchers and engineers who are able to create new original AI algorithms that are computationally competitive. The particular focus put on visual computing in this training will naturally lead students toward applications related to image processing, virtual worlds, conversational agents, or drone navigation.

Upon graduation, students are expected to pursue a Ph.D. thesis or to join a company directly. Here is a non-exhaustive list of industries that are interested in the profile of students in AI:

  • Digital applications for smartphones, computers, or personal assistants (Google, Facebook, Shazam, Apple, Snap);
  • Control of autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots (Valeo, Audi, Google, BMW);
  • Virtual reality, image & video editing, design and simulation of 3D virtual worlds (Ubisoft, Dassault systems, Microsoft, Adobe, Sony, Nintendo)
  • E-commerce and online advertisement (Criteo, Amazon, Google, Teads, Cdiscount, FNAC, eBay)
  • Financial, banking and insurance sector (BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Barclays, HSBC, AXA).

Although not listed here, many start-ups are in demand for high-quality profiles in Artificial Intelligence and advanced visual computing.

Application requirements and deadlines

Applicants must hold or expect to hold a Bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science prior to the beginning of the program. Applicants must have followed at least one statistics course. Candidates with other degrees may be considered, provided that they have a strong background in the above-mentioned subjects.

English Language requirements

Applicants must demonstrate full English-language proficiency. The tests that we accept are the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt), and the following Cambridge General English Tests: First (FCE), Advanced (CAE) and Proficiency (CPE).

The minimum scores required are:

  • TOEFL IBT 90
  • IELTS 6.5
  • Cambridge Test - First (FCE) Grade B - 176

Scores must date no earlier than two years prior to the start of the program.

List of supporting documents needed

No paper copies are needed for the admission review process. If you are admitted, you may be required to submit official or certified hard copies before the start of the program. Supporting documents include:

  • Scanned copies of transcripts of all previous post-secondary education (including exchange programs and programs you did not complete)
  • Official document or letter from your university explaining the grading and ranking system
  • For completed programs: scanned copies of degrees
  • For programs still in progress: certificate of enrolment by your home university stating the title of the expected degree and date of completion. This document must prove that you are at least in your final year of undergraduate studies.
  • Personal Statement. Minimum: approximately 700 words, in French or English. Please use the form provided in the online application system.
  • Contact details for two referees (names, positions & emails). A letter of recommendation form will be sent directly to them.
  • CV or resume, without any biographical gaps, maximum: 2 pages, in French or English;
  • Copy of passport (or ID card for European students)
  • Copy of TOEFL/IELTS (taken less than 2 years before)

Application deadlines

  • Round 1: 4th November 2020 to 4th December 2020
  • Round 2: 12th January 2021 to 12th March 2021
  • Round 3: 23rd March 2021 to 23rd April 2021

Tuition fees

Standard tuition fees for 2021/22 are set to €15,000 per academic year. However, the tuition fees you are liable for may depend on your status or the existence of a partnership with your home institution. Moreover, a few grants covering tuition fees will be provided thanks to the industrial partners supporting this graduate degree. Please indicate in your application if you would be interested in such a grant. The excellence of your records will be one of the criteria.

Health Insurance

Please note that registration with a health insurance scheme is compulsory in France when you enroll at a Higher Education Institution.

If you come from any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland and are already registered with a national health insurance provider, you must apply for the European health insurance card. This card is free and will give you access to state-provided healthcare during your stay in France under the same conditions and at the same cost as nationals.

Students from Quebec are exempt from joining the French Student Social Security upon presentation of Form #SE401Q106.

Room & Board

Ecole Polytechnique is pleased to provide accommodation on campus for all graduate degree students given that they request it within the given timeframe.

The rent is 617 euros per month (including housing insurance). You will also be required to pay a security deposit of 617 euros upon arrival. All residences are equipped with a shared-kitchen but you may also have your breakfast, lunch, and dinner at our university restaurant from Monday to Saturday. A lunch meal costs approximately 2 to 4 euros thanks to our student discount rate. Monthly expenses for meals usually range from 200 to 350 euros.

Financial aid

Students receive assistance from the Housing Office to apply for the French National Housing Benefit "CAF". Students usually obtain a financial aid of 150-200 euros per month.

All our students receive the ISIC card (International Student Identity Card) automatically and for free. They gain preferential and discounted access to over 150,000 products, services, and experiences relevant to all aspects of student life.

Additional scholarship opportunities can be found at CampusFrance website (e.g. French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development for international students). Please note that the French scholarship "CROUS" is not compatible with our degree.

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

École Polytechnique is a leading French institute which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its curriculum promotes a culture of excel ... Read More

École Polytechnique is a leading French institute which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its curriculum promotes a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science, anchored in humanist traditions. The school produces socially responsible professionals who excel in leading complex and innovative projects which address current and future challenges facing our society. Read less