Please close your eyes for a moment and think about the work on your research project. What's the first thing you see?
On the one hand, I see a rich set of data points – especially images floating around in an apparently unstructured manner, which have to be analysed and generically edited. On the other hand, I see an abundance of traditional mathematical methods as well as extremely new methods, such as deep neural networks, all of which are available for solving these problems. The key question now is the optimal choice or combination of these two methodological paths.
If you had to explain to a child why your research is important, what would you say?
In the near future, artificial intelligence – particularly deep neuronal networks – will play an ever-increasing role in many areas of our life, such as medical diagnostics, the legal system and traffic. My research includes contributing to making these methods safe and transparent.
What in your opinion are mankind's three greatest inventions?
From the perspective of my research field, the three greatest inventions of mankind are the printing press, electricity and the computer.
Who would you like to swap a working day with, and what would you then like to do?
I am very satisfied with my work – there's no other job that comes anywhere near it. So there is nobody I would like to swap with – even for a day.
Do you have an exceptional object that you keep with you in your working life or daily routine?
I always keep with me a small stone that I picked up in Hawaii in the spring of 2017. This was my first holiday for about 15 years and this stone reminds me of the wonderful time I had there.
Is there a specific location in Berlin, which you associate with your research work?
The two central locations for my research – and therefore also for me – in Berlin are firstly the corridor of my work group on the 5th floor of the Mathematics Building at the TU Berlin and secondly the Video Coding and Machine Learning Department of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, where I work as a consultant.
Which district in Berlin, which location do you feel at ease in, and why?
I feel very comfortable in Grunewald as I’m in close touch with nature there. For example, I love jogging round Grunewaldsee or generally going for long walks in the forests.