Changes…

…after my maternity leave, I won’t go back to my old institute (ACIN Institute of Automation and Control) at the TU Wien. After the second trial, I was granted the Elise Richter Programme for senior post-docs from FWF Austrian funding agency.  The Elise-Richter Programme is the follow-up to the Hertha-Firnberg Programme  for “extremely well qualified female scientists who are working towards a career in universities”. So the Austrian academic system gives me another 3 years to prove myself 😉

From October onward I will be affiliated with the Human-Computer Interaction Group Institute for Design and Assessment of Technology. My three-years grant is on research about Long-term Human-Robot Interaction. The project will have its own website as soon as I am officially back at work.

I had a wonderful time at the Vision4Robotics group and will definitively miss my colleagues a lot. However, great things never come from comfort zones…

HRI 2017 in retrospect

So this is it. HRI2017 is finally over. 1.5 years of dedicated work together with Jim Young to put together the best program possible. At least Jim and I are happy with how the program turned out in the end. Clearly, there are some points we wished we could have done differently (eg. having a dedicated video session, having longer companion sessions etc.).

When I received one of the two service awards yesterday (second one went well-deserved to my colleague Markus Bajones!), I was so surprised that I did not say the following I want to share now:

How was it possible for me to be program co-chair while being pregnant and giving birth:

1. I have an incredibly supportive husband
2. From May 2016 onwards I put down almost all other duties (teaching, reviewing, proposal writing etc.)
3. My co-chair Jim Young was incredibly supportive from day one in January, when I told him I was pregnant and can no longer be his co-chair. He convinced me that we can make it work and reduced my workload in times when it would just have been too much.

That was lived gender mainstreaming and he deserves a lot of credit for that, besides all the great work he did for the PC.

So I consider this a shared award for the two of us!

Visiting Ilmenau, Germany again

K1024_Panorama-Campus

In January, I finally have been to Ilmenau again after 6 years! I have been there as external examiner for the PhD defense of Yvonne Ludewig who can by now call herself Dr. Ludewig. She performed some interesting research on acceptance in Human-Robot Interaction wrt. robot personalities and tactile feedback and appearance. Additionally I was invited by Dr. Andreas Bley (Metralabs) and Prof. Gross to join a “Lessons Learned Workshop” on assistive robots for older adults, in which I provided our insights from our Hobbit field trials. Besides that it was great to privately discuss the similarities and differences between habiliation commissions in Austria and Germany over lunch and coffee with Dr. Sandra Pöschel, which we closed with our new motivational slogan: it is cumbersome, but we will make it 😉

Website Usability in Real Life…

So finally my knowledge on website usability finds its way into practice 🙂 baningo

My husband founded a start-up called baningo. It is an onine platform, where you can find the ideal financial advisor. Up to now it’s only available in German, but let’s wait and see what the future brings…

If you want to support us, like it on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/banking.baningo

baningo is a new web-service for bank customers which will radically change the inefficient, expensive and old-fashioned approach to retail banking. People will suddenly start to like dealing with banks!
We offer a simple and consistent personalized search, filter and recommendation system to find appropriate bank advisers and good offers easily – even for complex issues.
For banks we provide an innovative sales channel. baningo will put them in contact with potential clients that already expressed a real need.  In contrast to most fintech start-ups we are not disrupting the banks’ business but in fact enable them to make their job better.