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Make your research visible and understood outside of academia

27 september 2022

Make your research visible and understood outside of academia

At this year’s DIREC seminar, we invited PhD students and others interested in making their research visible outside academia to a workshop with Peter Hyldgård who has more than 20 years of experience with science journalism and communication.

Research is the key to our understanding of the challenges in our society, human prerequisites and the abilities of technology. Therefore, it is important that research is made available to as many people as possible.

In the academic world, publications in scientific journals have a very special status, and every year millions of research articles, doctoral theses, books and anthologies are published across the globe and within all disciplines. Unfortunately, very few people read all these publications. It is therefore necessary also to focus on other types of dissemination that can reach a wider target group, as this will contribute to give research a more obvious role in society and makes research more interesting and relevant to the wider population.

At the workshop, focus was on how to tell a good story about your research that everyone can understand – without compromising on the academic content, and how to build a bridge to an audience that does not have any immediate interest in/knowledge of the topic. 

Peter Hyldgård introduced several simple tools for finding a story about one’s research, which can be used in many contexts: When you must seek funding, when you are interviewed by a journalist – or when you must tell your uncle Adam about your work.

The workshop was a mixture of presentations and small exercises, with a slightly larger final exercise where the participants gave a – very short – oral ‘pitch’ of their research.

Previous events

DIREC Seminar 2022

DIREC Seminar 2022

26 – 27 SEPTEMBER 2022

Two fantastic days with a focus on digital technologies and computer science are over. Thanks to everyone who helped make the days a success. Find keynote presentations below: 

Monday 26 September

Software Research: Impact and Challenges
by Prof. Marieke Huisman
Software Research: Impact and Challenges

Abstract: Software is an essential, yet invisible, driving force of the present world. There is, however, a striking contrast between, on the one hand, the omnipresence of software in our society and, on the other hand, the extraordinary difficulty to guarantee the correctness, reliability, performance, scalability, safety, and sustainability of modern software systems. There is an urgent need for software engineering innovations: the world of software is a moving target, due to the ever‐increasing size and complexity of software, the technological churn of both hardware and software, the increased heterogeneity of software, and the emergence of new societal and technological challenges. Fostering such innovations requires fundamental software research, independently of specific application. In this talk I will outline the major challenges in software research, what is needed to address these challenges, and the expected impact on software in our society.

Bio: Marieke Huisman is a professor in Software Reliability at the University of Twente. She is well-known for her work on program verification of concurrent software. In 2011, she obtained an ERC Starting Grant, which she used to start development of the VerCors verifier, a tool for the verification of concurrent software. Currently, as part of her NWO personal VICI grant Mercedes, she is working on further improving verification techniques, both by enabling the verification of a larger class of properties, and by making verification more automatic. Since 2019 she is SC chair of ETAPS. Besides her scientific work, she also actively works on topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as science policy. She is a member of the executive board of VERSEN, the Dutch assocation of software researchers, and chaired this association from 2018 until 2021. She is also a member of the  round table computer science of the Dutch Research Council.
Mosaics of Big Data
by Prof. Dr. Volker Markl
Mosaics of Big Data

Database Systems and Information Management – Trends and a Vision

Abstract: The global database research community has greatly impacted the functionality and performance of data storage and processing systems along the dimensions that define “big data”, i.e., volume, velocity, variety, and veracity. Locally, over the past five years, we have also been working on varying fronts. Among our contributions are: (1) establishing a vision for a database-inspired big data analytics system, which unifies the best of database and distributed systems technologies, and augments it with concepts drawn from compilers (e.g., iterations) and data stream processing, as well as (2) forming a community of researchers and institutions to create the Stratosphere platform to realize our vision. One major result from these activities was Apache Flink, an open-source big data analytics platform and its thriving global community of developers and production users.

Although much progress has been made, when looking at the overall big data stack, a major challenge for database research community still remains. That is, how to maintain the ease-of-use despite the increasing heterogeneity and complexity of data analytics, involving specialized engines for various aspects of an end-to-end data analytics pipeline, including, among others, graph-based, linear algebra-based, and relational-based algorithms, and the underlying, increasingly heterogeneous hardware and computing infrastructure.

