Autonomous Learning: Summer School 2014

September 01 - 04, 2014
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences

Autonomous Learning research aims at understanding how autonomous systems can efficiently learn from the interaction with the environment, especially by having an integrated approach to decision making and learning, allowing systems to autonomously decide on actions, representations, hyperparameters and model structures for the purpose of efficient learning.

In this summer school international and national experts will introduce to the core concepts and related theory for autonomous learning in real-world environments. We hope to foster the enthusiasm of young researchers for this exciting research area, giving them the opportunity to meet leading experts in the field and similarly interested students. Our school offers an opportunity to look into fundamental and advanced aspects of autonomous learning. The tutorials are structured around three themes:

  1. learning representations,
  2. acting to learn (exploration), and
  3. learning to act in real-world environments.

The themes include but are not restricted to the following subjects:

Theme 1: Learning representations


  • compressed sensing/sparse coding
  • deep learning
  • hierarchical representations in perception
  • learning abstractions and symbols

Theme 2: Acting to learn (exploration)

  • foundations of optimal exploration and information seeking
  • approaches to intrinsic motivation

Theme 3: Learning to act in real-world environments

  • relational reinforcement learning
  • Bayesian cognitive robotics

Financial support

The summer school is financially supported by the DFG Priority Program Autonomous Learning.


Registration is possible with the application form on this website until May 31. We will ask you for a short CV with a description of your research interest and a reference contact (we will email your recommender to provide a brief letter). Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application until June 17.

Accommodation and costs

This course is free of charge, but participants have to cover their own travel, room and board. We have blocked an affordable room allocation at A&O Hostel in Leipzig (Hauptbahnhof, Brandenburger Straße 2, 04103 Leipzig). More information by email after your application was accepted.

Date and Location

September 01 - 04, 2014
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences
Inselstraße 22
04103 Leipzig
see travel instructions

Scientific Organizers

Nihat Ay
MPI for Mathematics in the Sciences
Information Theory of Cognitive Systems Group

Marc Toussaint
Stuttgart University
Coordinator of Priority Program Autonomous Learning

Administrative Contact

Marion Lange
Stuttgart University / TU Berlin
Coordination Priority Program Autonomous Learning
Contact by Email

24.02.2015, 12:20