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Meet Jo Vermeulen, new Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science

Jo Vermeulen, 34, is employed as a new Assistant Professor (tenure track) at the Department of Computer Science.

At the Department of Computer Science, Jo Vermeulen will do research at the intersection of human–computer interaction, ubiquitous computing and information visualization. He will be working with the Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction and Computer-Mediated Activity groups. In addition, he will be teaching the Interactive Systems bachelor’s course.

- Human–computer interaction, ubiquitous computing as well as data analytics and visualization are all key research areas at the Department of Computer Science. At the same time, Aarhus University is internationally renowned for its interdisciplinary research in human–computer interaction, so I really look forward to working here, says Jo Vermeulen, who will do his inaguural lecture friday October 27.

Jo Vermeulen’s research focuses on addressing interaction challenges in ubiquitous computing. His work spans a range of topics such as making ubiquitous computing and context-aware technology intelligible; dark patterns in proxemic interactions; the design principle feedforward; interactive floors; information visualization on interactive surfaces; mobile and wearable interaction; and multi-device and cross-device user interfaces.

Novel technology

Jo Vermeulen received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2014 from Hasselt University in Belgium. His PhD dissertation was awarded with the 2015 FWO – IBM Innovation Award; an award that is given annually to the best Belgian Ph.D. dissertation in Computer Science. Jo Vermeulen’s research has also received several awards at premier Human–Computer Interaction venues, such as a Best Paper Award at DIS 2014 and a Best Paper Honourable Mention Award at CHI 2013.

- My interest in research and in HCI in particular was fuelled by the idea that we can create novel technology that really benefits people and empowers them. My PhD research came about by my desire to work on a topic that was considered an important challenge in ubiquitous computing: how we can design ubicomp technology so that people can understand how the technology works and still feel in control. This has become even more important nowadays with sensor-driven systems that are increasingly acting on our behalf, often for no understandable reason and with little recourse for people to intervene.

Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Calgary

Prior to his job as assistant professor at CS, Jo Vermeulen worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Innovations in Visualization Laboratory at the Interactions Lab at the University of Calgary.  At the University of Calgary, he was part of a team that designed the award-winning Energy Futures visualizations for the National Energy Board of Canada (NEB), with the aim of making the NEB’s open data accessible to the general public. Prior to his position in Calgary, Jo worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the HCI Centre of the University of Birmingham on projects related to mobile and context-aware behaviour change intervention technology.

More on Ubiquitous Computing and InteractionandComputer-Mediated Activity”.

More about Jo Vermeulen’s work can be found on his personal homepage.