As of July 1, 2020, Johanna Schmidt takes over the position of head of the visual analytics research group and area. The Ph.D. visualization expert, who has already been working at VRVis since spring 2019 and has since then managed several projects and implemented research solutions, replaces Harald Piringer, who has been head of the research group for many years and will from now on be managing director of the spin-off Visplore GmbH, which was founded in June 2020 together with VRVis. This spinoff will in the future be responsible for the commercial development and marketing of the Visplore software for the rapid acquisition of new knowledge from large amounts of measurement and simulation data.
"I am looking forward to the new challenge and will fulfill my task in the best possible way", says Johanna Schmidt, who would like to broaden the research activities of the visual analytics group, which has already collaborated very successfully with many partners in the past years, e.g. in the fields of industry, energy industry, product development or health care, even more in the future: "Through our long-standing cooperations with partners from various fields of application we have gained enormous know-how in working with time-dependent data at VRVis. Time-series data are becoming increasingly important in many other areas, such as climate research, where we plan to increasingly research web-based approaches to data analysis in the future."
Right from the start, the computer scientist, who was nominated for the Hedy Lamarr Prize of the City of Vienna in 2019, has been interested in applied research in addition to her scientific commitment to basic research in the field of visualization: "As a researcher, you meet very real and current challenges, e.g. from the industry, and can offer people concrete assistance with the solutions you develop in the process."
Johanna Schmidt intends to focus even more on the human being and the benefits of visual analytics for the human being in the future, for example in the research area "Data Literacy". "Being able to understand and interpret data correctly will become even more important. That's why we want to better understand how people read and interpret data and visualizations - so that we can further optimize their presentation and comprehensibility," says Schmidt.
For several years now, she has been communicating the importance of state-of-the-art visualizations for the work of data scientists in her lecture "Visual Data Science" at the TU Wien. Her teaching activities will also be continued as area and research group leader. Not least because the promotion of young researchers, as well as the supervision of bachelor and master students and their involvement in application-oriented research projects, are very important to her. Her commitment to supporting young female researchers, for example as co-founder of the Austrian section of IEEE Women in Engineering, deserves special mention.
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