General Information

On this page, find some general information about myself.

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Research Interests

Throughout my career, I have been investigating how new technology and research results can be of benefit for the average user. Over the years I worked with cutting edge technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Semantic Web, Web 2.0, mobile applications) and investigated their potential to be employed in daily life, by non-experts. In 2012, I oversaw and directed the transformation of a prototypical research result of our lab into a full-grown commercial product, VastCast, which is now used by a number of conferences and organizations. Also, over the years while serving as a group leader, student supervisor and teacher, I have learned a lot about how to transform young researchers and students into creative, independent individuals. I have managed several international research projects, involving researchers from Europe and China.

Work Experience

I serve as the associate head of the Educational Technology Lab at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH). There I am working on the question of how artificial intelligence can assist humans while problem solving and learning at the workplace, a question of increasing relevance due to the ever increasing complexity of today’s work environments, especially in the manufacturing industry. I am also an associate researcher at the e-learning lab of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


At the EdTec Lab, I am in charge of several projects that investigate the potential of educational technology at the workplace, with a focus on workplace-integrated learning on the shop floor. In the project APPsist we developed an architecture for assistance and knowledge services for smartproduction. In the project DigiLernPro we are working on semi-automatically-generated digital learning scenarios for supporting employees in the industrial production.

At Shanghai Jiao Tong University, I was in charge of several international projects such as the ROLE project, which investigates personal learning environments, CEDEM (Cross-Cultural Educational Data-Mining in Large-Scale Multimedia Learning), and others. I also serve on advisory boards of Shanghainese start-ups focusing on education.

From 2012 to 2014, I oversaw the university spin-off project Acclamate and its product VastCast, the easy way to have the world watching and learning from your conferences and lectures. As Acclamate's director, I directed the transformation of a prototypical research result of our lab into a full-grown commercial product, VastCast, which is now used by a number of conferences and organizations.

In my PhD thesis I developed a course generation framework that enables the formalization and application of complex and realistic pedagogical knowledge. Compared to previous course generation, this approach generates structured courses that are adapted to a variety of different learning goals and to the learners' competencies. This work is based on techniques from various fields, such as AI planning, user modeling, knowledge representation (Semantic Web), and of course pedagogical expertise.

This work was done in the ActiveMath group within the scope of the FP7 project LeActiveMath. In the final review of the project, the reviewers commented that my course generator "clearly represents an advancement of the-state-of-the-art in the fields of computer-aided learning".

A detailed description of this work is published by Springer-Verlag, as a Lecture Note in Artificial Intelligence. An earlier and free description of this work is given in my PhD thesis. Read the English and German abstract on my publications page and the complete thesis, if you like.

In my diploma thesis, I worked on problem solving by analogy. I added a component for knowledge-based proof planning by analogy in the mathematical support system Omega. My thesis is available online (in German).


My work allowed me to gain experience in various fields, such as

  • Artificial Intelligence: Semantic Web, AI-planning, expert systems, knowledge representation, ontologies
  • Technology-supported learning: Web 2.0, Intelligent Tutoring Systems, User Modeling, course generation, adaptive hypermedia
  • Programming: Java, Lisp, Prolog, Ruby (on Rails), Javascript, HTML, CSS, XML

Interests others than Computer Science

My interests are not restricted to computer science. I'm in love with my gorgeous wife, love to watch gruesome movies, like to read all kinds of books, including philosophy (still struggling to understand Rudolf Steiner and Sri Aurobindo).

Being interested in China, I'm trying to learn Chinese and understand this fascinating country and its people. Since 2012, I'm practicing Tai Chi, now having returned to Berlin I am working as an assistant teacher in my wife's Tai Chi school in Berlin, Friedenau.