Meet the New Faces at the TNF

The JKU’s TN Faculty is pleased to welcome eight new professors who will be teaching and conducting researching. We would like to introduce the new faculty members - starting with Markus Schedl.

Professor Markus Schedl
Professor Markus Schedl

Prof. Markus Schedl, 40, works at the Institute for Computational Perception. Originally from Vienna, he talks about the lengths he would go for his students and what kind of unusual musical instrument he would like to one day learn how to play.

Mr. Schedl, what is your area of research?
Markus Schedl: I conduct research in various fields at the interface of applied computer sciences, data science and sometimes even going into in to psychology and social sciences. My current research has a more human-centered approach and focuses on multimedia data mining and recommendation systems.

What do you find particularly fascinating about this area?
Markus Schedl: We focus strongly on analyzing the data that is derived when people and computer systems work together. We also analyze the multimedia content that users share in social media. Based on this, we apply machine learning methods to predict user characteristics and preferences aimed at, for example, improving search and recommendation systems. I find that the way human aspects are linked and integrated with and as part of mathematical algorithms is particularly fascinating.

Why is this kind of research even necessary, meaning how will it improve our lives?
Markus Schedl: We all use internet search engines and recommendation systems – such as Google, Facebook, Spotify, Amazon, Netflix, etc. - on a daily basis. Our research can directly benefit society as it aims to improve the underlying algorithms (i.e. more diverse recommendations, less bias towards certain user groups).

Why should students take your classes?
Markus Schedl: My course syllabus has been designed to be very hands-on and application-oriented. For example, students in my classes regularly take part in international competitions. In addition to my professional expertise, feedback by the Austrian Student Union and by previous students emphasizes how forthcoming I am as well as my high degree of flexibility with students. For example, sometimes - if needed - I hold meetings with students in Vienna.

What are you currently working on?
Markus Schedl: We are currently working on a number of projects right now, however there is one in particular I find very interesting: "Theory-Inspired Recommender Systems". In collaboration with colleagues at the KnowCenter Graz and TU Graz, we are studying psychological models to see if they can be algorithmically formalized and used for recommender systems. We explore, for example, models regarding human cognition, personality, and emotion.

What are your hobbies?
Markus Schedl: At the moment, my attention is focused mainly on my little son. Aside from that, I enjoy cycling, swimming, gardening and growing vegetables, as well as traveling.

Is there anything else you still want to do or learn in particular?
Markus Schedl: Travel around South America and, for many years now, I have always wanted to learn how to play bagpipes.