The research of Prof. Greifeneder and her team at the Chair of Information Behavior focuses on user research. She is particularly concerned with people’s search and user behavior when dealing with information or metadata both while using a traditional library as well as in fields such as digital libraries or research data. Key aspects of her work include the use of online survey methods and natural habitat research as well as securing the validity of data in a laboratory setting and in natural environments. Additionally, users’ private information sharing behavior and context research are central issues in Prof. Greifeneder’s research.
Prof. Greifeneder and her team employ qualitative and quantitative research methods of information science with a focus on user research. This includes survey design and implementation, both online and in the form of natural habitat research, interviews, case studies, experiments, scientific observation, focus groups and eyetracking. The Chair of Information Behavior boasts a modern research laboratory, the iLab:
- The iLab consists of two functionally differentiated rooms, connected with a door made of spyglass, that contain mobile desks (height can be adjusted electronically), swivel chairs, mobile partition walls, magnetic glass boards and a facilitator’s toolbox
- Technical equipment: beamer, cameras, microphones, mobile sound recorders, tablets, notebooks, smart watches and eye-trackers
Professor Voelkle is an expert in Quantitative Psychology. He and his team work on the development and adaptation of new assessment procedures, the statistical and mathematical modeling of psychological processes, the design of studies as well as the analysis and interpretation of empirical-psychological data. Special emphasis of the research conducted at professor Voelkle’s lab lies on the analysis of longitudinal data and evaluation research. Professor Voelkle and his team are often involved as consultants in research and development projects in the education and health sector. To improve applied empirical research in the social and life sciences, they have founded the Berlin Methods Group in 2017.
Powerful computers and access to all common statistical programs
- Health: Evaluation and statistical advice for psychological-medical research facilities and health insurance companies
- Education: Evaluation and statistical consulting for private and public project executing organisations
Professional School of Education (PSE), Interdisciplinary Centre for Educational Research (Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Bildungsforschung, IZBF), Humboldt-ProMINT-Kolleg
The research-based didactics of biology – the science of teaching and learning of biological contents and methods – is essential for the education and training of biology teacher students. One focus area of Prof. Upmeier zu Belzen’s work is the modelling and measuring of competencies in scientific methods for acquiring and consolidating knowledge of pupils, students and teachers. Her team applies qualitative and quantitative methods of empirical social research. Prof. Upmeier zu Belzen conducts experimental intervention studies to test the effectiveness of support frameworks regarding diagnostic capabilities and the ability to convey knowledge of (prospective) teachers as well as the effectiveness of different educational activities offered to pupils. The transfer of the results into academic practice is supported by relevant publications as well as by trainings for teachers and school administrations.
- Substantial collection of didactical media for teaching and learning biology of the Department of Biology
- Hard- and software for video studies
- Eye tracker
- Assessment of teachers’ (school and university) competencies to acquire knowledge
- Professional School of Education (PSE): as a central institute the PSE is a cross-faculty liaison of education, school and teaching research. The PSE is both a teaching and research unit. Its main focus lies on the education of teachers under the conditions of heterogeneity, and on issues relating to the promotion of the gifted and talented.
- Interdisciplinary Centre for Educational Research (Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Bildungsforschung, IZBF): the centre’s main function is to examine questions of research on education, theoretically and empirically, and to present and transfer the results to improve educational systems, processes and activities in Germany as well as internationally.
- Humboldt-ProMINT-Kolleg: structural unit comprising the so-called MINT subjects (mathematics, informatics, science and technology, comparable to STEM) in all German types of schools and the related transitions, established to develop new techniques of teaching and learning. The unit is sponsored by Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and collaborates with PSE and IZBF. Participating teachers and students complete an internship in companies or institutions in Adlershof in order to learn about value added chains from basic research to high-tech production.
- Humboldt Bayer Mobil: joint project with the Bayer Science & Education Foundation to promote academic education and to ignite curiosity and enthusiasm for science and research in pupils in grades 5 through 8. This project provides insights in research practices at universities and the private sector, which also supports career prospects in the areas of science and technology.
With his Computer Engineering research group, Prof. Scheuermann develops technologies for application-specific communication and computer systems that are efficient, secure, and reliable. The topics range from tailored communication protocols and application-specific digital circuits all the way to different aspects of online anonymity and privacy-preserving technologies. For instance, Prof. Scheuermann aims to interconnect automobiles to make best possible use of the available road network resources. Furthermore, he develops specialised circuitry for firewalls, so that within nanoseconds the firewall can decide what communication should be permitted. The research team models flow control and congestion control mechanisms for Internet anonymity systems, which for example allow political activists in totalitarian regimes to bypass Internet censorship. They design privacy compliant data collection algorithms, which grant detailed Internet traffic statistics without revealing information about individual users. His team’s expertise encompasses the set-up of wireless communication in between manufacturing machines in factories, so as to optimize the production process. In the field of warehouse logistics, Prof. Scheuermann combines measurements from various types of sensors to allow for a more accurate positioning of goods. In all fields of operation, tailored solutions for communication protocols and circuitry are necessary. The challenges are rooted in the particular application area: for instance, very fast or particularly reliable communication may be needed. Or data exchange is limited due to inherent technical limitations, yet the respective application must function reliably. It could be the case that IT security requirements need to be taken into account in new application fields where standard solutions fail. There may be a trade-off between data protection requirements or user privacy concerns, and communication requirements for data transmission. In all mentioned examples, it is necessary to look beyond common solution strategies and to keep the whole picture in mind. This systems perspective characterises the Computer Engineering group and its projects.
