The Global Scientific Exchange Program 2021 (GSEP)

SCIoI’s fully funded GSEP scientific fellowships are aimed at Master’s level students who wish to gain research experience in a subject of their interest at Science of Intelligence. The experience is intended to increase chances of applying successfully to a doctoral program in the Global North and to provide fellows with hands-on research experience in an interdisciplinary environment.
In collaboration with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), five candidates were selected for the pilot phase in 2021. During their stay at SCIoI, these researchers worked on a project in their respective labs and attended relevant lectures and symposia at SCIoI and partner institutions as well as cultural and social activities.

Meet our GSEP 2021 researchers:

Juliana T.C. Marcos, Benin (Prof. Guillermo Gallego)

Juliana T.C. Marcos was born in Cotonou, Benin. She holds MSc degrees in applied Mathematics from AIMS – SU and AIMS – UCT in South Africa. She also has a design engineering degree in telecommunication from EPAC in Benin. She is interested in  artificial intelligence and, more specifically, computer vision, machine learning, and robotics. Juliana expects that the GSEP programme will help her to achieve her dream career as a researcher. Through her fellowship in the lab of Computer Vision and Robotics, she hopes to acquire valuable knowledge in the growing field of event-based vision, to contribute to the development of this field through her research project, and to grow her professional network while learning more about German culture. Finally, she expects to increase her chances of getting a PhD position in Germany (or other parts of the world) thanks to soft-skills courses.

At SCIoI, Juliana is affiliated with the lab of Computer Vision and Robotics of Prof. Dr Guillermo Gallego. She will work on detecting and tracking objects for space situational awareness using event-based cameras. The focus of her project is to understand the operation of event-based cameras (specifically their noise characteristics) as well as to design efficient methods for the detection and tracking of small objects in data produced by an event-based camera, such as the Event-based Space Situational Awareness (EBSSA) dataset.

Tatiana Ngoli Moteu, Cameroon (Prof. Alan Akbik)

Tatiana Ngoli Moteu has background in computer science with a focus on software engineering. She holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon; one in Architecture and Networks and another one in Software Engineering.

After completing these degrees, she went on to do a Master’s degree Information Systems and Software Engineering from the University of Yaounde I, Cameroon.

Tatiana was selected for and completed a one-year intensive Master’s in Machine Learning under the African Master for Machine Intelligence program (AMMI Ghana) sponsored by Facebook and Google. With a keen interest in text manipulation, especially in co-reference resolution, Tatiana chose Natural Language Processing (NLP) for her Master’s project.

At SCIoI, Tatiana will be working in the laboratory of Prof. Alan Akbik on the topic of data augmentation for NLP, thereby focusing on the English Name Entity Recognition (NER) dataset. For Tatiana, participating in the GSEP program represents an excellent opportunity to interact and exchange with diverse people from different backgrounds, to gain more experience and knowledge in her research domain, and ultimately obtain a PhD position that will help her pursue her career goals. She also expects to explore and learn more about Germany, its culture, and traditions.

Emmanuel Owusu Ahenkan, Ghana (Prof. Klaus Obermayer)

A graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, Emmanuel Owusu Ahenkan received a BSc degree in Applied Mathematics with First Class honor and a Master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences with Distinction from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS-Rwanda). After that, he also obtained a Master’s degree in Machine Intelligence at the African Master’s in Machine Intelligence (AIMS/AMMI) in Ghana.

Emmanuel’s research interest is in Computer Vision. He has done research in Medical Imaging, classification of diseases in plants and animals, and detection of human movements. He loves teaching, mentoring students, and reading scientific papers, and his aim is to become a great researcher and scientist in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). At SCIOI, Emmanuel hopes to learn and collaborate with great researchers in AI in order to be well prepared for PhD opportunities and to later achieve his goal in life. His research will be focusing on end-to-end learning of human exploration behavior. The project aims to explore whether one can predict the viewing behavior of human subjects on natural videos with end-to-end learning on suitable neural network architectures (e.g., Recurrent Independent Mechanisms, which is a variant of LSTMs).

Arinze Lawrence Folarin, Nigeria (Profs. Oliver Brock & Marc Toussaint)

Arinze Lawrence Folarin was born in Nigeria. He has an undergraduate degree (first-class honours) in Mathematics from the University of Ibadan and a Master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences (Distinction) from the University of Stellenbosch / African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in South Africa, where he also learned about Reinforcement Learning. During his Master’s program, he focused on analyzing central reinforcement learning algorithms for malaria control, and he is now more interested in using reinforcement learning in robotics and policy-making.

His ambition is to become a world-class professor in the field of reinforcement learning and robotics in order to work with other researchers to solve problems that affect Africa and the rest of the world.

His belief is that, by the end of the research internship, his research skills will have improved exponentially, qualifying him for a PhD position. He is also convinced that his improved personal development resulting from this experience will allow him to pursue many job opportunities in the future.

Kiprono Elijah Koech, Kenya (Prof. Olaf Hellwich)

Kiprono Elijah Koech obtained his BSc degree in Statistics in 2017 from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agricuture and Technology, Kenya, before proceeding to Stellenbosch University, South Africa in 2019 to pursue his MSc. degree in Mathematical Sciences. He also obtained his second Master’s degree in Mathematics (Data Science Major) from Stellenbosch University focusing his research in image processing and object detection topics of Data Science.

Object detection is a computer technology related to computer vision and image processing that deals with detecting instances of objects of a certain class in digital images and videos. Kiprono has worked on a computer vision project with Aerobotics which involved detecting of fruits in orchards for the purposes of yield estimation and robot harvesting. At SCIoI, Kiprono focuses on using artificial intelligence methods to promote wildlife conservation. This is an action recognition problem aiming at identifying actions like poaching and preying among other actions and animal behaviors. Check out his website here.


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