DRAFT MINUTES OF PAVR MANAGEMENT MEETING
Hosted by TU-Vienna.  Held at OCG, the Austrian Computer Society, Vienna, October 19, 1998.

SUMMARY OF ACTIONS ARISING
 
 
PJW
-  sort out level of pay issue with TU-Vienna
-  check list of associate countries 
JWP
Suggest possible dates for the next management meeting
WP coordinators
Organize first technical meeting
GH
Check with J-DF if SoftImage developer package from Microsoft for Ramon Mas has been obtained
BE
Provide e-mail address for advertising PAVR among potential German candidates
All
- refer any suitable applicants to partners with vacancies

 

Present
 
 
University of Bath Prof. Phil Willis (chair), Max Froumentin, Frédéric Labrosse
University of Glasgow John Patterson, Jean-Christophe Nebel, Sylvain Brugnot
Ecole des Mines, Nantes Gérard Hegron 
EPFL, Lausanne Prof. Daniel Thalmann, Amaury Aubel
University of Geneva Prof. Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann, Pascal Volino, Marc Escher
TU, Vienna Prof. Werner Purgathofer, Prof. Michael Gervautz, Francois Faure, Christian Faisstnauer
UJF, Grenoble Jean-Dominique Gascuel, Bernhard Eberhardt
UIB, Mallorca Prof. Josep Blat, Johan Claes 
LUC, Diepenbeek Frank Van Reeth

 

Anna Beria, the Project's Administrative Assistant,  was in attendance
 

1. Welcome, introductions and times constraints.

The meeting started at 10 am and was chaired by Phil Willis.
Werner Purgathofer, project leader for TU-Vienna, welcomed everyone and announced that he would be taking over the Scientist-in-charge role from Michael Gervautz who would soon be on leave from TU-Vienna.
Phil Willis welcomed the large number of attendants and noted that Remi Cozot (IRISA, Rennes) would arrive in the afternoon and Bruno Arnaldi (also IRISA, Rennes) would be present at the review meeting the following day.  TIme constraints for the following day were also noted.
 

2. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting (Palma de Mallorca) were adopted unamended.  The agenda of the meeting was also adopted.
 

3. Matters arising from minutes

The list of actions arising from the minutes was checked.  The coordinator had carried out all the actions entrusted to him.  The VRML tutorial had not been arranged, but since neither Bruno Arnaldi nor Remi Cozot were present [and VRML was already being extensively used by the network?] the item was dropped.  John Patterson had not identified any suitable speech-recognition candidates for Nantes.  Neither Ramon Mas nor Jean-Daniel Fekete were present to confirm whether the former had obtained the SoftImage developer package from Microsoft.
Þ Gerard Hegron to check with J-D. Fekete.

Tom Molet confirmed that the minutes of the first WP2 meeting held in Lausanne in March had been circulated.  Of the remaining Work Groups, only WP5 had met, also last March.  WP coordinators were once more urged to organize a first technical meeting, now that more young researchers had been recruited to the network.  A first meeting for WP8, coordinated by Glasgow, should take place soon.
Þ PJW and JWP to liaise.
Þ WP coordinators to organize first meeting

The chair reported on further advertising efforts on behalf of the network and noted that most sites had advertised available positions on the Commission's TMR vacancies web page.  Since some posts were still open, the advertising and recruiting effort was to continue.
 

4. Review of appointments

As a result of recent recruitments and following the formal departure of Bernhard Eberhardt from UJF Grenoble, the appointment situation was as follows:
 
 
 
SUMMARY OF RESEARCH APPOINTMENTS
LOCATION
Post-doctoral posts
PhD posts
University of Bath, UK
Max Froumentin [FR]

Frédéric Labrosse [FR]

-
University of Glasgow, UK
Jean-Christoph Nebel [FR]
Sylvain Brugnot
Siemens, Munich, DE
vacant
vacant
EMN , Nantes, FR
-
vacant
EPFL, Lausanne, CH
-
Tom Molet [FR]

Amaury Aubel [FR]

University of Geneva, CH
-
Pascal Volino [FR]

Marc Escher [FR]

TU Vienna, AT
François Faure [FR]
Chris Faisstnauer [IT]
UJF, Grenoble, FR
vacant
-
INRIA/IRISA, Rennes, FR
Peter Wonka

(until Jan 99)

vacant
UIB, Mallorca, ES
vacant
Johan Claes
LUC, Limburg, BE
-
Jaume Fuster Pulgarin Guillem Bernat Rullan

Bernt Eberhardt, now at Tubingen University, pointed out that PAVR was virtually unknown in Germany and that a targeted advertising effort might produce some good candidates.
Þ BE to send an appropriate e-mail address to the coordinator
 

5. Management issues: staffing, expenditure, exchanges

Staffing.  To help with recruiting, LUC had swapped their Post-doc post for a second PhD, at least temporarily, and had succeeded in filling both posts with young researchers previously at UIB.  The chair asked whether those sites where Post-doctoral positions remained vacant might consider doing the same.  J-D Gascuel agreed that this might be a good idea for Grenoble, although there were no immediate candidates.  However, the fact that the project had only two more years to run might prove a disincentive.