At TU Berlin, DFKI, and the Berlin Institute for Foundations of Learning and Data (BIFOLD) we currently aim to advance research in this field via the NebulaStream and Agora projects. Our goal is to remedy some of the heterogeneity challenges that hamper developer productivity and limit the use of data science technologies to just the privileged few, who are coveted experts. In this talk, we will outline how state-of-the-art SPEs have to change to exploit the new capabilities of the IoT and showcase how we tackle IoT challenges in our own system, NebulaStream. We will also present our vision for Agora, an asset ecosystem that provides the technical infrastructure for offering and using data and algorithms, as well as physical infrastructure components.

Bio: Volker Markl is a German Professor of Computer Science. He leads the Chair of Database Systems and Information Management at TU Berlin and the Intelligent Analytics for Massive Data Research Department at DFKI. In addition, he is Director of the Berlin Institute for the Foundations of Learning and Data (BIFOLD). He is a database systems researcher, conducting research at the intersection of distributed systems, scalable data processing, and machine learning. Volker led the Stratosphere project, which resulted in the creation of Apache Flink.

Volker has received numerous honors and prestigious awards, including two ACM SIGMOD Research Highlight Awards and best paper awards at ACM SIGMOD, VLDB, ICDE, and EDBT. He was recognized as ACM Fellow for his contributions to query optimization, scalable data processing, and data programmability. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. In 2014, he was elected one of Germany’s leading “Digital Minds“ (Digitale Köpfe) by the German Informatics Society. He also is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and serves as advisor to academic institutions, governmental organizations, and technology companies. Volker holds eighteen patents and has been co-founder and mentor to several startups.


Advanced and Efficient Big Data Management and Analysis
Organiser: Christian S. Jensen, Aalborg University

Invited technical talk by Volker Markl:
NebulaStream: Data Management for the Internet of Things
New Perspectives on Algorithms and Data Structures

Organisers: Rasmus Pagh, University of Copenhagen & Rico Jacob, IT University of Copenhagen

11.30: Invitation to differential privacy
Boel Nelson and Rasmus Pagh, University of Copenhagen

12.00: Algorithmic Cheminformatics
Jakob Andersen, University of Southern Denmark

12.30:  A study on succinct data structures
Mingmou Liu, University of Copenhagen

Human Computer Interaction, CSCW and InfoVisuals
Organiser: Susanne Bødker, Aarhus University

11.30 Presentation and status of people

12.00 Gaze and Eye Movement in Interaction
by Hans Gellersen, Aarhus University/Lancaster University

Eye movement and gaze are central to human interaction with the world. Our visual system not only enables us to perceive the world, but also provides exquisite control of the movements we make in the world. The eyes are at the heart of this, never still, and in constant interaction with other parts of our body to direct visual attention, extract information from the world, and guide how we navigate and manipulate our environment. Where we look implicitly reflects our goals and information needs, while we also able to explicitly direct our gaze to focus attention and express interest and intent. This makes gaze a formidable modality for human-computer interaction (HCI).

In this talk, I will highlight how closely the movement of our eyes is coupled with other movement, of objects in the visual field, as well movement of our hands, and our head and body, and discuss examples of novel interfaces that leverage eye movement in concert with other motion.

Hans Gellersen is Professor of Interactive Systems at Lancaster University and Aarhus University. His research background is in sensors and devices for ubiquitous computing and human-computer interaction and he has worked on systems that blend physical and digital interaction, methods that infer context and human activity, and techniques that facilitate spontaneous interaction across devices. Over the last ten years a main focus of his work has been on eye movement. In 2020, he was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council for research on Gaze and Eye Movement in Interaction.
Cyber-Physical Systems, IoT and Autonomous Systems
Organiser: Jan Madsen, Technical University of Denmark

11:30  The CPS ecosystem — status

11:45  Partner presentations covering; scientific focus, application domains, people, key projects (15 min each):

  • How to build a Digital Twin
    Mirgita Frasheri (AU)
  • Hardware/Software Trade-off for the Reduction of Energy Consumption, (Explore) Maja and Martin (RUC, DTU)
  • AAU?
  • ITU?
12:30 Identifying the Grand Challenges of CPS 
Verification and Software Engineering

Organiser: Kim Guldstrand Larsen, Aalborg University

SESSION 1 Verification

BRIDGE: Verifiable and Safe AI for Autonomous Systems

Overview and Status
by Kim Guldstrand Larsen, Aalborg University

HOFOR Case and Strategy Representation
by Andreas Holck Høegh-Petersen, IT University of Copenhagen

Aarhus Vand Case and Reinforcement Learning
by Martijn Goorden (AAU)


Verification of Dynamical Systems
by Max Tschaikowski, Aalborg University

Verification of Neural Network Control Systems
by Christian Schilling, Aalborg University

Formal Verification and Robust Machine Learning
by Alessandro Bruni, IT University of Copenhagen

EXPLORE: Verifiable and Robust AI FUTURE projects

EXPLORE: Certifiable Controller Synthesis for Cyber-Physical Systems FUTURE projects
Martijn Goorden (short status)

AI – Machine Learning, Computer Vision, NLP
Organiser: Mads Nielsen, University of Copenhagen

11:30: Overview of DIREC and Pioneer Centre activities
Mads Nielsen, KU

11:40: EXPLAIN ME, Explainable AI for Medical Education
Aasa Feragen, DTU

12:00: HERD – Human-AI Collaboration: Engaging and Controlling Swarms of Robots and Drones
Anders Lyhne Christensen, SDU Maria-Theresa Oanh Hoang, AAU Kasper Andreas Rømer Grøntved, SDU

12.20: Trimming Data Sets: a Verified Algorithm for Robust Mean Estimation
Alessandro Bruni, IT University of Copenhagen

12.40: Privacy and Machine Learning
Peter Scholl, Aarhus University
Privacy Enhancing Technologies

Organiser: Claudio Orlandi, Aarhus University

Part I: Differential Privacy

(joint session with New Perspectives on Algorithms and Datastructures)

11.30 Invitation to differential privacy
Boel Nelson and Rasmus Pagh, University of Copenhagen

12.10 – Small break to change room

Part II: Security in AI
(joint session with AI – Machine Learning, Computer Vision, NLP)

12.20 Trimming Data Sets: a Verified Algorithm for Robust Mean Estimation
Alessandro Bruni, IT University of Copenhagen

12.40 Privacy and Machine Learning
Peter Scholl, Aarhus University

See abstracts

Workshops continued

Advanced and Efficient Big Data Management and Analysis

Organiser: Christian S. Jensen, Aalborg University

Spatial Data Management
14.05 – 14.30: Efficient Data Management for Modern Spatial Applications and the Internet of Moving Things
by Eleni Tzirita Zacharatou (ITU)
14.30 – 14.55: Building a maritime traffic network for route optimization using AIS data
by Búgvi Benjamin Jónleifsson Magnussen & Nikolaj Blæser (RUC)
14.55 – 15.20: Big Mobility Data Analytics: Algorithms and Techniques for Efficient Trajectory Clustering
by Panagiotis Tampakis (SDU)

New Perspectives on Algorithms and Data Structures
Organisers: Rasmus Pagh, University of Copenhagen & Rico Jacob, IT University of Copenhagen

14.00: Stochastic Games with Limited Memory Space
Kristoffer Hansen, Aarhus University

14.30: Recent Advances in I.I.D. Prophet Inequalities
Kevin Schewior, University of Southern Denmark

15.00: New algebraic formula lower bounds for Iterated Matrix Multiplication
Nutan Limaye, IT University of Copenhagen
Human Computer Interaction, CSCW and InfoVisuals
Organiser: Susanne Bødker, Aarhus University

14.00 Rework – status, presentation and workshop

15.00 Wrap-up and a quick discussion of the Danish HCI research day
Cyber-Physical Systems, IoT and Autonomous Systems
Organiser: Jan Madsen, Technical University of Denmark

14:00  Presentation of current WS6 DIREC projects (15 min each):

Biochip routing, (Explore)
Luca and Kasper (DTU)

Technologies for executing AI in the edge, (Bridge)
Emil and Ahmad (DTU, SDU)

Adaptive Neural Networks on Embedded Platforms,
Jalil Boudjadar (AU)

CPS with HITL, (Explore)
Mahyar Touchi Moghaddam (SDU)

Business Models for Embedded AI – Current case company business models and beyond
Reza and Ben (CBS)

15:15  Conclusions of the day
Verification and Software Engineering
Organiser: Kim Guldstrand Larsen, Aalborg University

SESSION 2 Software Engineering

BRIDGE: SIOT – Secure Internet of Things – Risk analysis in design and operation
by Jaco van de Pol & Alberto Lafuente (short status)

