Epitech International Summer School 2016

The second Epitech Bootstrap Camp, our institution’s contribution to the IONIS Group’s Summer Schools programme, ended on Friday at the Innovation Hub in our Paris school. Following two weeks spent learning about information technology and programming languages, which most participants were not already familiar with, they were given a week to work in groups and put what they had learned into practice, by producing a prototype. They went away delighted, having been introduced to the “learning by doing” project method, a characteristic feature of our teaching here at Epitech.

Immersion in the methodology

Olivier Grandhomme, the school’s “International Mobility & Recruitment Manager”, reminds us that ”this year the students came from South Korea (Keimyung University), the University of Kent in the UK and China (Beijing Jiaotong University, with which Epitech has launched a joint programme, Ed.). They did a week of ‘Piscine C’ (immersion activities), a week of practical work on prototyping (with a morning on Arduino, a morning on Raspberry Pi, a morning on Flask, a morning on 3D printing…).

Workshops

“The afternoons,” Olivier continues, “were given over to workshops, which included one on design thinking with ideation, an afternoon on IoT and connected objects in the broadest sense – their history, where we currently stand and where we are going. And an afternoon of reflection for drafting a design brief, drafting specifications for their prototypes, etc.”

Making makers of them

“They learned basic electronics, how to use a 3D printer, how to draw a circuit diagram to connect the components and how to create interaction with a mobile or web page, with a motion detector, etc. In short, all they needed to produce a prototype”.

Fun prototype

“As a means of tackling rampant inactivity”, continues Pierre-Jean Léger, head of Operational Excellence, “our Chinese students came up with this: you put an object, in this case a smartphone, on a remote-controlled car. Then you set a time limit beyond which, if there is not enough movement from us, the car starts moving with the telephone on it, and so this movement forces us to move, too… They devised other programming methods, still using a motion detector. It was an amusing idea.”

Alarm clock

“Starting from the assumption that when the alarm clock goes off, we tend to hit the “snooze” button and just go back to sleep, the second project will require a particular series of actions to be performed to turn the alarm off, which means that we are bound to be woken up”.

Contactless

“The third project is a hygienic system for automatically opening and closing doors: people open them without any physical contact, using pre-set hand movements. This project reflects a very recent trend which is particularly common in hospitals. It is a practical application connecting a motor and a 3D motion detector.

Learning by doing

“They really learned by doing”, adds Olivier. “The Chinese students, for example, managed to use a motor, although they didn’t know how one works. We sent them off to look it up on the Internet and we helped them along the way – all the staff at the Hub got involved. But, in the end, they worked out how to get it to work on their own”.

New fields

“I really enjoyed this ‘summer camp’, says Jean-Luc Sorak, a Computer Science student at the University of Kent. I learned about a lot of new technologies like Flask. I’d never used C or Python, either, so I learned three new languages… It’s really useful for me to keep on learning more. I’d say that at Kent, they teach us a lot about programming in Java, a lot of object-oriented languages, but not as much “hardware” as here at Epitech.

 

 

International Winter Boot Camp 2017

EPITECH WINTER BOOT CAMP 2017

Last Friday, February 3rd, the second edition of Epitech Winter Boot Camp finished up. The first edition hosted Japanese students from Ritsumeikan University as well as Russian students from Saint-Petersburg University of Telecommunications. This year, there were ten Korean students visiting from one of the school’s partner universities, Keimyung University (KMU) while Luis Alberto Chavez Gallardo came from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima. It must be noted that the theme of this Winter Camp was indeed a big attraction since it was focused on the Internet of Things.

