Poker surface on youtube – 5000 hits in a day :-)

A video describing the poker surface is available in youtube. It is an implementation of a poker game on a combination of a multi-touch table and mobile phones, for details see [1].

It is amazing how quickly it is picked up. It gained about 5000 views in a single day and it is already features in,, and on But as the comments on show the real poker players are hard to impress…

This really makes me think how research, publishing, and public perception of research is changing – rapidly…

[1] Shirazi, A. S., Döring, T., Parvahan, P., Ahrens, B., and Schmidt, A. 2009. Poker surface: combining a multi-touch table and mobile phones in interactive card games. In Proceedings of the 11th international Conference on Human-Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (Bonn, Germany, September 15 – 18, 2009). MobileHCI ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 1-2. DOI=

What portion of research time is spent writing proposals?

The next European deadline is close and hence everyone is writing proposals and essays…

I wonder if someone has assessed how much work goes into proposal writing on a European scale. On one hand I see the value of forcing researchers to write proposals and to articulate their ideas but on the other hand it seems a great lot of research could be conducted if senior people would use this time for doing actual research. In proposals formulating the actual core of the research idea is exciting (often even more exciting than carrying out research) but this is only one part of proposal writing. But what would be an alternative for deciding what research to fund?

As should be obvious, the first sentence ensures it alludes to the point (IT) and uses certainties about IT taken from the inquiry. Note that these are summarized – you must not duplicate from the rubric! The second part then obviously sets out the highessay com/ what the exposition will be about and affirms the essayists sentiment (a few inquiries may not request your conclusion, but rather this one does).

Having spent a 30 hours in Lancaster improved our idea and we got a good step forward…

PS: Birthday is a perfect day for finding out which companies have you on your mailing list

Happy Birthday – Prof. Thomas Christaller 60

It was a great honor to be invited to Prof Thomas Christaller’s 60th Birthday. During my time at Fraunhofer IAIS I had the pleasure of working with him and learning from him! He has many interests and skills! See his web page at Fraunhofer IAIS and at Lebenskunst.

The symposium at Schloß Birlinghoven featured an impressive list of people and I learned more about the history of German computer science. It is impressive to see that many people that shaped AI in Germany worked at some point together in one project (HAM-RPM, HAM-ANS, see [1]). This highlighted to me again the importance of education people in research and not just getting research done – as nicely described by Patterson in “Your students are your legacy” [2] – an article worthwhile to read for anyone advising students.

The afternoon and evening was much too short to catch up with everyone. It was great to meet Christian Bauckhage, who took over my office in Bonn, in person. He is now professor at B-IT and at Fraunhofer IAIS and I hope we have a chance to work together in the future. At WWW2009 he published a paper on a new approach to social network analysis [3] applied to Slashdot. This approach which discriminates negative and positive connections could also be an interesting approach in social networks that are grounded in the real world… seems there is already an idea for a joined project.

After telling Karl-Heinz Sylla that I am currently teaching a software engineering class he recommended me the following book: Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin [4]. The books looks good and one interesting argument is that programming well in the small (clean code) is a pre-requisite for large systems – or the other way round you break big software systems by bad programming in the small. Perhaps there is some time over the summer to read the book.

PS: Thomas chose an interesting option for birthday presents: bicycles for Africa – a quite remarkable project. I will see if I find the URL and post it in a comment…

[1] Wolfgang Hoeppner, Thomas Christaller, Heinz Marburger, Katharina Morik, Bernhard Nebel, Mike O’Leary, Wolfgang Wahlster: Beyond Domain-Independence: Experience With the Development of a German Language Access System to Highly Diverse Background Systems. IJCAI 1983: 588-594

[2] Patterson, D. A. 2009. Viewpoint
Your students are your legacy. Commun. ACM 52, 3 (Mar. 2009), 30-33. DOI=

[3] Kunegis, J., Lommatzsch, A., and Bauckhage, C. 2009. The slashdot zoo: mining a social network with negative edges. In Proceedings of the 18th international Conference on World Wide Web (Madrid, Spain, April 20 – 24, 2009). WWW ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 741-750. DOI=

[4] Robert C. Martin. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship. Prentice Hall International. 2008 (Amazon-Link)