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Shashank Pathak


Former colleague

Research Line



Moved to Department of Computer Science in University of Oxford.

Presently: PhD candidate pursuing safe learning on adaptive robotic platform, under supervision of Prof Giorgio Metta and Prof Armando Tacchella. Current specific interests: Reinforcement Learning and Model Checking for  Robotic Platforms.

Shashank Pathak did his Bachelors from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2007. He had a short stint (slightly more than a year) in professional life as Software Developer in prestigious companies such as Manhattan Associates and Goldman Sachs. He joined academics again in second half of 2008, after being granted a coveted Erasmus Mundus scholarship in European Masters in Advanced Robotics with France, Italy and Poland in the Consortium.  He was granted membership of coveted European Network for Cognition and Robotics (EuCogII) during his second year of Masters in 2010. After graduating,he has joined LIRA-Lab in University of Genova and as additional fellow at Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Italian Insitute of Technology, Genova, where he primarily worked on artificial vision on humanoid iCub and in future plans to implement cognitive modules. Recently he has also been assigned as external researcher in Marie Curie program RobotDoc, Robotics-Development on Cognition. He is member of relevant IEEE societies such as Computer Society, Computational Intelligence and Robotics and Automation (RAS). When not thinking about AI and Robotics, he enjoys reading non-fictions, world history,global financial systems and attending Oxford-style debates.



EU projects participated:

  • EMARo: Masters student 2008-2010
  • CHRIS: Summer Intern LIRA Lab 2009
  • eMorph: Fellow at RBCS 2011
  • RobotDoc: External Researcher 2011-
  • EUCogII: Researcher in Cognition and Robotics 2010-

Selected Publications

  • Giorgio Metta, Lorenzo Natale, Shashank Pathak, Luca Pulina, Armando Tacchella. Safe and E ective Learning: Case Study. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, (ICRA 2010).
  • Giorgio Metta, Lorenzo Natale, Shashank Pathak, Luca Pulina and Armando Tacchella. Safe learning with real-time constraints: a case study. Appeared in 23th
  • International Conference On Industrial, Engineering & Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems (IEA-AIE 2010).


Academic distinctions:

  • Associate fellow, RobotDoc- Development of Cognition, the Marie Curie doctoral training network in developmental robotics 2011
  • IEEE-RAS/IFRR scholarship for School of Robotics Science on Social and Cognitive Robotics 2010
  • Erasmus Mundus Scholarship European Masters on Advanced Robotics 2008-2010
  • Excellent Domain Knowledge, Annual Awards, Manhattan Associates 2007-2008
  • Best Five Papers, National Technical Paper Session, Delhi 2005
  • Runners Up Paper, National Technical Paper Session, Delhi 2004
  • Merit-cum-mean Scholarship, IIT-Delhi
  • All India Entrance Ranks: IIT-JEE, 657 (top .3% ) DCE, 39 (top .04%)
  • Top 5 Meritorious Student, Mathematics, Government of State 2000
  • Extra-ordinary achievements in Board Examinations, Head of ICSE, 200



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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.