Affiliation: Hochschulrechenzentrum (Data Center), University of Bonn
Posiiton: Project Director / IT-Architect: Research Data Management Infrastructure
Tel.: +49 228 73-4121

Email: szerr _AT_


Computer Science fascinated me from the age of 10 as I read a great book “Dialog with a Computer” (Russian), where the author, Alexandr Zhuravlev, introduced to children the theoretical approaches for a machine to deal with  natural human language and semantics. First practical experience followed four years later with a new C64. I almost literally vacuumed the “manual” from cover to cover within a few days. Every page was uncovering a new space of opportunities and every line of the self produced code was leading me step-by-step into this new unfolding world (Though, it didn’t take long to a discover the frontiers of this wonderful but rather simple programming language).

CS Studies: Needles to say that I enjoyed my studies of Media Computer Science (Diploma) and Information Engineering (MSc.) very much. I was very happy to successfully apply acquired CS skills as a HiWi at the faculty programming mathematical and electrotechnical software and later even to support research teams on international project Cashmere-Int in the area of Semantic Web, where I for example prepared materials on standardization of meta information describing geographic data, as well as semantics on the http protocol level. In my Master Thesis I did a first step towards research in Privacy Preserving Information Retrieval, triggered through a simple question “Why do Search Engines only deliver me the results from publicly available areas and not from everywhere, where I have access to?”.  The topic suddenly became important with the quite recent introduction of cloud computing, where search in sensitive documents certainly belong to the one of the key functionalities.

PhD Studies: However that time back the topic of privacy preserving information search was not easy to motivate even for the supervisors of my Master Thesis and so I continued this research direction in my PhD studies on: “Privacy Preserving Document Indexing and Retrieval”. During that time I also had a privilege to work and to manage a number of national and international CS Projects, where my research could be successfully applied. My Thesis is listed in “Ausgezeichnete Informatikdissertationen 2015” by the “Gesellschaft für Informatik” (CS Society Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

Research: At the late stage of my PhD and early PostDoc times at the Leibniz University of Hannover (Germany) and University of Southampton (UK) I also followed a number of research topic, such as Social Network Mining, Efficient Data Analysis, Gamification in Crowdsourcing. My research focuses on interaction patterns in social networks and includes human computation and crowdsourcing with the aim to understand the structures and potentials of collective intelligence. I am always looking for new research and development challenges. Currently, I am  Project Director and IT-Architect for Research Data InfrastructureUniversity of Bonn (Hochschulrechenzentrum).

Sergej Zerr, Nov. 2017

PS: Just as a small anecdote, a logo for the project Cashmere-int that i created for the project back in in 2005 (left) and the logo from SIGIR 2015 (right) 🙂

cashmere_logo               sigir2015