About

I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire (UK) and member of the Adaptive Systems Research Group.

Teaching

The courses I teach focus mostly on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. On the BSc level I teach and lead Models and Methods of Computing (4WCM0021), and Introduction to Robotics (4ENT1177). On the MSc level I teach and lead the course Theory and Practice of Artificial Intelligence (7WCM0061). I am also involved in teaching AI Robotics and Applications (6COM1036) and Team Research and Development (7COM1079). In the academic years 2020/21 and 2021/22 I have taught Research Methods (7COM1085) in the the summer semester (semester C). Beyond that, I also act as supervisor for a good number of BSc project, primarily those that contain an AI element.

Research

My research is mostly located at the intersection of developmental / cognitive robotics and human-robot interaction. Research interests include (robotic) language acquisition in particular and communicative interaction between human and machine in general and my research is generally heavily influenced by cognitive science, developmental psychology, and conversation analysis. I have worked on motor resonance between human-robot dyads in the past. The underlying assumption behind much of my research is that regularities in human social interaction are one of the least understood and most underrated phenomena when it comes to creating artificial intelligence for robots if these are ought to interact with humans.

I have organised workshops at ICRA'20 on human-robot handovers and in the context of the UK-RAS network (WTF workshop on failures and miscommunication in robotic speech interfaces). I act as associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems, and am active reviewer for other robotics and AI conferences and journals.

Before joining the University of Hertfordshire, I was a postdoctoral research assistant (PDRA) at Advanced Robotics @ Queen Mary in the Turing project on intuitive human-robot interaction in work environments. Prior to this I organised and ran experiments on motor resonance within the HRI-BioPsy project at the Adaptive Systems Research Group. Earlier, I worked as software integrator in the REVERIE project at the Multimedia and Vision Group at Queen Mary.

In 2013, I received my Ph.D. on the topic of Negation in Robotic Language Acquisition. Much of this work was performed within the EU FP7 ITALK project. Prior to the PhD, I obtained a BSc and MSc at Ulm University, where I specialised on artificial neural networks and worked as tutor for courses Neuroinformatik I (~Introduction to Neural Networks) and Neuroinformatik II (~Theory of Neural Networks ). My MSc thesis was on Ensemble Methods to Combine Uncertain Classifiers supervised by Prof. Friedhelm Schwenker. While studying computer science, I also studied philosophy on the side - without degree - at the Humboldt Centre of Ulm University, mostly focusing on philosophy of language, Wittgenstein and Searle. My studies of Wittgenstein ultimately led me to my PhD research topic and robotics more generally.