Team of the Institute of Computer Science wins the Start-Up Competition of the University

A team from the Institue of Computer Science was able to win the "Lift-Off" start-up competition of the University of Goettingen in the category "start-up potentials". Our employees Ella Albrecht, Simone Münz, Fabian Trautsch, and Patrick Harms made the first place with their project "BarBQ". BarBQ is an app that lists bars, cafés, and restaurants from Göttingen and allows users to sort and filter them by different criteria, e.g., terrace, current happy hour, or accessibility. In the future, the app will support vouchers that can be published by bars within the app and bars will be able to send push notifications to announce special offers. "We are very proud, that we were able to convince the jury of our idea and its potential", said Ella Albrecht from the BarBQ team.

The team "Pandamask" got the second place for the development of a new smog mask. It protects the user from pollen, smog, and diseases, while it looks like a scarf. The audience award in the category "start-up potentials" was awarded to the project "Zatar - Kochen als Brücke", which was founded by the students initiative Enactus. Within this project, the students want to create a cooking magazine, featuring diverse recipes from refugees out of different countries, to initiate intercultural exchange.

Press Release: Dr. Patrick Harms, computer scientist at the University of Göttingen develops automated process for assessing the usability of VR

Virtual Reality and the virtual world are taking over more and more areas of our lives. This means that it is really important that virtual worlds are user-friendly and offer a high usability. Up until now, the only way to check this was to conduct manual tests with volunteers. This can be both time-consuming and cost-intensive. Dr Patrick Harms from the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Göttingen has developed a technology that automatically detects many problems with user-friendliness and usability in the virtual environment. The results appeared in the scientific journal "ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction".
Dr Harms chose two virtual scenarios to test his new technology: in the "coffee scene", the user had to fetch a cup, place it exactly under a coffee machine and press the appropriate button. In another virtual scenario, the user had to copy a piece of paper. The new technology of automated evaluation runs in three steps. First, the individual activities and movements of test persons are recorded in detail. This results in “activity lists”. In a second step, the computer program MAUSI-VR, developed by Dr Harms, automatically searches these lists for typical user behaviour. In the third step, this behaviour is evaluated by the program with regard to defined irregularities. "This makes it possible, among other things, to determine how well users of a specific VR are guided by it and whether they usually have to perform ergonomically inconvenient procedures during its operation," says Harms. In addition, the program recognises interaction problems that cause users to repeat or abort certain processes several times.
The concept of MAUSI-VR is based on preliminary work of the research group "Software Engineering for Distributed Systems" with Professor Jens Grabowski, Institute of Computer Science at the University of Göttingen, on the automated usability evaluation of websites and desktop software. This work was transferred into the virtual world and supplemented by Harms. "In contrast to manual evaluations, automated evaluations can take place more frequently, more cost-effectively and without special preparation both during the development of a VR and after its release into the market. This gives developers the opportunity to consider VR improvements quickly for the next software update.”
Original Publication: Patrick Harms. Automated Usability Evaluation of Virtual Reality Applications. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (2019). DOI:

Prof. Dr. Delphine Reinhardt ist in den Rat der Cyber-Weisen berufen worden

Prof. Dr. Delphine Reinhardt, Leiterin der Forschungsgruppe „Computersicherheit und Privatheit“ an der Universität Göttingen, ist in den Weisenrat des Cyber Security Clusters Bonn e.V. berufen worden. Der Rat will künftig Politik und Wirtschaft Empfehlungen in Sachen Cybersicherheit geben. In ihm sind Security-Experten versammelt. Weitere Mitglieder des Rates sind Prof. Dr. Claudia Eckert, Leiterin des Fraunhofer-Instituts für Angewandte und Integrierte Sicherheit (AISEC) in München und Professorin an der Technischen Universität München, Lehrstuhl für IT-Sicherheit in der Fakultät für Informatik, Prof. Dr. Matthias Hollick, Leiter des „Secure Mobile Networking Lab (SEEMOO)“ im Bereich Computer-Wissenschaften an der Technischen Universität Darmstadt, Prof. Dr. Norbert Pohlmann, Professor für Verteilte Systeme und Informationssicherheit im Fachbereich Informatik und geschäftsführender Direktor des Instituts für Internet-Sicherheit an der Westfälischen Hochschule Gelsenkirchen, Prof. Dr. M. Angela Sasse, Stiftungsprofessorin für Human-Centred Security am Horst-Görtz-Institut für ITSicherheit an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, sowie Prof. Dr. Matthew Smith, Professur für “Usable Security and Privacy” an der Universität Bonn und bei Fraunhofer FKIE. Der Cluster setzt im ersten Schritt bewusst auf Vertreterinnen und Vertreter aus verschiedenen Bereichen der Wissenschaft. Durch die Zusammenarbeit aller in Deutschland existierenden Cluster sollen Hackerinnen und Hacker in ihre Schranken gewiesen werden. Daher sind zahlreiche Kompetenzzentren für Cybersicherheit aus verschiedenen Regionen Deutschlands im Weisenrat vertreten.

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