- extensive experience in analytical, simulative, and experimental Analysis of network protocols and digital circuits
- well-equipped network laboratory, which allows for realistic set-ups of scenarios and network topologies (for experimental assessments of wired and wireless communication protocols)
- workshops and laboratories for the design and evaluation of application-specific digital circuits, in particular of FPGA-based systems
- for a large German car manufacturer: the group developed application-specific communication protocols for the data exchange between automobiles, including analytical and simulative assessment
- for afinancial service provider: the group assessed the security of the IT and communication infrastructure
- together with an IT security solution provider: the group developed tailored processors for hardware-supported firewalls
- with a young start-up company: the group developes a secure system and communication architecture for highly distributed Smart City applications
Prof. Pinkwart’s research group investigates a range of topics including adaptive educational technologies, computer supported collaborative learning, computer science education methods (especially in the fields of programming and modeling), social media and cooperative systems, and socio-technical systems. In addition, they develop multimodal human-computer interaction methods using interactive surfaces, mobile devices and 3D technologies. Prof. Pinkwart is a well-known member of numerous national and international committees and projects in basic and applied research. His team can offer specialised expertise in computer-assisted education and training, especially in the field of mobile and ubiquitous learning and teaching scenarios, computer-based group learning methods, and adaptive mechanisms in e-learning. In this context, Prof. Pinkwart and his team realise numerous research projects and co-operate with several educational institutions and companies. Concerning socio-technical systems, Prof. Pinkwart’s team conducts research on issues of design, implementation and evaluation of group-oriented software applications (e.g. online communities).
- interactive table (multi-touch)
- electronic boards
- tablets (20x)
- co-operation with IT companies: consulting for didactical concepts applied to online courses in the fields of media production and e-learning
- co-operation with e-learning companies: formation of study groups in large online courses
- co-operation with automotive supplier: designing human-machine interfaces for production machines
- co-operation with automotive manufacturer: multimodal control concepts for car infotainment systems
Prof. Hoppe’s research is focused on Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) especially on the analysis of work activities to maintain employee health and performance as well as to provide learning and development opportunities. OHP integrates occupational and health psychology with occupational medicine and traditional labor safety, which is insufficient for today’s flexible employment situation. Prof. Hoppe also examines the psychosocial characteristics of a specific workplace, e.g. work requirements or the level of influence on and control over tasks as well as the social working environment. She also studies the effects of these characteristics on employee health and his/her well-being. She investigates how psychosocial work characteristics influence an employee’s motivating factors like job satisfaction and commitment. Particular attention is paid to the situation of migrant and low-skilled workers and the analysis of the impact their workplaces and work environments may have on their health and well-being. Moreover, Prof. Hoppe studies multi-ethnic and -lingual workforces and the effects of diversity on employee health.
- risk assessment methods for workplace conditions
- employee surveys regarding the promotion of health at workplace
- postal operators, logistics companies, professional care providers, manufacturing companies: execution of employee surveys to gather data on psychosocial strain and resources in the workplace and to analyse effects of stress, job satisfaction and work performance
- public institutions (e.g. universities, federal ministries), consulting companies, self-employed persons: development of health-related interventions and training sessions via mobile devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets) to facilitate recovery strategies and self-management
The Logic in Computer Science group focuses on theoretical computer science, with emphasis on logic, database theory, and complexity theory. Particular attention is paid to the relations between these areas. For example, logics serve as a basis for database query languages and specification languages used for automatic verification, and many aspects of complex systems can be modeled by logical structures. Thus, properties of complex systems can be specified by logical formulas. The overall aim of our group is to gain better understanding of the complexity inherent in a problem or a system. Here, we are interested in various measures of complexity, including the computational complexity ("How difficult is it to algorithmically solve the problem?") and the descriptive complexity ("How difficult is it to describe the problem in a suitable formalism?"). Particular attention is paid to the connection between logical description of problems and efficient algorithmic solutions.
University of Zurich, German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Deutsche Industrie- und Handelskammer, DIHK)
Prof. von Hippel and her team researches adult education and further training, and especially lifelong learning processes in adult education. In this context, they investigate institutions of general and professional further education and vocational training. The team has three special research interests. The first focuses on target groups and participant research. Prof. Hippel investigates why people take part in further education and what motivates them. Furthermore, she studies how people participate in further education. A second field of interest is on organisational research. The team investigates, for example, how different providers of further education develop their organisational structure over time and what kinds of trainings they offer for special target groups. Programme research is the third area of Prof. Hippel’s research. In this unit, the team explores the mechanisms that determine the setting of topics and how professional planning in organisations of further education is enacted. Unlike in schools, further education is not restricted by a set curriculum, but nevertheless content has to be negotiated and agreed on by different players. Existing programmes of further education reflect the demand to date, different interests and anticipated needs and are thus of interest for Prof. von Hippel’s research. For the last 20 years, the department has built up its own archive of further education programmes of Berlin-Brandenburg (Weiterbildungsprogrammarchiv Berlin-Brandenburg). It contains the further education programmes of over 500 institutions, accessible to scientific research and teaching.
- group discussions, focus groups and product clinics in the adult and further education sector (innovative method of market analysis for a target group oriented planning of training programmes)
- contract research in the area of further education (group discussions, surveys based on questionnaires and interviews, programme analyses)
- training for those employed in adult and further education (e.g. lecturers, programme planners, HR)
- several institutions of further education, amongst others for the unit for academic further education of the University of Zurich, German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Deutsche Industrie- und Handelskammer, DIHK) and public institutions of further education: implementation of product clinics with the aim of target group oriented planning of training programmes for further education
- direction of a German Research Foundation Project (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) on the subject of planning of continuing vocational training: realisation of case studies in big companies
- several projects funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research(Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) related to social milieus and further education: training of further education providers
- in co-operation with large companies and further education providers: supervision of academic theses