The opening of the new Institute for Interactive Systems and Data Science (ISDS) at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) was held on June 22, 2017 at Campus Inffeldgasse. This celebratory event was followed by the yearly Open Lab Day and the annual summer party, which brought together employees, students and partners from both institutions.

The Institute for Interactive Systems and Data Science (ISDS) was founded in early 2017 by merging the Institute for Information Systems and Computer Media (IICM) with the Knowledge Technologies Institute (KTI). The goal was to provide an organizational framework for researchers of these fields which promotes interdisciplinary research, gives it visibility, and offers students room for experiments in the specially designed Interaction Lab.

At the opening ceremony Prof. Stefanie Lindstaedt (Managing and Scientific Director of Know-Center and Head of ISDS), Prof. Frank Kappe (Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering), Prof. Hermann Maurer (Initiator and Founder of Know-Center and Professor Emeritus at ISDS), as well as Prof. Horst Bischof (Vice Rector for Research at Graz University of Technology) held interesting talks, highlighting the history and future of ISDS and Know-Center.

After the opening keynote by VR Prof. Bischof, the new Data Science master’s degree to be offered at TU Graz was introduced by Prof. Stefanie Lindstaedt. The event continued with a historical talk titled “Journey from Interactive Computer Media to Data Science” which was led by Prof. Em. Maurer. The ceremony was brought to a conclusion by Prof. Kappe’s presentation of the ISDS research focus points and their corresponding teams.

The formal opening of the ISDS was followed by an Open Lab Day, offering all interested parties the opportunity to get an insight into the work and research fields of both, Know-Center and ISDS. Excerpts of current projects were presented and entire teams demonstrated the way research is done at both institutions. Students and those interested in research could exchange ideas with the researchers and developers as well as discuss possible topics for final theses.

Specifically, the ISDS research groups Motivational Media Technology, Web Science & Engineering, as well as Educational Technology and the Austria Forum presented themselves. The Know-Center was represented by exhibition booths of the four Areas Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Visualization, Social Computing, and Ubiquitous Personal Computing, as well as the new Big Data Lab and a med360 user demonstration.

Finally, participants and employees could continue to discuss and network over drinks and food at the joint summer party of Know-Center and ISDS. Overall, the event was a great opportunity to connect researchers and students, as well as those interested in research, with each other and increase the general public’s awareness of Know-Center and ISDS. Roughly 150 participants seized this opportunity and got to know the research environment at Know-Center and ISDS in a relaxed atmosphere.

Here are a few impressions of the successful event: