The SCIoI Executive Board

The SCIoI Executive Board, elected by the cluster’s scientific staff, is responsible for all major decisions within the cluster and for developing the SCIoI research program. It also provides guidance to both the scientific staff and the coordination office on SCIoI’s objectives. The Board also decides on policies and funding applications, determines the admission of external PIs, advises on budgeting decisions, and oversees quality assurance within the cluster.
The Executive Board consists of the SCIoI spokesperson, four Principal Investigators, a Postdoctoral representative and a PhD representative.

Oliver Brock
(spokesperson)

Oliver Brock represents the synthetic discipline robotics. He has extensive experience in building real-world robotic systems, contributing also to related disciplines, including perception and machine learning. Within the fields of robotics, he is a leader in leveraging collaborations with analytical disciplines, in particular psychology and behavioral biology, to work towards an understanding of embodied intelligence.

Jörg Raisch
(deputy spokesperson)

Jörg Raisch represents the discipline control. His research interests include both methodological and applied aspects of control. In the context of SCIoI, his work on abstraction-based synthesis of discrete event and hybrid control systems, on consistent control hierarchies, and on consensus-based control of multiagent systems will be particularly relevant.

Christa Thöne-Reineke

Christa Thöne-Reineke represents the analytical discipline of behavioral biology. She has extensive experience in laboratory animal science and animal models, especially in animal behavior as read out for severity assessment and animal welfare. She will study the costs and benefits of cognition and the influence of emotion and well-being on animal behavior.

Marcel Brass

Marcel Brass is a cognitive and social neuroscientist who is interested in motor and cognitive control. He investigates the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying social cognition, cognitive flexibility and human volition. He is best known for his behavioral and brain imaging research on imitation, task switching and intentional control of action. Within SCIoI, he will primarily investigate social intelligence.

Jens Krause

Jens Krause’s research will be part of the behavioral biology component of SCIoI. He and his group have developed an interactive robotic fish which is recognised by live fish as a conspecific. This robot is used to investigate basic principles of collective behavior and collective cognition. In particular they are interested in the way in which group-living organisms process information to deal with environmental challenges and how they come to collective decisions that are adaptive. Their interactive robot can embody the algorithms that they identified in biological agents and thereby allows them to test their validity. In order to give their robots realistic behaviour (as fish) they address the issues of dimensionality reduction and cursive interaction which are central to SCIoI.

David Bierbach
(Postdoc representative)

David Bierbach is a biologist working on topics that range from individual differences to large-scale collective behaviors. He integrates field-based studies with analytical and experimental approaches in the laboratory. Through his highly interdisciplinary work, he has developed several experimental techniques to study animal behavior in the most standardized ways, from video playbacks and computer animations to the use of bio-mimetic robots. His main research objectives are tropical freshwater fish like clonal mollies (Poecilia formosa), guppies (P. reticulata) or sulfur mollies (P. sulphuraria). At SCIoI, he is investigating how fish use anticipation in their social interactions. The overall aim is to implement this knowledge to build better bio-mimetic robots and social interaction algorithms.

Jonas Frenkel
(PhD representative)

Jonas Frenkel has a background in psychology and human factors. With a keen interest in the interplay between humans and machines, his research focuses on the field of human-robot interaction in general and social robotics in particular. Prior to joining SCIoI, he worked on developing robotic therapy scenarios for children with autism by using emotion-sensitive technology. At SCIoI, he is working on developing computational models of nonverbal social behaviors in order to improve our understanding of the underlying principles of social interactions and to eventually allow synthetic agents to perceive and appropriately react to social cue.

Research

An overview of our scientific work

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