Project-based Learning

As it often happens, contact with the project method at Epitech always pushes students in the right direction and makes them love what they’re doing, the proof of which can be seen in the projects presented at the end of the Camp’s two-week session. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

Soft Skills

Working in groups on different problems and even with unfamiliar programming languages can be hard to handle at first, but with this active/inductive method, the empowerment, as Anglo-Saxons call it, is quite clear. The self-confidence that the participants gain in less than 15 days is tangible. You only need to see the difference between the first day of the Camp, in winter or summer, when the International Relations team presents the programme, and the last day when the projects are presented. The difference is a bit like night and day…

Hard Skills

This year the students at Winter Boot Camp IoT worked and learned the basics in order to be able to “play” with a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino while initiating themselves in the Python language and learning how to use Bluetooth and WiFi modules, 3D printing and the rudiments of electronics (wiring and soldering). Aside from Luis, none of the students had used any of these technologies or languages before.

Enjoyable breaks

The students did not come to Paris to spend all of their time in front of a screen. They also visited different parts of Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower and even Disneyland, not to mention had a night out at a well-known wine bar in the Haut-Marais neighbourhood, all in moderation of course.

Prototypes

The 2 weeks of Winter Boot Camp came to an end with a presentation of projects conceived by the students. There were 6 different projects this year:

the first was an app that, via telephone recognition run through a Raspberry Pi, can authorise the opening of an apartment building door with keys,

the second project used an Arduino system as well as distance sensors and LEDS to create an automatic braking system that engages if there is a risk of a car accident.

the third project consisted of a system that could, for example, turn on music on a computer through the medium of a sensor, simply by moving a hand near the connected object,

the fourth was “Chicken in Paris”, a video game where you press a sensor to protect your chick from a cat. If you win, the chick becomes a chicken and then a cockerel,

the fifth project focused on participating in the re-launch of a classic Flash video game in a 3D environment with an Arduino,

The final project was the work of Wonjae Jung and Damha Kim, and it was definitely the project that made everyone smile. Named “Watchman”, it involved pressing on keypad-style buttons that were made with a 3D printer at the pace of Tetris-like shapes, which come down to bump against the blocks at the bottom of the screen, the “mirrors” of the keypad buttons. If you manage to keep up with the rhythm, you’ll hear the music…

Intercontinental Friendship

This principle is reminiscent of the game seen in the school’s Innovation Hub, Jubeat. It is not that surprising because in reality, Damha knows one of the Epitech students from Jubeat, Jérémy Dubuc (class 2015): “He was in my class two years ago when he came to do his fourth year abroad at Keimyung University…” It’s a small world. In the end everyone left Paris happy and in good spirits with their certificate, which confirms the adoption of the Epitech method.

 

Hackathon


BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE HACKATHON #HACKRISQUES

The Hackathon #HackRisques conference, organized by the French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans, took place at Tank co-working space from November 18th to the 20th. This event was not like past events. The difference was the clear desire to prepare for Hackathon far in advance by launching the first steps of different projects, and in the same way, monitoring these projects’ downstream results in a way to guarantee their relevance and ensure they were fully carried out. Ségolène Royal, French Minister of the Environment greeted the winning project heads at the Ministry on Monday, the 30th. Some of these projects have already transformed into start-ups, such as the Safer project, which was the subject of a “meet-up” session on Monday, December 5th. This #HackRisques meeting was a bit like GreenTech Verte incubator in how it functioned.

From idea to start-up

To keep with this very distinctive characteristic, starting with an idea and going until it’s concrete, the prize for the projects on the #HackRisques podium, other than cash rewards, were periods spent in incubation. The Ministry of the Environment launched a program to open incubators that, just like GreenTech Verte, support innovative, environmental start-ups. The first space of its kind was inaugurated last September in the École des Ponts ParisTech. The next opening will be in Toulouse.

 Open-data

HackRisques began on Friday, November 18th, and was also a central conference for Public Innovation Week –the Ministry of the Environment is on the cutting edge of providing information to enthusiasts of public open-data,. As one of its representatives recalled, “through the enactment of the “Law for a Digital Republic”, a project led by Axelle Lemaire, which makes a major expansion of the boundaries of public data, we have the right kind of forward drive and focus for anyone who is interested in data and needs to develop innovative services centered on this kind of data.”

