Yann LeCun was born near Paris in 1960. He received a Diplôme d’Ingénieur from the Ecole Superieure d’Ingénieur en Electrotechnique et Electronique (ESIEE), Paris in 1983, a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies (DEA) from Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris in 1984, and a PhD in Computer Science from the same university in 1987. His PhD thesis was entitled “Modeles connexionnistes de l’apprentissage” (connexionist learning models) and introduced an early version of the back-propagation algorithm for gradient-based machine learning.
He then joined the Adaptive Systems Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, NJ in 1988. In 1991, he spend six months with the Laboratoire Central de Recherche of Thomson-CSF in Orsay, France, after which he returned to Bell Labs.
Shortly after AT&T’s second breakup in 1996, he became head of the Image Processing Research Department, part of Larry Rabiner‘s Speech and Image Processing Research Lab at AT&T Labs-Research in Red Bank, NJ.
In 2002, he became a Fellow of the NEC Research Institute (now NEC Labs America) in Princeton, NJ.
Yann LeCun has been associate editor of PLoS ONE (2008-present), IJCV (2003-present), IEEE Trans. PAMI (2003-2005), Pattern Recognition and Applications, Machine Learning Journal (1996-1998), IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks (1990-1991). Since 1997, he has served as general chair and organizer of the “Learning Workshop” held every year since 1986 in Snowbird, Utah. He is a member of the Science Advisory Board of the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, UCLA.
He has served as program chair for CVPR 2006, and program co-chair for CVPR 2000, CIFED 98, NIPS 95,94,90, INNC 90, and IJCNN 89. He has served on the program committee of numerous conferences and workshop.
He was plenary keynote speaker at ICDAR 2007, CRV 2006, RFIA 2002, and CVPR 2000. He gave tutorials talks at MLSS 2008, CVSS 2007, NIPS 2006, CIAR summer school 2006, IPAM summer school 2005, the Newton Institute, Cambridge, 1997, ICPR 1994, the INRIA/CEA/EDF summer school 1994, NIPS 1993, AAAI 1990, the Cold Spring Harbor Neuroscience summer school 1990, Connectionism in Perspective, Zurich 1988, and the CMU Connectionist summer schools 1988, and 1986. He has given numerous invited talks at various international conferences and workshops.
Yann LeCun has published over 130 technical papers and book chapters on machine learning, computer vision, pattern recognition, neural networks, handwriting recognition, image compression, document understanding, image processing, VLSI design, and information theory.
His handwriting recognition technology is used by several banks around the world, and his image compression technology called DjVu is used by hundreds of web sites and publishers and millions of users to access scanned documents on the Web.
He has his own lab, CBLL (Computational & Biological Learning Lab).