The sabbatical year is over and I had to get back to some serious work. Just before I left for Madagascar, I “peeked” in Paris and successfully passed the selection process that gave me the MENTR scholarship for my Ph.D. at the LISSI laboratory at the Université Paris-Est Créteil.
For the next three years, both fun and hard work were guaranteed in France. Artificial intelligence, robotics, human-robot interaction, intelligent signal processing, a pinch of psychology and cognitive science. In almost 40 months, under the supervision of Professor Kurosh Madani and Dr. Christophe Sabourin, I published more than a dozen papers in journals and conferences, conducted many interesting experiments with the Nao robot and other robotic platforms, and finally reported on it all in my Ph.D. thesis. My colleagues and friends during this exciting work and life experience were Dr. Arash Bahrammirzaee (Iran), Dr. Ramón Moreno (Spain), Dr. Ivan Budnyk (Ukraine), Dr. Ting Wang (China), Jingyu Wang (China), Fabien Gautero (France) and others who passed through the laboratory. Together we had a lot of fun both inside and outside the lab. And surely enough I have appreciated many times since the scientific training I have received through the studies.
I cannot forget my friend Toky from Madagascar, who lived for some time in the same university dormitory and who lent his voice to the recordings of my Malagasy dictionary.