‘Robots like me’

Professor Dr. Ipke Wachsmuth hands over official duties to Professor Dr. Stefan Kopp

On Friday 18 July, Professor Dr. Ipke Wachsmuth will retire from his active duties at Bielefeld University after more than 25 years in office as Professor for Artificial Intelligence. At an official ceremony held at 2pm at the University in lecture theatre 16 he will give a farewell lecture titled ‘Robots like me’. After this, his successor at the Faculty of Technology, Professor Dr. Stefan Kopp, will hold an inaugural lecture presenting his field of work, cognitive systems and social interaction. To conclude the event, the dean of the Faculty of Technology, Professor Dr. Mario Botsch, will open the reception.

Wachsmuth lectured in Artificial Intelligence at Bielefeld University from 1989 until 2014. Before this he was employed at the University of Osnabrück, Northern Illinois University (USA) and IBM Germany. In 1990, he was one of the founding members of the Faculty of Technology. He was also co-initiator of two Collaborative Research Centres of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and managing director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) from 2002 to 2009. Wachsmuth was instrumental in the setting up of the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) which was approved by the DFG as part of the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments. From 2009 to 2012 he led the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 673 ‘Alignment in Communication.’

‘Ipke Wachsmuth is a pioneer of our Faculty of Technology and his research on knowledge-based systems has brought our faculty international recognition. I know him as a very likeable and at the same time inspirational colleague, who I also greatly value in my private life,’ says Dr. -Ing. Gerhard Sagerer, Professor at the Faculty of Technology and Rektor of Bielefeld University.

‘I am very pleased with what has been accomplished and also with the way a younger team continues this work. I will remain connected with the University and, in particular, with the Faculty of Technology,’ says Ipke Wachsmuth. ‘It gives me great pleasure to be able to hand over my duties to my colleague Stefan Kopp, an internationally renowned researcher with whom I have successfully collaborated for many years.’ This collaboration resulted, amongst other things, in the widely known avatar ‘Max’, a virtual person that is used, besides other contexts, as a tour guide in the Heinz Nixdorf Museum in Paderborn.

After completing his doctorate at Bielefeld University and working at the Northwestern University (USA), Stefan Kopp became head of the Sociable Agents Research Group of the Centre of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) in 2008. He declined the offer of a professorship at Bamberg University and has been working as an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Technology in Bielefeld since 2012. Currently he is the deputy coordinator of the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Alignment in Communication’ of the DFG as well as the president of the German Cognitive Science Society (GK). He continues teaching and research in the ‘Social Cognitive Systems’ group at the Faculty of Technology.

Professor Dr. Ipke Wachsmuth, Bielefeld University
Faculty of Technology
Telephone: +49 (0) 521 106 2924
Email: ipke@techfak.uni-bielefeld.de

Professor Dr. Stefan Kopp, Bielefeld University
Faculty of Technology
Telephone: +49 (0) 521 106 12144
Email: skopp@techfak.uni-bielefeld.de