Professor of Computer Science at the Institute of Computer Science (IMMD) 8 [Artificial Intelligence] of the Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) at Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Born 1947 in Nuremberg. Studies in mathematics, physics,
computer science and philosophy at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Diploma degree (equiv. M.S.) in mathematics, Dr.-Ing. in Computer
From 1972 to 1987 scientist at the Computation Center, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
In 1981 visiting assistant professor at UCLA, Los Angeles, in summer 1985 visiting scientist at CSLI (Center for the Study of Language and Information), Stanford University. From 1987 to 1989 visiting research scientist at the LILOG project (Linguistic and Logical Methods) of IBM Germany at Stuttgart. Visiting scientist at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), Berkeley, in summer 1999.
From 1989 to 1991 professor of Computer Science/ Artificial Intelligence at the University of Hamburg.
Since May 1991 professor of Computer Science/ Artificial Intelligence at the Computer Science Institute (IMMD), University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU). Also member ("Zweitmitglied") of the faculty of arts and humanities (Philosophische Fakultät II).
Lecturer and organizer at several national conferences and workshops on Artificial Intelligence and Computational Linguistics and at national and international spring and summer schools.
Member of the Computer Science Institute executive committee, project leader within the Bavarian research cooperation FORSIP, member of several academic committees, speaker of FAU's Forum for Applications of New Media in Teaching, founding member of the Center for European Middle Ages and Renaissance Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), member of the special interest group on Natural Language in the Artificial Intelligence section of the German Computer Science Society (GI e.V.).
Our central research interest is to improve man-machine-communication with written and spoken language. We are working on flexible and robust architectures for incremental speech/language systems, constraint-based parsing, and information integration on the semantic representation level, dialogue management, and user modelling in several projects, in particular within the Bavarian research cooperation FORSIP (SIPaDIM). Among previous projects in this area to which we contributed are the German national joint projects EMBASSI aiming at speech dialogue assistance systems to control technical devices, VERBMOBIL for speech-to-speech translation, both sponsored by the German Ministry of Research (bmbf). Within the focus of our basic research are the pragmatic foundations of semantic and dialogue representation and processing for speech dialogue systems, aiming at a flexibly configurable dialogue manager. Further interests include the application of cognitive science results to speech and language processing architectures, and parallel algorithms.
We are investigating various issues of applied computational logic and knowledge representation, among which are dialogue logic, description logics, constraint-based attributive formalisms for the representation of linguistic knowledge, and logics for partial information. In the area of description logics, we are particularly interested in the representation of time and space, user modelling and in modelling various application domains for dialogue systems.
During the last decade, we started to work in the field of digital media with a particular interest in the application of knowledge representation and reasoning techniques to multimedia systems. An important application are (prototypical) information systems for the history of cartography. Our first example system dealt with the oldest extant globe of the earth by Martin Behaim (1492) by integrating methods of computer graphics, image processing, object-oriented databases and conceptual modelling in a hypermedia system framework. Related fields of interest are digital libraries, document structures (e.g. Tabula Magica) and multilingual document processing (e.g. ForeignSGML). We also contributed to the development of a general architecture for digital image archives at our university.
Furthermore, we initiated and contributed to the design of a special study programme on "media informatics" ("Medieninformatik") within the computer science curriculum in Erlangen.
Our work in this area focuses on meta-level architectures and on Distributed AI Systems (``Software Agents''). In cooperation with the School of Economics (Wirtschaftsinformatik II) we are contributing to a project on Agent-Based Tracing and Tracking of Supply Chains (cf. also here) sponsored within a focus research programme by the German Research Council (DFG).
Furthermore, we implemented Kanerva's parallel Sparse Distributed Memory (SDM) model on the CM-2 Connection Machine and we are interested in its application to language processing and learning systems.
The current classes I am teaching are listed
here as well as in our University Information System
Web pages for the courses I am teaching periodically:
A sketch for an AI curriculum by Steffen Hölldobler (TU Dresden), Simone Pribbenow (U. Hamburg) and myself can be found here (in German).
In cooperation with the Computer Science Collection Erlangen (ISER) I prepared a small exhibition on the Astrolabe, the most import astronomical analog computer in history.
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