Overview of Speakers and Programme for the BTD10 on June 2nd, 2017

An overview of the programme can be found here.

Artificial Intelligence

The TNG Table Football AI-Bot Prototype

Dr. Gerrit Buse, Dr. Helge Krüger and Dr. Sven Käbisch TNG

The goal to build an AI Kicker Bot was conceived after watching a video featuring an automated foosball table that competes against human opponents. This plan was complemented with the goal to use machine learning instead of implementing game logic. This approach was already successfully used to play video games. Curiosity and the annual company’s technical retreat were reason enough to kick off this fun project that strives to bring together both the machine learning and robotics. The result after the retreat is a working prototype that uses 8 servo motors to move the bars and a commodity web cam as input source. Join us to see how this first prototype came into existence within a short amount of time, where we are now, and where we hope to go from here.

Dr. Gerrit Buse: After receiving his diploma in computer science from the University of Stuttgart Gerrit continued his research at the Technical University München. There he received a Ph.D. on the topic of optimizing parallel algorithms and data structures in Scientific Computing, in particular in the context of high-dimensional settings as they are common in data mining applications. He recently joined TNG as a software consultant and continued to work in projects related to machine learning.

Dr. Helge Krüger: Being born in Germany, Helge went to Rice University for his Doctors and to Caltech for his Post Docs in mathematical physics. After six years in the US he wanted to come back to Germany and began working as a Software developer at TNG Technology Consulting.

Dr. Sven Käbisch: After being born and raised in Berlin, Sven early began to develop an interest in questions concerning physics. After studying and graduating in experimental physics at Humboldt-University in Berlin he changed to IT-consulting at TNG Technology Consulting. Here he soon discovered his interest in artificial intelligence.

Strategies for AI Deployment

Henrik Klagges - TNG 

The talk will pose some urgent questions regarding AI, such as: What is the state of the art in AI, at least what is publicly known? What is the shape of the available tools and how can organizations use them? What are some of the operating problems of employing AI and which methodological risks are known? Are data worth more or algorithms? How will future AI-aided organizations look like? The talk will attempt to give partial answers to such questions.

Henrik Klagges studied physics in Munich and computation at the University of Oxford (MSc). He was a member of the IBM Physics Group Munich and also researched some time at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Henrik programmed the Unix Cockpit, for which he won the “German Entrepreneur Prize” of the “German Entrepreneur Fund” in 1995. In 2001, Henrik devised and co-founded TNG Technology Consulting, a high-end software development forge and consulting company in Unterföhring, Germany. Under his co-lead, TNG grew steadily and now comprises approximately 280 mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists, 60% of whom hold PhDs. Henrik also coordinates TNG's deep learning projects.

If AI Takes your Job, will It Find you a New One? (in English)

Jenny v. Podewils - co-founder, Leapsome GmbH 


The labour market is undergoing tremendous disruptions due to advances in technology, particularly in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). We are witnessing a perfect storm of advances in machine learning, access to large amounts of data thanks to increasingly digital transactions and cheap sensors, and the availability of faster computing power (GPUs). The main difference compared to the past is the speed of this technological change, which is now effecting every industry and increasingly impacting not only blue but also white collar (non-manual) jobs. The key questions this talk addresses: Are we still going to work in the future? How can individuals, organizations and countries prepare for a decade of job disruptions? And finally, if AI takes your job, will it find you a new one?

Jenny v. Podewils is an economist and entrepreneur, educated at the University of Oxford and University of St. Gallen. Jenny is also an alumni of Silicon Valley based Singularity University and participated in its flagship Global Solutions Program and Launchpad Accelerator, where she focused on solutions for tech unemployment and job disruptions. She has worked in the technology, energy and media sectors on strategic and digital transformation projects. Jenny is the co-founder of a young company that is providing a product to boost the feedback and learning culture in organizations. Further, she is a member of the exclusive innovation4jobs group, a global expert group on subjects of job disruptions and the risks around tech unemployment formed by Vint Cerf (Google's Chief Internet Evangelist) and David Nordfors in Silicon Valley.

