Maxime Sainte-Marie


I’m a Ph.D. candidate in Cognitive Computer Science at the Université du Québec à Montréal. I also am a Doctoral Fellow of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) as well as of the Fonds Québécois de Recherche sur la Soci��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������té et la Culture (FQRSC).

I was always interested in self-organizing systems. My master’s thesis was on synchronization, a rhythmic coordination phenomenon as essential to these systems as often neglected: the idea that pervaded my thesis is that self-organization (whether in physical, biological, social or artificial systems) is intimately linked to coordination and that, as self-organizing systems ourselves (« self-oscillating » might be more appropriate), our everyday experience of what we call time mostly results from this multidimensional rhythm coupling phenomenon.

The last chapter of my master’s thesis was on « artificial synchronization », i.e. the development by man of techniques and tools (calendars and clocks certainly, but also military drills, telegraph, trains, and so on) intended to facilitate and extend (spatially as well as temporally) synchronization in order to maximize organizational and energetic efficiency. To my great surprise, I found out that cities were by far the most complex and imposing synchronization tools of them all: its buildings and the different networks that link them all impose spatial constraints on how we act and interact and thus strongly contribute to organize human movement in an organizationally and energetically efficient way. And that is how I became fascinated by cities, more precisely by the intimate link between urban form and movement.

Following this growing interest, my doctoral thesis aims at contributing to a better understanding of the link between urban topology and movement: using the topological metrics and tools developed in graph, network, and Space Syntax theories, I plan to design agent-based modelisations and simulations of urban movement using directed street topologies, which take into account road direction.


Besides French and English, I love to learn and speak different languages. Even though I don’t have much time to maintain or develop these linguistic skills, I can still manage to communicate rather well in german, italian, portuguese, and swedish.


I have been playing clarinet for more than twenty years, taking part in various musical activities (concerts, tours, studio recordings and competitions) for many musical ensembles (symphonic and wind orchestras for the most part, but also pop and hip hop groups). As a composer and interpret, I have contributed to the soundtracks of one children movie, Vitamines et Friandises, and one animation cartoon, Igor et son Cafard.

Graduate Studies

  • Visiting Scholar, Högskolan i Gävle (Gävle University), Sweden, spring 2012.
  • Ph.D., Cognitive Computer Science, Université du Québec à Montréal. Ongoing.
  • M.A., Philosophy, Université du Québec à Montréal. Obtained in 2007.

Undergraduate Studies

  • B.Sc., Political Science, Université de Montréal. Obtained in 2000.