EXPLORE: DeCoRe: Tools and Methods for the Design and Coordination of Reactive Hybrid Systems
by Thomas Hildebrandt (short status & technical talk)


Lightweight verification of concurrent and distributed systems
by Alceste Scala (DTU)

Certified model checking – verifying the verifier
by Jaco van de Pol, Aarhus University

Refinement and compliance
by Hugo-Andrés López, Technical University of Denmark

Differential Testing of Pushdown Reachability with a Formally Verified Oracle
by Anders Schlichtkrull, Aalborg University

Monitoring of Timed Properties
by Kim G. Larsen, Aalborg University
AI – Machine Learning, Computer Vision, NLP
Organiser: Mads Nielsen, University of Copenhagen

14:00 Large-scale Neuroimaging Study on a Danish Cohort: COVID-19, Brain Volume, and microbleeds
Kiril Klein, University of Copenhagen

14:15 Fetal Ultrasound scanning assistance
Manxi Lin, Technical University of Denmark

14:30 Inducing Gaussian Process Networks
Thomas Dyhre, Aalborg University

14:45 Bridge project: Deep Learning and Automation of Imaging-Based Quality of Seeds and Grains
Lars Kai Hansen, Technical University of Denmark

15:00 Fine-Grained Image Generation with Super-Resolution
Andreas Aakerberg & Thomas Moeslund, Aalborg University

15:15 Summary of workshop
Mads Nielsen, University of Copenhagen
Cryptography and Blockchains
Organiser: Claudio Orlandi, Aarhus University

14.00: Security Protocols as Choreographies
by Marco Carbone

14.20:  A formal security analysis of Blockchain voting
by Bas Spitters, Aarhus University

14.40: Challenges in anti-money laundering and how cryptography can help
by Tore Frederiksen, The Alexandra Institute

15.00: Networking

See abstracts

One Minute Madness
Presentation of DIREC projects following Q&A

Tuesday 27 September

Quantum Computing
by Professor Robert Wille
Moderator: Jan Madsen, University of Southern Denmark

Quantum computers have the potential to solve certain tasks that would take millennia to complete even with the fastest (conventional) supercomputer. Numerous quantum computing applications with a near-term perspective (e.g., for finance, chemistry, machine learning, optimization) and with a long-term perspective (i.e., cryptography, database search) are currently investigated. However, while impressive accomplishments can be observed in the physical realization of quantum computers, the development of automated methods and software tools that provide assistance in the design and realization of applications for those devices is at risk of not being able to keep up with this development anymore.

This may lead to a situation where we might have powerful quantum computers but hardly any proper means to actually use them. In this talk, we discuss how design automation can help to address this problem. This also includes an overview of corresponding software tools for quantum computers covering the simulation, compilation, and verification. More details here.

Robert Wille is a Full and Distinguished Professor at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and Chief Scientific Officer at the Software Competence Center Hagenberg, Austria (a technology transfer company with 100 employees).

He received the Diploma and Dr.-Ing. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Bremen, Germany, in 2006 and 2009, respectively. Since then, he worked at the University of Bremen, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the University of Applied Science of Bremen, the University of Potsdam, and the Technical University Dresden. From 2015 until 2022, he was Full Professor at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, until he moved to Munich.

His research interests are in the design of circuits and systems for both conventional and emerging technologies. In these areas, he published more than 400 papers and served in editorial boards as well as program committees of numerous journals/conferences such as TCAD, ASP-DAC, DAC, DATE, and ICCAD. For his research, he was awarded, e.g., with Best Paper Awards, e.g., at TCAD and ICCAD, an ERC Consolidator Grant, a Distinguished and a Lighthouse Professor appointment, a Google Research Award, and more.