More than 100 data sets

More than 110 data sets were made available to participants of Hackathon, along with a large amount of data relating to environmental risks: earthquakes, soil erosion, tsunamis, floods, etc. In addition to that, there was also a great deal of context data: population figures, buildings, housing, geography, etc. Including the sources of data coming from research studies, the data was provided by ministry partners and many others as well.

Before Hackathon

Just as the National Institute of Geographic and Forestry Information (IGN) brought attention to it, several data sessions followed by an upstream barcamp for this HackRisques helped to identify these data sets as well as the challenges to be faced on the last weekend of November. They all centered on the theme of natural risks: their prevention, population information, implementation of observation systems and decision-support tools for municipalities.

 Sunday Workers

HackRisques brought together professionals, researchers, statisticians, geomaticians, and students from business schools such as EDHEC and obviously Epitech. All from the same Class of 2019, 11 of our students were present over the entire 48-hour period of the event. (11 of our students with Hadrien Blanc, class representative and HackRisques jury member)

Team of Three

Stéphane Darcy, Kotokan Yapo and Nicolas Khenkittisak preferred to work as a trio: “because we’d been organizing our team for a long time,” Stéphane said. However they showed what they were made of, even receiving the highest score on the public’s applause meter. There were a lot of people on hand for the final pitches, even on Sunday night… The Spintank team’s top-notch hosting was certainly to thank for this.

Special Mention

Stéphane, Kotokan and Nicolas received special mention from the jury, and they were delighted with the experience, “we really learned quite a lot,” Stéphane replied, “particularly in the field of cartography. Since we had the data sets beforehand, we chose to do something related to theme 6, meaning mutual assistance among different people in the event of a catastrophe.”

Mutual Aide Among Individuals

“With our data selection on zones affected by catastrophes,” he explained, “by mapping them, we could locate all the people near the affected zones who could come help those people living in those areas. An example from the South of France last year illustrates this: in the stricken area, neighbors who were only a little affected or not at all could come help those who were, whether that meant providing food, clothing or blankets, offering transportation or whatever else.”

Good and Tired

“We returned home Friday night, but starting on Saturday morning we had to rush. But we’re used to that with Epitech!” Stéphane said. For Corentin Magné: “It was a great Hackathon. I was part of the Safer project, a multi-discipline team with people from business school (EDHEC), geomaticians, etc. It was interesting to work and exchange idea with them. It was great.”

The Difficulty of the Task

A feeling confirmed by Emmanuel Moreau: “This Hackathon went really well. We had some trouble at the start. There were so many data sets. We needed to extract the data, sort it out, and process it correctly. In our team, we chose to used it in order to do some forecasting and provide a solution based on this prediction of flood risks and other anomalies.”

Technical talk

“I was the one who did the algorithm. I developed an ecosystem with some thirty different values in order to detect if this ecosystem suffered from any anomalies or not. Everything was totally connected with several multiple linear regression algorithms in order to have precision down to the hundredth place. If anything ever went beyond that range, it would be an anomaly.” (from left to right: Cyprien, Corentin et Antoine)

The Safer Project

It wasn’t the project from Emmanuel, Oscar Nosworthy, Mamady Samassa (ENSG), and their teammates from the weekend that made it to the podium. But not getting a medal does not necessarily mean that the project is over. So it went for the Safer project, which Corentin Magné was a part of, as well as Antoine Mille, Cyprien Tonnelier, two students from EDHEC, and representatives from the IGN. The project received special mention for the jury.

Invitation to the Ministry

Safer followed the main point of HackRisques by turning an idea into a concrete start-up, with oversight and mentoring from Smart Life, which is, to use the expression from Philippe Eon (Director of Major Client Marketing at Orange Business), “a community of interests” and has Orange Business IGN, Météo France, and others working together. Safer was among the projects invited to the ministry on Monday, November 30th by Ségolène Royal, who was impressed by the number of innovative proposals by HackRisques.

The Prestige of the French Republic

Antoine put it in context: “We made a pitch in front of an impressive audience of mayors, prefects, and people from the ministry. We were congratulated by the Ministry of the Environment. It was great. It made a real impression to hear them, during the speech, only talk about different problems: floods, flood prevent action programs, etc., which Safer offers solutions for.”

