December 16, 2017 | Log in
 
 

Dissertation project on Social Robotics gains attention

Dr. Andreas Bischof (3rd from right) awarded with the prize for an excellent dissertation on communication. One of the first congratulators was Dr. Eberhard Alles (right), Chancellor of the TU Chemnitz. Copyright: Dresdner Gesprächskreis

During his time as a CrossWorlds PhD-student Andreas Bischof conducted ethnographic research in social robotics labs around the world. The sociologist was eagerly interested to find out, how engineers and computer scientists make robots for everyday worlds ‘social’. His participant observations in human-robot interaction resulted in a study reconstructing the social conditions of social robotics and the practices within this field of research and development.

Bischof’s thesis, which he defended last year, and the following book »Soziale Maschinen bauen« are recently receiving great interest. After being awarded with the dissertation prize of the “Commerzbank AG Niederlassung Chemnitz”, the “Dresdner Gesprächskreis der Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft” awarded one of his annual prizes for outstanding young scientists last thursday.

One week earlier, the national daily newspaper F.A.Z. recognized his study as “realistic and reflected look behind the scenes” of human-robot interaction. The science journalist Dr. Manuela Lenzen wrote: “Bischof rightly raises the question of whether the design of the robots, which are supposed to live with us, can be left to such pragmatism. If tasks are broken down into technically manageable parts, the social aspects of social robotics could become shortened to an optimazation problem.” (F.A.Z., 11/11/2017, PayWall)

Andreas Bischof wrote his dissertation at the Chair of Media Communication, where he was supervised by Prof. Dr. Claudia Fraas. Today, Bischof is a member of the junior research group “Miteinander” at the Faculty of Computer Science.

 

CrossWorlds research introduced @INFORMATIK2017

From September 25th to 29th, the 47th Annual Meeting of the German Informatics Society (GI) took place in Chemnitz. With various workshops, tutorials and keynotes from outstanding experts like Lora Aroyo, Richard Stallman, Schahram Dustdar and Sören Auer, the conference comprised an important event in the national computer science community and was attended by professionals from both research and industry. In addition, it offered a rich programm for young researchers at the school, student and doctoral level.

Female research power @CSCOG

In the afternoon of the first conference day, CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger together with fellow researcher Martina Truschzinski from the MaCeLot project introduced benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary cognitive research from perspectives of psychology and computer science. Besides of introducing relevant research from both projects, dealing with effects of delay in a virtual speech-based memory training and a computational model for predicting mental workload in an air traffic controller task, Robin Hirt from the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute introduced his work on classifying Twitter users by machine learning and CrossWorlds master student Shirin Esmaeili Bijarsari presented work from her master thesis on instructional design in a robot construction task. The speakers received valuable questions after the talks and collected interesting ideas in the final discussion session on the topic of interdisciplinarity. Thanks to our involved audience and all presenters for a great workshop!

Comfortable “in action”

A further main topic of CrossWorlds aims to understand how interactive devices like tabletops and tangibles work for users in real-life environments. So CrossWorlds researchers Ingmar Rothe, Benedikt Etzold and Jan-Philipp Stein grabbed the chance to present and discuss methods for conducting studies “in-the-wild” around the “Comfortable”. In order to enrich the workshop with sustained impressions, they spent the afternoon session in the Chemnitz Museum of Industry itself with “hands on” the interfaces and their own approaches. We would like to say “thank you!” to the joining researchers Andreas Bischof, Susen Döbelt and Josefine Halama, Andreas Fritsch, Andreas Mladenow and all attending guests for making the whole friday session a great experience and great fun!

 

European cognitive psychologists hosted in Potsdam

Nations present at the conference

On behalf of the 20th Conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology, from September 3rd to 6th nearly 800 researchers from Europe and beyond, working on various cognition-related research questions, vistited Potsdam. The young university – founded just in 1991 – located in the German city with the highest amounts of researchers and castles per resident, hosted the celebratory occasion and prepared a rich program filled with outstanding workshops, keynotes, talks and posters.

Motivated by the local research and teaching focus, embodied cognition comprised a topic of special interest during the conference, represented by talks from experts like Friedemann Pulvermüller, Arthur Glenberg, Martin Fischer or Yann Coello. In addition, the schedule included various talk sessions and symposia on issues related to multitasking, mainly resulting from a current joint priority program that spans several German universities.

Maria Wirzberger presenting her poster

CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger had the opportunity to introduce her findings on influences of cognitive load on learning performance, speech and physiological parameters in a dual-task setting during one of the incredibly organized and well-attended poster sessions and received really encouraging feedback on her project. The presented approach resulted from ambitious collaborative work with fellow researcher Robert Herms from the chair of Media Informatics.

Besides of getting valuable scientific input and sucessfully improving her professional network across several European countries, our young researcher was truly impressed by the unique flair of the amazing conference location!

 

Visiting “The Big Smoke”: CrossWorlds @CogSci2017 in London

An amazing view on the city of London and Queen’s House in front of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in Greenwich Park

Being hosted in Europe by now and then, the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society took place in the impressive city of London. From July 26th to 29th, about 1100 researchers from various cognition-related areas had the opportunity to attend outstanding keynotes and discuss their research during the well-attended talk and poster sessions. Related to this year’s conference theme on computational foundations of cognition, on July 26th the annual ACT-R workshop was held at the UCL and offerend remarkable insights into currently ongoing scientific developments within the related community.

CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger participated in both the conference and the workshop and presented her poster on “Modeling cognitive load effects in an interrupted learning task: An ACT-R approach” during the final poster session. Moreover, she co-authored a paper presented by fellow researcher Martina Truschzinski from the MaCeLot project, introducing a dynamic process model for predicting workload in an air traffic controller task. Besides getting a variety of helpful comments on their respective research projects, both researchers were inspired by the high quality of the presented innovations, broadened their existing networks and made new friends. They even had the chance to explore some hidden treasures of the city and taste the local cuisine!

 

Call for participants in virtual memory training

Do requirements on digital learning facilities change with increasing age?

To address this question, an interdisciplinary group of CrossWorlds researchers developed a memory training framework that features a virtual agent and operates on speech-based interaction. The fruitful collaboration between Human Factors graduate Maria Wirzberger, computer scientist René Schmidt, and Maria Barlag, holding a master’s degree in “Intelligent Media and Virtual Reality”, provides a bright example of elaborated research emerging from the unique concept of the Research Training Group.

During the following weeks, the researchers will test their prototype and thus look for adult participants with native German language skills across all age groups. All colleagues, students, family members, friends and acquaintances are invited to join! Details regarding time, location and contact are provided on the flyer.

 

CrossWorlds contribution to TeaP 2017 in Dresden

Maria Wirzberger introducing her research

Not far away from Chemnitz, the 59th conference of experimental psychologists (TeaP) took place from March 26th to 29th in the beautiful city of Dresden. Apart from a broad variety of talks and symposia from the fields of basic and applied experimental psychology, the conference hosted three exciting and insightful keynotes from the internationally renowned researchers Klaus Oberauer, Tania Singer and Patrick Haggard.

In the afternoon of the first conference day, CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger participated in a symposium on cognition and emotion in human-machine interaction, organized by colleagues from the chair of cognitive psychology and cognitive ergonomics at TU Berlin. In the well-attended session, she introduced a study on interrupting features of hyperlinks in multimedia learning. The session also featured a talk from her colleague Sascha Schneider from the affiliated chair of E-Learning and New Media (TU Chemnitz) about the moderating role of arousal on the seductive detail effect. Both researchers received beneficial feedback on their work in the vivid discussions afterwards.

CrossWorlds talk on stereotypes and media

At the final conference day, CrossWorlds researcher Jan-Philipp Stein, accompanied by master’s student Xiaomeng Lu, gave a talk on “Connecting stereotypes among German and Chinese students to their perceptions of native speaking media”. Their work was well-received by the large audience and inspired a fruitful discussion on the political implications of this fascinating topic of social psychology.

In addition, the final conference day covered a talk session on teaching and instruction, chaired by CrossWorlds member Maria Wirzberger, including further talks from her colleagues of the chair of E-Learning and New Media: Maik Beege introduced his research on the influence of age coherence between pedagogical agents and verbal information on learning and cognitive load and Maria Mikheeva presented a study on the politeness effect in online learning materials for higher mathematics.

Taken together, the days spent in Dresden proved of high value for our researchers, due to various opportunities to strengthen existing networks, establish new contacts, and gain insights into fascinating new developments within the field of cognition research!

 

Confidence in a successful program

Maria Wirzberger with her scholar Nora Moser ©TU Berlin_PhilippArnoldt

On February 2nd, the 6th Germany scholarship award was celebrated at the beautiful atrium of the TU Berlin. As in the previous year, CrossWorlds researcher Maria Wirzberger participated as sponsor within the program and supported a student from her former Human Factors master’s degree course. During the get-together after the award ceremony, she had the opportunity to hand over the scholarship certificate to her current scholar Nora Moser and engage in lively discussions.

With a steadily growing number of sponsors, various career-related opportunities from involved companies, and an increasing range of social and publicity-related activities amongst the scholars, the Germany scholarship program has indeed proven a success for the university and both sponsors and scholars!

 

CrossWorlds at birthday party ;)

Tomorrow, November 12th, our colleagues Benedikt and Ingmar will celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of CrossWorlds most important cooperation partners, the Chemnitz Museum of Industry. Visitors are asked to test our newest tabletop application that combines a solid interface with mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. Read more: https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/uk/pressestelle/aktuell/1/7638 or http://web.saechsisches-industriemuseum.com and join us!

 

Thank you, Katharina Scheiter, for visiting CrossWorlds!

gastvortrag_scheiter

An impressed audience listened to Katharina Scheiter’s talk

As announced, Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter visited CrossWorlds yesterday and gave an amazing talk on multiple representations in multimedia learning. The audience from many disciplines and departments across the university was very impressed and excited about the high quality of the presented research and enjoyed the vivid discussion! In addition, our guest provided insights into the work at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien and gave beneficial career-related advice to our young researchers during the afternoon meeting and the really enjoyable social evening.

Many thanks to you, Katharina Scheiter, for visiting Chemnitz and sharing your experiences with us!

 

No seats left during Benny Liebold’s successful PhD defence

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(from left to right:) Prof. Dr. Georg Jahn, Prof. Dr. Josef Krems, Prof. Dr. Peter Sedlmeier, Dr. des. Benny Liebold, Prof. Dr. Peter Ohler, Prof. Dr. Frank Schwab

Congratulations to our CrossWorlds fellow Benny Liebold on successfully defending his PhD thesis “Cognitive and Emotional Processing of Virtual Environments: The Significance of Attentional Processes and Mental Models”! In front of a crowded audience, Benny gave a fascinating overview of his multi-faceted work of the last years, before engaging in a lively discussion with the dissertation committee.

Naturally, the defence turned out a big success, as professors, colleagues, and friends applauded Benny for his excellent dissertation. A joyful celebration among his guests ended the day appropriately. The soon-to-be PhD will continue his work at the chair of Media Psychology (TU Chemnitz).

Best wishes from your CrossWorld fellows, Benny!