Organiser: Mark Riis, Technical University of Denmark

Collaboration on entrepreneurship across universities

  • Recap on WS 13 activities in 2021-2022 – activities, budget etc.
    Mark Riis, DTU Compute

  • Open Entrepreneurship – learnings from inviting investors into universities
    Rasmus S. B. Jensen, Open Entrepreneurship, DTU Compute

  • Young Researcher Entrepreneurship – results and experiences
    Camilla N. Jensen, AI Pioneer Centre, DTU Skylab

  • Digital Tech Summit – results and experiences Mark Riis, DTU Compute 

  • Discussion, learnings and knowledge sharing

Which joint activities should we initiate in 2022-2023
  • DIREC at Digital Tech Summit 2022
  • Other activities in relation to supporting entrepreneurship and collaboration across universities
Master Training Network
Organiser: Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard, University of Southern Denmark

How to make computing education appeal to a broader range of students
by Claus Brabrand, IT University of Copenhagen

We present recent research on gender diversity in Computing. Recent research documents strong and significant gender effects related to the interests in working with PEOPLE vs THINGS along several dimensions. In particular, this relates to the themes of teaching/learning activities (i.e., the themes of exercises, projects, and examples), the framing of advertisement materials, and the composition of courses on educational programmes. We will explain these results and effects as well as give actionable evidence-based recommendations for how to make Computing educational activities & programmes appeal to a broader range of students.

How digital learning technology can provide insights on teaching quality of large classrooms
by Md Saifuddin Khalid, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark

Semester-end and mid-term online feedback are important information for both students and course instructors etc. Unfortunately, the teaching quality evaluation tools that are used at Danish universities are often time consuming and do not allow for self-reflection on teaching and learning, which can enable mutual understanding and collaboration between the students and course instructors. Join us at this workshop, where we will provide a tutorial and experience from two large courses adopting Wyblo. Wyblo is a people-centered learning experience platform which provides useful insights on teaching quality to both course instructors and students.

How to use technology to scale courses
by Jakob Lykke Andersen, Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Southern Denmark and Ulrik Nyman, Dept. of Computer Science, Aalborg University

In this workshop we will discuss how to use software and infrastructure for scaling and improving quality of teaching in Computer Science. As inspiration for the discussion, we have two presentations:

Teaching 400 students to program in 16 weeks with 3 teachers and 17 teaching assistants
by Jon Sporring & Ken Friis Larsen, KU

At the Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen, we have recently upscaled our introduction to programming for our bachelor courses. In the last 5 years, we have grown from 200 to 400 students, and in the process, we have developed IT tools to both manage the growth and at the same time increase the learning quality. In this talk, we will discuss the pedagogical challenges, the resource challenges, the developed tools for helping the students self-learn and give the students structured feedback, and the lessons learned in the process.

Automatic feedback and correction of programming software assignments for scalable teaching
by Miguel Enrique Campusano Araya & Aisha Umair, SDU

In this talk, we present Scalable Teaching. This tool uses automatic testing to grade students’ programming assignments and provides feedback to them automatically. Moreover, Scalable Teaching allows professors to grade assignments and give feedback manually more efficiently. We have successfully tested this tool in several software engineering courses with more than 100 students.
PhD Training Network
Organiser: Thomas Hildebrandt, University of Copenhagen

Make your research visible and understood outside academia
by Peter Hyldgård,
  • Be heard – and understood
  • Tell a good story about your research
  • Pitch your research
  • Talk about your research to non-peers (your Aunt Erna…)
How do you tell a simple story about your research that everyone can understand – without compromising on the academic content?

And how do you build a bridge to an audience that does not have any immediate interest in/knowledge of your topic?

The speaker will introduce a number of simple tools for finding a story about your research, which can be uses in many contexts: When you have to seek funding, when you are interviewed by a journalist – or when you must tell your Uncle Adam about your work. The workshop will be a mixture of presentations and small exercises, with a slightly larger final exercise where the participants will give a – very short – oral ‘pitch’ of their research.
Business Innovation, Processes and Models
Organiser: Helle Zinner Henriksen, Copenhagen Business School

End of the Rainbow

In this session we will discuss how technical solutions and ideas from some of  the DIREC projects can be diffused to a wider context, supporting innovation and impact.

Session speakers:

  • Geet Khosla, Tech entrepreneur with particular focus on leveraging technologies with massive potential to have a positive impact.
  • Martin Møller, Chief Scientific Officer at the Alexandra Institute
  • Peter Gorm Larsen, Professor at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering – Software Engineering & Computing systems at AU
  • Ben Eaton, Associate professor at Department of Digitalization at CBS.
The session focuses on the business potential and evolves around the question “How to harvest spill-over benefits from foundational tech research?”