Expenditure.  M. Gervautz stated that TU-Vienna had run out of PAVR funds some three months previously and was now funding the project from own resources.  The chair replied that the difficulties caused to some sites by the Commission's decision not to release the second tranche of funds had been pointed out to the project officer and that the issue would again be raised at the review meeting the next day.

W. Purgathofer asked whether, pending the second tranche being released, funds could not be re-allocated internally from under-spending sites to those where need was greater.  He said that TU-Vienna had already spent over 1/3 of allowable costs.

F. Van Reeth spoke of LUC's need to shift resources from personnel to networking expenditure, since extra costs had been incurred by LUC on travel for recruiting purposes.  The chair reminded all participants that the 1/3 - 2/3 split between overheads and personnel costs had to be maintained.

M. Gervautz pointed out that those sites which were swapping post-doc positions for PhDs (of three-year duration) would find themselves financially penalised.  The chair replied that each site was committed to delivering a certain number of man-months.  How this figure was reached, and through which category of researcher, was at each site's discretion.

F. Van Reeth asked whether a site exceeding its agreed man-months figure might pose a problem, to which the chair replied that this was unlikely since the project overall was well below its man-months target.

Exchanges.  The chair showed an OHP slide illustrating the project's training programme to date and asked whether any more exchanges were planned.  A number of exchanges were then agreed, viz:

6.  Work groups reports (non-technical issues)

WP2 (Capture technologies)
Amaury Aubel indicated that more collaboration with the researchers working in WP5  (Dynamic sumulation) was expected

WP3 (Immersive interaction)
Gerard Hegron reported that since no researcher could be recruited, work at his site had been limited to an investigation of the generic interface.  Frank Van Reeth stated that for the same reasons work on this package was being pursued at LUC using non-PAVR resources.

WP4 (Facial interaction)
Owing to Siemens' failure to participate actively in the network, EPFL had taken over the role of coordinator and work on this package was almost completed.

WP5 (Dynamic simulation)
Jean-Dominique Gascuel reporoted that good overall progress had been achieved by the team working on this package.

WP6 (Networks)
LUC and Bath were planning exchanges to work jointly on 3D capture.

WP7 (Workshop organization)
The workshop had been organized by Siemens in July.

WP8 (Keyframing)
John Patterson reported that much related work had already been carried out outside the project.
 

7.  Date and place of next meeting

The forthcoming conference due to take place in Plzen, 8-12 February 1999, had been suggested as a possible meeting venue for the network Work Groups. A formal presentation could also be given by the project. February, however, was felt to be too early for the network's next management meeting, which ideally should take place in April. The University of Glasgow had offered to host a meeting in the past and John Patterson reiterated his offer. Actual dates to be agreed.
Þ JWP to suggest possible dates
 
 

8.  Any other business

Under this item the proposed revisions to the contract, namely the switching of some available Post-doc positions to PhDs, and the problems posed by Siemens' failure to play a more active role in the network, were discussed.

On the first subject, there seemed to be no problem as far as the Commission was concerned.  On the second issue, the chair proposed that Siemens be formally asked to quit the network.  Daniel Thalmann pointed out that without an industrial partner the project would lose its raison d'etre.   The chair agreed that, with Siemens' departure, the network would lose the benefit of a large research lab to which young researchers could be sent. He pointed out, however, that their technical contribution to the project was not essential and that their departure would not come as a surprise to the Commission, which had been kept informed throughout.  Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann suggested finding a new industrial partner and mentioned the BBC as a possibility. John Patterson suggested contacting the German-based Company B (formerly Hightech Center). Bernt Eberhardt noted that research under the project was making good progress without Siemen's contribution, however Jean-Dominique Gascuel pointed out that the purpose of the project was not research per se, but rather networking, training and mobility of young researchers. Daniel Thalmann lamented the loss of potential exchanges with a large industrial partner, but Jean-Dominique Gascuel noted that senior researchers were not exchanged under the project. The chair confirmed that the aim of the TMR programme was indeed the exchange of young researchers. More discussion followed, touching on the number of network vacancies still remaining and the timeliness of organising exchanges in view of the limited amount of research already carried out. Further exchanges were proposed and agreed (see point 5).

Daniel Thalmann said he had a list of potential candidates from eastern European countries, if such countries were among those which could be considered for TMR purposes (associate countries).  Þ PJW to check list of associate countries

TU-Vienna's financial problems (a deficit of some ECU 20,000) were also discussed. It appeared these might be due to the levels of pay prevalent at the site, but it was agreed that a solution should be sought with the coordinator's help.
Þ PJW to sort out level of pay issue with TU-Vienna
 

The formal meeting closed at 12.30. The Work Groups coordinators presented their technical reports in the afternoon