Start you up

They came back on Wednesday, December 7th: the three men are definitely ready for a challenge, and the school will provide the means for them to work on developing Safer as a Hub project at the school. In other words, they will also receive pedagogic rewards.

Wait to see

Philippe Eon summed it up: “with Safer, they merged and cross-referenced the data from INSEE, IGN, Météo France, Orange. With it they made an analysis of the population flux during crises to create, in a very simple way, a platform for mayors that will help them make the appropriate provisions and react with the proper responses.” When it becomes available to municipalities, we’ll talk about the Safer project again.

 

Epitech Experience

epitechxexperience-epitechxp2016-trophees-eip-promo-2017-pitchs-demo-projets

The Epitech Innovative Projects (EIP) Forum celebrated its 10th anniversary last year – today, it is changing. The format of the presentation of around one hundred end-of-study projects – the Epitech Innovative Projects (EIP) – is now called Epitech Experience. This name change is intended to highlight the increased requirement level at EPITECH. This transformation will take place live on Friday, 25 November. You can also experience it remotely via #EpitechXP2016.

The best Epitech Innovative Project

This « level up » in the school’s requirements will be particularly visible next Friday morning, when the EIP groups selected among the 12 cities of Epitech’s national network will pitch their projects before a highly-qualified jury. This year, all 14 of the selected groups (including 3 from Paris) have followed a coaching program dedicated to the art of the pitch. Before your eyes, these fifth-year students will abandon the purely academic world to step into the shoes of a startup.

102 long-term projects.

These 14 groups from the class of 2017 have been selected among 102 EIPs. Launched during their third year, these end-of-study projects were developed abroad during their fourth year, with practically every team member being separated from the others by multiple time zones. By learning to work remotely, acculturation to project management, implementation under the supervision of labEIP (the school’s Project Management Office), and the industrialization of their Minimum Viable Project (MVP) developed during Forward in the third year, an EIP is the first step of the transformation of a student into a professional, leading to a position in a business or to entrepreneurship.

The time and prizes

The 2016 edition of the EIP Trophies starts at 10:45 am. This competition between classmates gives the victors access to a project incubation at IONIS 361 or Creative Valley – the school’s partner incubators.

Debate during this innovation morning

The pitches of the groups participating in the EIP Trophies are preceded by an opening debate centered on « The digitization of society, its place and its impacts. » The digitization of society both in its social dimension and in the upheaval of the professions and sectors caused by the digital revolution.

The President of CNNum is back on campus

To speak about all these aspects, this year’s speakers are Philippe Mihelic, Innovation Manager of Groupe La Poste (and also founder of the Fulllsix Agency) and Mounir Mahjoubi, President of the National Digital Council, who already visited the school last September during the ‘Piscine’ Moonshot, whose themes for 2016 are clearly in line with the subject of this Friday’s conference.

The President of the jury and our students

Raouti Chehih, president of the Euratechnologies strategic council and president of the EpitechXP2016 jury, frequently encounters our students during the projects developed and accelerated within Euratechnologies, « an ecosystem whose vocation is to breed a generation of successful entrepreneurs in the new technology sector, as well as to build a strong economic power in this sector of activity at both the regional and national levels. »

Changing the world

“With their skills,” he adds, “the talents of Epitech have enormous power, well beyond their expectations, to make a difference for their country. When you master the technology, you can master the world and thus change it.” We are waiting to see the germination of the seeds of these new forms of disruption.

The words of the President of the Jury

Raouti Chehih is also a member of the school’s  Development Council, so he knows its value: “We have a very pragmatic and entrepreneurial vision at Epitech (…). It is a school that knows how to adapt to its times and this yields profiles that are really very interesting for businesses, with young people who are able to adapt to any situation and are capable of a modularity in their skills that is really very interesting. It is the hallmark of Epitech, which creates profiles that are highly sought after.”