Elected member of the Young Academy

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I am very honored to be one  of the 29 new members the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) welcomes  to its ranks. At the annual election on 20 April 2018, 16 female and 13 male researchers were “inducted in recognition of their scholarly achievements and their reputation within their respective fields”.

The Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) is Austria’s central non-university research and science institution. Its statutory mission is to “promote science in every way”.

My personal agenda for my 8 years election period is (1) promoting interdisciplinary research, (2) mentoring women in science, and (3) strengthening the “akademischen Mittelbau” (a specific administrative structure in the Austrian University System).x

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Austrian HCI Networking Event

jason-leung-370358-1000x400Last Friday I attended the first Austrian HCI Networking event, organized by Katta Spiel (PhD student TU Wien) and Alina Krischkowsky (PhD student University of Salzburg). It was a great event, where I had the chance to meet former colleagues from Salzburg, but also new people from all over Austria, working in HCI, I was not even aware of. We had great discussions getting to know the PhD topics of all students, but also among senior researchers. I am glad that 2 PhD students, finally took the initiative to bring Austria HCI researchers in  one location and I hope that this event becomes an annual thing!

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!