One fundamental issue of autonomous robots in task domains is its capability to learn new skills and to re-use past experiences under different situations as efficient, intuitive and reliable as possible. A promising mechanism to achieve that is via learning from demonstrations or observations. This talk presents a method that includes a new learning technique based on semantic representations that consider the re-usability and the inclusion of new skills in a robust manner. Then, the obtained semantics extract the essence of the observed activities in terms of human motions and object properties. The introduced method has been assessed on different Humanoid robots using different perceptual modalities, under different constraints and in several scenarios ranging from making a sandwich to driving a car. Each of the studied scenarios poses distinct and challenging levels of complexity to demonstrate, that our method does not depend on the analyzed task, thus presenting a major benefit compared to classical reasoner approaches. In this talk, the team Alle@Home will be introduced. This student team from the Technical University of Munich will participate in the RoboCup@Home international competition, where robots are expected to interact in complex and real home environments. The goal of this competition is to advance the developments of intelligent robots for future personal domestic applications.

Dr. Karinne Ramirez Amaro is a Post-doctoral researcher at the Chair for Cognitive Systems (ICS). She finished her Ph.D. (summa cum laude) at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). She performed her Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Gordon Cheng and she joined ICS in January 2013. From October 2009 until Dec 2012, she was a member of the Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS) group headed by Prof. Michael Beetz. She received a Master degree in Computer Science (with honors) at the Center for Computing Research of the National Polytechnic Institute (CIC-IPN) in Mexico City, Mexico in 2007. Karinne received the Laura Bassi award granted by TUM and the Bavarian government to female scientists for one-year project funding as a postdoctoral fellow, Germany in December 2015. She was awarded the price of excellent Doctoral degree for female engineering students, granted by the state of Bavaria, Germany on September 2015. In addition, she was granted a scholarship for a Ph. D. research by DAAD – CONACYT and she received the Google Anita Borg scholarship in 2011. Currently, she is involved in the EU FP7 project Factory-in-a-day. Her research interests include Artificial Intelligence methods, Semantic Representations, Assistive Robotics, Expert Systems, Human Activity Recognition and Understanding.

To the Nash Equilibrium: Computing Strategies with Algorithms of the Counterfactual Regret Minimization-Family

Michael Schubert - TNG

In the recent advances in approaching Nash equilibria in large imperfect information games, counterfactual regret minimization through regret matching have played a major role. This is mainly due to the simplicity of the calculations involved, while the rate of convergence in terms of iterations is rather slow. In the process of reproducing the algorithm, some new ideas have been developed at TNG Technology Consulting which significantly improve the convergence of the strategy in small games as matrix-from games, leduc hold'em and some extensions. This talk gives a brief introduction to the concept of regret matching, as well as presenting the latest results of the research that has taken place at TNG.

Since March 2017 Michael Schubert is working in an inhouse research project at TNG Technology Consulting, studying the latest research on Counterfactual Regret Minimization and looking for improvements in the rate of convergence towards the Nash equilibrium. He has studied mathematics at the University of Bonn, with focus on eigenvalue problems in differential geometry. After finishing his masters degree last summer, he spent three months in a quantitative research internship in the financial industry.

The TUfast Driverless Team has been developing a fully automated vehicle since last year that will take part in an international competition at the Hockenheimring in August. Within the scope of this talk, we will first give you general insights into the development of an autonomous Formula Student Car and give an overview on which components are necessary on the way from the conventional vehicle to a fully autonomous racing car. In the second part of the talk, we present the sensor system of the car in detail, combined with an introduction to the use of deep learning algorithms for image segmentation for recognizing the trafficable route in real time. In addition to the algorithms used in the end, we will also introduce the relevant approaches used in practice for the acquisition of annotated data with the use of classical image processing techniques as well as weakly supervised learning.