Inspired by the session speakers’ input the audience is invited to contribute to the session in the discussion of potential avenues to address the question. The aim is to illustrate the benefit of addressing tech and business.
Quantum Computing

Organiser: Jan Madsen, Technical University of Denmark

10:00 – 12:00 Tutorial:

• Basic concepts
• Models of computations
• Use cases / Applications
• Tools + Integration to host

12:00  – 12:30  Open discussion on opportunities for and in DIREC
Discussion leader: Sven Karlsson, DTU Compute

Digitalisation and the Green Transition
– AI for Renewable Energy
How can data accelerate the green transformation?

Hierarchical forecast reconciliation
by Jan Kloppenborg Møller, DTU Compute
Future challenges for research in blockchain research 

by Daniel Tschudi and Bas Spitters

A unique collaboration between a university and a private company

In 2019, the Swiss non-profit Concordium Foundation founded the Concordium Blockchain Research Centre Aarhus at Aarhus University (AU). This is a unique example of collaboration between a university and a company where the company sponsors the research carried out at the university with a substantial amount of money.

In this session Associate Professor Bas Spitters from Aarhus University and Senior Researcher Daniel Tschudi from Concordium will share their experiences from the collaboration and comment on issues like:

  • What is collaboration about?
  • What is the current status?
  • What are the future challenges?
  • How did the collaboration start?
  • What do the researchers get out of it?
  • What does Concordium out of it?
  • How does Concordium embed/anchor research activities within Concordium?
  • How  does the collaboration work out in practice?
  • How do one handle the borderline between research to be carried out in the center and development to be carried out in the company?
  • What is their advice to researchers regarding similar collaborations?

About Concordium Blockchain Research Centre Aarhus

The research center is to provide the basic research needed to build energy-efficient and scalable blockchain technology that is provably secure. Along the way, it is expected that a lot of discoveries in the blockchain space and related sciences that we cannot anticipate at the onset.

About the Swiss non-profit Concordium Foundation

The mission is to fund research in the blockchain space, and build a new foundational blockchain with focus on business and regulatory compliance. The center performs free, basic research in the theory and technology underlying blockchains. All research performed in the center is open source and patent free and will help build a solid foundation for the entire blockchain space.

Lessons learned from impressive careers in high tech companies
by Lars Bak, Steffen Grarup and Kresten Krab Thorup
  • Lars Bak, Former Head of Google’s Development Dept. in Denmark,
  • Steffen Grarup, Uber
  • Kresten Krab Thorup, Founder of Humio
Moderator: Professor Ole Lehrmann Madsen

Lars, Steffen and Kresten are all graduates from department of computer science at Aarhus University. They have all made an impressive careers with high tech comp companies in Silicon Valley and Denmark. These companies include Next Computer, Sun Micro Systems, VMware, Google, and Uber. They have also been involved in a number of start-ups including Animorphic Systems, OOVM, Toitware, Trifork and Humio. These endeavors have resulted in development of a large palette of new innovative digital technologies.

In the panel they will tell us about their experience and highlight the most important lessons from their careers including their life as computer science students. We will ask them about their advice to students and young candidates of today regarding how to get an interesting carrier working with ground-breaking digital technologies and getting them out in successful products.


Marieke Huisman

Professor in Software Reliability
University of Twente

Volker Markl

Professor of Computer Science
Technische Universität Berlin

Robert Wille

Technical University of Munich

Lars Bak

Former Head of Google's division in Denmark

Steffen Grarup

Senior Director Engineering
Uber Technologies

Kresten Krab Thorup

Founder and former CTO

Daniel Tschudi

Senior Researcher

Bas Spitters

Associate Professor, Aarhus University


DIREC TALKS: How can we encourage more women to study computer science

How can we encourage more women to study computer science?

Women are widely underrepresented in Computer Science. We will consider why this is a problem from a societal, institutional, and individual level.

In 2015, only 10% of students on ITU’s Bachelor of Software Development were women. ITU decided to do something about this and a number of initiatives were launched. Now, the percentage of women has risen to 23% (in 2020). We will present an overview of ITU’s efforts to address this gender imbalance in computing.

Also, we will present brand new research on how to change educational activities so that they appeal more to women.

Finally, we will show the effect of ITU’s onboarding initiative BootIT and how this connects with increasing diversity.

The talk is based on joint work with among others: Melissa Høegh Marcher, Ingrid Maria Christensen, Therese Graversen, Pawel Grabarczyk, and Sebastian Mateos Nicolajsen (all from the IT University of Copenhagen).


