The Department of Computer Science can be pleased about the new junior research group "Data Science", which was founded in the winter semester 2022/23 and is headed by Dr. Stefan Heindorf. The main research topics of the group include explainable artificial intelligence for knowledge graphs. Knowledge graphs are data models that represent knowledge and relationships in a structured form, making them accessible to machine processing. The goal of Heindorf's research is to make the individual steps and results of an artificial intelligence explainable and comprehensible. What is almost impossible to comprehend for end users is also becoming more difficult to understand for experts due to increasingly complex systems and larger amounts of data.
Heindorf completed his bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science at the University of Paderborn and subsequently worked as a research assistant in the research group "Database and Information Systems" of Prof. Dr. Gregor Engels, with whom he completed his doctorate with the topic "Vandalism Detection in Crowdsourced Knowledge Bases". Subsequently, he worked as a postdoc in the research group "Data Science" of Prof. Dr. Axel-Cyrille Ngonga Ngomo and now takes on the new position as junior research group leader.
"My goal is to expand the research group in the near future to further strengthen the research area at the Paderborn University," Heindorf emphasizes. In the research field of "Explainable Artificial Intelligence," he will already be holding a master’s course on the subject in the summer semester of 2023. In his work, he is particularly impressed by how well machine learning methods already work, citing famous examples such as ChatGPT or AlphaFold. At the same time, however, he also emphasizes that some of the systems deliver incorrect results or can be used for purposes other than intended. Heindorf therefore calls for responsible use of the possibilities offered by machine learning today.
The junior research group leadership offers researchers the opportunity to independently lead a research group and to deepen their own research focus. In this context, the scientific independence that the position entails is particularly noteworthy. Prof. Dr. Marco Platzner, Dean of Research at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, emphasizes the topicality and social relevance of Heindorf's field of research: "With Dr. Stefan Heindorf's junior research group, Computer Science is further expanding its research profile and its range of courses in "Data Science". The research field of "Explainable AI" worked on by Dr. Heindorf is red-hot and very relevant for society. The functionalities and results of artificial intelligence methods should become comprehensible and assessable for humans, and thus also be able to be critically scrutinized.".
We wish Dr. Stefan Heindorf a good start as a junior research group leader at the Institute of Computer Science at Paderborn University.