Stan Guerassimov studies computer science at the Technische Universität München and develops control algorithms at TUfast for real-time optimal trajectory planning. In addition to high accuracy, to the reliability of the algorithms in case of error, robustness plays a major role regarding uncertain driving situations. Tobias Spath is studying mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Munich and develops an actuator system at TUfast for the control of the steering as well as the emergency brake system, which stops the vehicle safely in any situation. In the course of this, reliability and precision are of particular importance.

Poker has been a challenge problem in AI and game theory for decades. As a game of imperfect information it involves obstacles not present in games like chess and Go, and requires totally different techniques. No program had been able to beat top players in large poker games. Until now! In January 2017, our AI, Libratus, beat a team of four top specialist pros in heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em, which has 10^161 decision points. Libratus is powered by new algorithms in each of its three modules: 1) computing approximate Nash equilibrium strategies before the event, 2) endgame solving during play, and 3) fixing its own strategy to play even closer to equilibrium based on what holes the opponents have been able to exploit. The algorithms are domain-independent and have applicability to a variety of imperfect-information games such as negotiation, business strategy, strategic pricing, finance, cybersecurity, auctions, and steering biological adaptation and evolution for medical treatment planning. This is joint work with my PhD student Noam Brown.

Tuomas Sandholm is Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the Computer Science Department, with affiliate professor appointments in the Machine Learning Department, Ph.D. Program in Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization (ACO), and CMU/UPitt Joint Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology. He is the Founder and Director of the Electronic Marketplaces Laboratory. He has published over 450 papers. He has built optimization-powered electronic marketplaces since 1989, and has fielded several of his systems. In parallel with his academic career, he was Founder, Chairman, and CTO/Chief Scientist of CombineNet, Inc. from 1997 until its acquisition in 2010. During this period the company commercialized over 800 of the world's largest-scale generalized combinatorial multi-attribute auctions, with over $60 billion in total spend and over $6 billion in generated savings. He is Founder and CEO of Optimized Markets, Inc., which is bringing a new paradigm to advertising campaign sales and scheduling - in TV (linear and digital), Internet display, mobile, game, radio, and cross-media advertising. His algorithms run the UNOS kidney exchange, which includes 66% of the transplant centers in the US. He has developed the leading algorithms for several general classes of game. The team that he leads is the current two-time world champion in computer Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em poker, and Libratus became the first and only AI to beat top humans at that game. He is Founder and CEO of Strategic Machine, Inc., which provides solutions for strategic reasoning under imperfect information in a broad set of applications ranging from poker to other recreational games to business strategy, negotiation, strategic pricing, finance, cybersecurity, physical security, military, auctions, political campaigns, and medical treatment planning. He served as the redesign consultant of Baidu’s sponsored search auctions and display advertising markets; within two years Baidu’s market cap increased 5x to $50 billion due to doubled monetization per user. He has served as consultant, advisor, or board member for Yahoo!, Google, Chicago Board Options Exchange, swap.com, Granata Decision Systems, and others. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in computer science and a Dipl. Eng. (M.S. with B.S. included) with distinction in Industrial Engineering and Management Science. Among his many honors are the NSF Career Award, inaugural ACM Autonomous Agents Research Award, Sloan Fellowship, Carnegie Science Center Award for Excellence, Edelman Laureateship, and Computers and Thought Award. He is Fellow of the ACM, AAAI, and INFORMS. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich.

Big Data

At Xero, we are on a mission to find ways to make our accounting software smarter. In addition to seeing the data that you entered presented back to you in a clean, beautiful format, our algorithms can use what they know to spare you entering it in the first place. Our technology does not just collect information: it learns from what it stores. Ultimately this is turning the boring and the mundane into an automated process - giving our customers more time to focus on what’s important for them. The challenge of automating out the boring bits of accounting is not in the algorithms themselves: it's how we engineer our back end to produce the right information at the right time, and in some cases the challenge is identifying what that right information even is! Come along and hear how we use machine learning pragmatically to save time for our customers.