Head of Center for Computing
Education Research (CCER),
IT University of Copenhagen


Claus Brabrand holds a PhD in Computer Science from the BRICS International Research Center at Aarhus University (January 2003).

He is the writer, director, and co-producer of the award-winning educational short-film “Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding” (2006) used around the world for educational development. Since 2007, he has been an Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, conducting research within the area of Programming Languages, Program Analysis, and Software Product Lines.

Parallel to this, he has worked with Educational Development and "teaching teachers to teach", both at ITU, nationally, and internationally. He has done a number of keynotes within this area. He has designed the educational materials for most of ITU's main initiatives aimed at increasing student diversity; in particular, the recruitment, onboarding, and retention of women on ITU's Bachelor of Software Development. He is now working exclusively with Computing Education Research and heading the recently inaugurated Center for Computing Education Research (CCER) at the IT University of Copenhagen.

He is the (first) recipient of the Danish National Teaching Award 2020 (Undervisningsprisen) awarded to two out of approximately 18,000 university teachers in all of Denmark).

Previous events

International Workshop on Re-Using Robot Data

International Workshop on Re-Using Robot Data

We will discuss the needs of industry, current solutions and the scientific and technical challenges that are connected to the problem of an efficient re-use of robot data.

  • Do you want to make more out of your robot applications?
  • Do you want to predict failures of your system before they occur?
  • Do you want to use data in your production to improve quality inspection?
  • Are you tired of always starting from scratch when you establish new robot solutions?
  • Do you want to exploit information about trajectories, grippers and cameras from already existing robot set-ups to speed up the development of new robot solutions?
  • Do you want to apply already established control strategies by adapting those to a new problem?

Re-Using robot data is key to these challenges!

However, the potential of re-using robot data is not realized yet due to scientific, technical and IPR issues. The ReRoPro project, Re-Use of Robotic-data in Production through search, simulation and learning aims at addressing this problem.

We invite for tasks such as predictive maintenance, speeding-up the establishment of new assembly solutions and fine-tuning of critical components of your production.

At the workshop, we will discuss the needs of industry, current solutions and the scientific and technical challenges that are connected to the problem of an efficient re-use of robot data.

Find out how to make efficient use of your robot data!


9:30  Welcome with coffee and rolls in the lobby

10:00  Welcome and Introduction
Prof. Norbert Krüger, University of Southern Denmark, coordinator of the ReRoPro-project

10:15  Session 1: The ReRoPro Project

10:15   The i4.0 use case and current software solution       
Assoc. Prof. Aljaz Kramberger, University of Southern Denmark

10:30  Data sensitivity issues in data re-use
Prof. Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard, University of Southern Denmark

10:45   Differential simulators, digital twins & data (d^3)
Prof. Kenny Erleben, University of Copenhagen

11:00  Data-reuse in machine learning and planning
Assoc. Professor Andres Masegosa, Aalborg University and Assoc. Professor Alvaro Torralba, Aalborg University

11:15  Coffee Break

11:30  Session 2: Data-Re-Use in Industry and Science

11:30  Examples of industrial robot applications, where
data could have been re-used   
Prof. Henrik G. Petersen, University of Southern Denmark, MADE

11:50 The Danish robot ecosystem and the re-use of data
Project Manager Søren Adamsen Mouritzen, Odense Robotics

12:05  Paving the way for a Cambrian explosion in robotics: open knowledge services for robotics applications
Prof. Michael Beetz, University of Bremen

12:45  Lunchbreak

13:30  Session 3: Industrial perspectives

13:30  Data in Pharmaceutical Device Manufacturing
Senior Assembly Engineer, Roger de Reus, Novo Nordisk

13:45  Robots and Sensors in Surface Treatment Applications
Head of R&D Lars Kristian Feddersen, Nordbo Robotics

14:00  Re-use of data in CAM programming
Head of Production Bo Schmidt, WellTec and Head of Digital Integration CNC Thomas Hyllen, WellTec

14:15  Factory of the Future
Program Director Alex Severin, Rockwool

14:30  So we got big data – now what?
Chief Commercial Officer
Anders Meister, CIM.AS

14:50  Coffee Break

15:20  Toward a Knowledge-Based Data Backbone for Seamless Digital Engineering in Smart Factories
Dr. Markus Rickert, Technische Universität München

15.50  Round Table discussion

16:30  Concluding remarks

The workshop is organized by DIREC with MADE as a supporting partner and with support from DDSA (Danish Data Science Academy.

