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Inria Awards 2014


Two members from Lille win the award for research and innovation support

The MoocLab technical team has won the 2014 award for research and innovation support. It is a team of seven engineers and managers from the institute, including two members from Inria Lille - Nord Europe – Alexandre Dubus, development engineer and Guillaume Ollivier, head of the experimentation and development department.

The MoocLab team: Two winners from Lille

Every year, five Inria awards are presented to honor major contributions to computer sciences, the deployment of innovations and the institute’s proper functioning.

The 2014 award for research and innovation support goes to the multi-site technical team MoocLab, which includes two members from the experimentation and development department at Inria Lille, Alexandre Dubus, a graduate engineer, and Guillaume Ollivier, head of the department. The seven members of the MoocLab technical team created and deployed the France Université Numérique (FUN) platform, and launched online courses, known as MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), for hundreds of thousands of students in France. As part of this teamwork, Inria played a key role in the implementation of MOOC FUN, allowing all French universities to offer online courses.

Alexandre Dubus, Development Engineer, Experimentation and Development Service

Alexandre Dubus Inria / Photo A. Decarpigny

“The initial work consisted in choosing a platform that used free software and that could be adapted to the needs of the French universities contributing to its development. We eventually chose Open EdX. I then helped to adapt this platform to the needs of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. This tool has only recently been developed but we suggested technical upgrades for it, especially in personalization and translation.
We were able to work remotely via instant messaging, telephone, email and videoconferencing. The Mooclab group meets physically once a month to discuss the development of the platform from both the technical and the teaching point of view. It is this synergy that has been rewarded by the Inria award for the various types of work performed by the team of researchers and developers. As for me, it is an adventure and a reward for all of us”.

Guillaume Ollivier, Head of the Experimentation and Development Service

Guillaume Ollivier Inria / Photo C. Dupont

“Initially, I offered support to Inria’s administration in assessing several strategies involving the MOOCS, basing myself on an initial study performed by Yves Bertot in January 2013. I subsequently joined the MoocLab and contributed to the development of the FUN platform.
As a partner in this initiative, Inria is capable of assessing the impact of computer science on teaching: universalisation, facilitation of interaction between learners and teachers, and so on. It is important for a public institution such as Inria, and more generally, for French research to support these changes, especially from an ethical point of view. I am thinking in particular of the millions of items of data generated by the MOOCS platforms. The users need to be free to learn without there being a downside to the project. The danger must be avoided at all cost of people’s personal data being exploited for commercial purposes, at least without their consent”.

A fifth Inria award for the Lille center

This award is not a first for the center. It is the second time that members of Inria Lille - Nord Europe have won, making a total of five awards for the center. In 2012, Marie-Agnès Enard, head of the department, Frederick Carette, general and technical services manager, and Sylvain Karpf, head of transfer and innovation, were rewarded for their commitment and decisive roles within their teams in implementing the Inria Plateau within EuraTechnologies Lille.

The much-anticipated awards ceremony

The 2014 Inria award winners will be honored on 13 October, during the awards ceremony at the Forum des Images in Paris.

Keywords: Inria Lille - Nord Europe Inria awards MoocLab