Year in Review 2023

Image credit: starline on Freepik.

Inspired by the end-of-year reviews of Michael Ekstrand and Matt Kelly, I thought it might be a good idea to do that too.

It has been a pretty full year with many ups– -yet, also downs.

My personal highlights

  • Starting as a full professor at PLUS, advocating interdisciplinary research as part of the EXDIGIT initiative.
  • I had the honor of giving the opening keynote address at ISMIR. ISMIR was an amazing experience.
  • Traveling a lot: From this year’s home countries (Austria and The Netherlands), I traveled for work to Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, UK.
  • Reviving the collaboration with AndrĂ©s Ferraro on bias mitigation in music recommender systems. We are going strong đź’Ş


  • 1 journal paper (TORS)
  • 3 full conference papers (UMAP, ISMIR, HICSS); thereof 2 with PhD researchers, one of them nominated for Best Student Paper Award
  • 1 short conference paper (CHIGREECE) with PhD researchers
  • 1 demo paper (CHIIR) with bachelor students
  • 1 full workshop paper (MuRS)
  • 1 proceedings (PERSPECTIVES)
  • 1 Dagstuhl report
  • 3 event reports (PERSPECTIVES, Dagstuhl Seminar, Allyship panel)
  • 1 abstract (IIR)
  • Further, 3 journal papers are under review or in revision state.

Keynotes, talks, and panels

  • 3 keynotes: ISMIR, Women in RecSys, IIR
  • 4 invited talks
  • 1 workshop presentation
  • Panelist at the Inclusion Panel at ISMIR
  • Moderation of the Allyship Panel at CHI

Awards and nominations

  • For the CSUR paper with Eva Zangerle, we received the Women in RecSys 2023 Journal Paper of the Year Award (“Senior”).
  • The UMAP paper with Karlijn Dinnissen was nominated for the Best Student Paper Award.
  • Nominated for the Best Reviewer award at UMAP.


  • Started teaching Advanced Contextual Interfaces in the Joint HCI Master of PLUS and FHS
  • Guest lectures at the University of Regensburg and TU Wien
  • 3 sessions at the RecSys 2023 Summer School, two of them with Martijn C. Willemsen
  • Member of the Education and Advisory Committee for Information Science Master Programs at UU
  • Ongoing: Member of an Honorary Appointment Committee at the University of Siegen

Advising and supervising PhD researchers

  • I am happy that I keep serving as the co-promotor of Marloes Vredenborg (UU).
  • While not officially acting in a (co-)promotor role, I keep working with Anouk van Kasteren (UU); this comes quite handy, as Marloes and Anouk are working on the same project.
  • This year, I started collaborating with Daniele Pretolesi (AIT) as the secondary supervisor.
  • I supervised Karlijn Dinnissen (UU) until including her successful first-year assessment of her PhD plan.

Service & organization

  • Independent Ethics Advisor of the EU project OpenMusE
  • WiMIR mentoring 2023
  • Co-Chairing:
    • PhD Symposium Co-Chair at CIKM 2023, with Haiming Liu
    • Doctoral Symposium Co-Chair at RecSys 2023, with Cataldo Musto and Xiangnan He
    • Allyship Co-Chair at CHI 2023, with Siobahn Day Grady and assisted by Anouk van Kasteren
    • Workshop Co-Organizer of PERSPECTIVES 2023 at RecSys 2023, with Alan Said and Eva Zangerle
    • Dagstuhl Seminar Co-Organizer with Ben Carterette, Nicola Ferro, and Norbert Fuhr
  • Editorial Boards:
    • Joined the Editorial Board of TOIS
    • Ongoing service on the Editorial Board of TORS
    • Ongoing service as a guest editor of a special issue in TORS, with Eva Zangerle and Alan Said
  • Member of PhD Defense committees:
  • (Meta-)Reviewing:
    • Meta-Reviewing activities for the 2023 conferences ECIS, ISMIR, CHI, SIGIR, RecSys, and CIKM
    • Reviewing activities for the 2Ăź23 conferences UMAP, HICSS, BIAS, ICWSM, MuRS, HC-MIR, CIKM, and IUI
    • Reviewing activities for the journals ISR, TORS, TOIS, TKDE, TiiS, CACM
    • 1 international research proposal review
  • Session chairing at CIKM, RecSys, and CHI
  • Election Supervisor for the SIG UCAI, in the GI group MCI
  • Best Paper Award Chair for CHI (Subcommittee Understanding People: Qualitative Methods)
  • Part of the EXDIGIT Research College recruiting committee at PLUS

Third mission / outreach / media

  • Keynote at FMC in Mannheim, Germany
  • Talk at W&K-Forum: Symposion Musik & Mathematik
  • 3 panelist activities: at Expedition KI 2.0, Bzzzz—Konferenz der österreichischen Musikwirtschaft, and the Science Meets Fiction Festival
  • Member of the Advisory Board for the Incubation programs FACTORY and FACTORY+ at Innovation Salzburg
  • 4 media mentions:
    • 1 interview appeared at Backstage PRO
    • 2 interview-based articles appeared at DIE RHEINPFALZ (German) and at ZEITGEISTER—Das Kulturmagazin des Goethe-Instituts (in German and English)
    • 1 short text introducing me as a new professor at Salzburger Nachrichten

Other happiness

  • Ongoing project (as Co-PI with Karin van Es) with UU’s AI & Media Lab and DPG Media. I like our interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Going strong with Eva Zangerle and Alan said with the PERSPECTIVES workshop series, a SI in TORS, a TORS paper, and an upcoming Dagstuhl seminar in 2024

Upcoming in 2024

  • Our TORS SI issue will appear in 2024.
  • I will be co-organizing a Dagstuhl seminar and a Dagstuhl perspectives workshop.
  • In the summer term, I will teach 3 new courses: Recommender Systems 1 in the Data Science Master program, Intelligent Interfaces in the AI Bachelor program, and Contextual Interaction Design (with Chris Frauenberger) in the HCI Master program.
  • After a long time due to the pandemic, I started attending concerts again: Spitting Ibex and Hot Pants Road Club Funk Orchestra. It’s been a treat.

The downsides

  • I turned down a job offer and still feel bad about it…
  • 1 desk reject at a journal
  • 3 conference submissions rejected
  • We didn’t win the bid to organize RecSys 2025.
  • After moving back to Austria, I was not very active in playing music.
  • It has taken me a while to find an apartment I liked in Salzburg.
  • The many travels for work and the back-and-forth travel between Utrecht and Vienna in the beginning of the year and between Salzburg and Vienna later in the year got increasingly exhausting.

Wrap up

I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten a thing or two or three. Particularly some downsides (is it denial?!). I want to thank those who supported and encouraged me to move forward, hold my head up high, and uphold integrity.