The event is held in collaboration with IDA Fremtidsteknologi. The participant list will be shared with IDA for statistical use only.


Two new calls for DIREC Explore projects

7 September 2021

Call for project proposals: Young researchers and digital solutions for climate change

Explore projects are small agile research and innovation projects with the purpose to quickly screen new ideas within or between the core thematic topics of DIREC – possibly in relation to specific challenges of companies or society. Explore projects run for 3-12 months with a focus on identifying and creating new research challenges and areas.

Projects can be stand-alone projects or part of a sequential evolution of projects. For example, an Explore project may be a natural start to investigate into a new field or topic, which can lead to the creation of a larger research project.

DIREC is launching two special calls for Explore project proposals:

  • DIREC Climate Explore projects supports researchers wanting to explore how digital technology can help address some of the challenges related to climate changes. We are especially looking for ideas where digital technology has a centre role in the potential solution or where the research might make a significant impact
  • DIREC Starter Explore projects are targeted at researchers in the beginning of their carrier (up to 7 years after defending their PhD) and who have an idea for an excellent project within one or more of the workstreams of DIREC.

Each Explore project may be supported with up to DKK 300-500.000 including overhead for a period of up to a year.

We expect to start up to 10 explore projects during this round. 

Deadline for applying is November 5th, 2021.

Looking forward to seeing your proposals.


Danish researchers will build a data warehouse to increase the possibilities with position data

7 September 2021

Danish researchers will build a data warehouse to increase the possibilities with position data

Incomplete data and different formats often make it difficult to integrate different position data and thus get the desired yield. A new collaboration between researchers at Aalborg University, Aarhus University and the University of Southern Denmark as well as Rambøll and the robot company MIR will make it easier to utilize the possibilities with position data.


DIREC TALKS: Can cryptographic algorithms affect legal doctrines? 

Can cryptographic algorithms affect legal doctrines?

Legal principles, philosophy and doctrines are the pillars of modern society. It is tempting to believe that, while specific laws and regulations adapt to the particular technologies of the time, the basic legal doctrines remain unchanged – and guide us in regulating and harnessing technology. 

This talk will present situations where technological feasibility, accompanied with appropriate theory-of-computation reasoning, impacts not only specific laws and regulations, but also some basic legal doctrines. Specifically, these are situations where justified secrecy and privacy rights regarding sensitive information is pitted against equally justified transparency, accountability, and due process rights pertaining to the same information.

Current legal doctrines accept the seemingly inevitable reality the not all rights can be honored, and instead aim at   “balancing the harms” on all sides.   In sharp contrast, cryptographic concepts such as Zero-Knowledge Proofs and Secure Multi-Party Computation enable legal processes that do honor all rights. 


Moreover, these technologies enable fine-grained delineation of what partial information should be disclosed and to whom, thus opening the door to more nimble legal doctrines and thinking regarding the ownership, sharing, and use of information in a modern society.

The talk will be mostly based on the following two papers:

  • Kenneth Bamberger, -, Shafi Goldwasser,  Rebecca Wexler, Evan Zimmerman:  Verification Dilemmas in Law and the Promise of Zero-Knowledge Proofs.  Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 37, No. 1 (2022).
  • Dor Bitan, -, Shafi Goldwasser, Rebecca Wexler: Using Zero-Knowledge to Reconcile Law Enforcement Secrecy and Fair Trial Rights in Criminal Cases. SSRN  (2022).

Ran Canetti

Professor of Computer Science,
Boston University

Ran Canetti

Ran Canetti is a professor of Computer Science in Boston University, where he directs the center for Reliable Information System and Cyber Security. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery  and the International Association for Cryptologic Research, and an incumbent of the RSA Award in Mathematics.

Canetti’s research interests lie primarily in  cryptography and information security, with emphasis on the design, analysis and use of cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Recently he has been studying ways for the co-design of algorithms, law, and policy so as to provide sound foundations for society in the information age. 


Roskilde University is now part of DIREC

1 September 2021

Roskilde University is now part of the new national research centre DIREC​

The newly established research centre DIREC will strengthen digital Denmark with world-class IT research, which will be used in industry and in the public sector. At Roskilde University, they work with artificial intelligence in healthcare.