Dr Kathryn Hempstalk has an extensive background in machine learning, artificial intelligence and data science. She studied computer science at Waikato University where she gained a doctorate in 2009. Since then she has worked as a researcher and data scientist in a variety of industries including farming, computer security, healthcare and now accounting. Kathryn has a knack for making sense and pulling out meaningful insights from vast amounts of data, and she’s also a talented classical guitarist too! 

Big data management is becoming more and more important in medicine, especially in the field of tumor medicine (oncology), because new investigation procedures generate strongly increasing data sets, notably, genome data (next generation sequencing), but also image, sensor, clinical and self-reported data from the patient (Quantified Self). Particularly in oncology, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures have been improved by new IT procedures. Due to the growing amount of data, there is a need for clinical decision support. However, the integration of data sources for research and patient care remains a major challenge because the data models in medicine are still not standardized. Patient data are particularly worthy of protection (data protection) and IT systems in medicine require particularly high reliability requirements. The lecture gives an overview of the possibilities and limits of big data procedures in medicine based on selected current examples.

Prof. Dr. Martin Dugas is Director of the Institute for Medical Informatics (IMI) at the University of Münster. He is a medical and computer scientist. In 2002, he received his habilitation in medical informatics at the University of Munich. From 2004 to 2005 he completed a research stay at Siemens Medical Health Services, USA. Since 2005 he has been Professor of Medical Informatics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Münster. Since 2011, he has been a second member of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. Since 2013, he has been a member of the ERCIS Board (European Research Center for Information Systems). His research topics are especially: The use of clinical data from the electronic patient record in the research context (Translational Research, Single Source); the creation of IT infrastructures for patient-oriented research; the support of medical decision-making and care processes (clinical decision support); the establishment of research databases and registers, and the study management systems.

A growing proportion of human activities such as social interactions, entertainment, shopping, and gathering information are now mediated by digital devices and services. Such digitally mediated activities can be easily recorded, offering an unprecedented opportunity to study and measure intimate psycho-demographic traits using actual―rather than self-reported―behavior. Our research shows that digital records of behavior, such as samples of text, Tweets, Facebook Likes, or web-browsing logs, can be used to accurately measure a wide range of traits including personality, intelligence, and political views. Such Big Data assessment has a number of advantages: it does not require participants’ active involvement; it can be easily and inexpensively applied to large populations; and it is relatively immune to cheating or misrepresentation. If used ethically, it could revolutionize psychological assessment, marketing, recruitment, insurance, and many other industries. In the wrong hands, however, such methods pose significant privacy risks. In this talk, we will discuss how to reap the benefits of Big Data assessment while avoiding the pitfalls.

Michal Kosinski is the Assistant Professor in Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. After receiving his PhD in Psychology from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2014, Kosinski spent a year as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. Kosinski’s research had a significant impact on both academia and the industry. His findings featured in The Economist, inspired two TED talks, and prompted a discussion in the EU Parliament. In 2013, Kosinski was listed among the 50 most influential people in Big Data by DataIQ and IBM, while three of his papers were placed among Altmetrics' “Top 100 Papers That Most Caught the Public Imagination”.

Convergence Of Real-Time Analytics And Data-Driven Applications (in English)

Kostas Tzoumas - Co-Founder and CEO - data Artisans

Witnessing the rise of stream processing from the driving seat, we see Apache Flink® and associated technologies used for a wide variety of business applications, from routing data through systems, serving as a backbone for real-time analytics on live data using SQL, detecting credit card fraud, to implementing complete end-to-end social networks. Such applications enable modern data-driven businesses where decisions and actions happen in real-time, and transform traditional businesses to become more data-driven. Observing the variety of these applications implemented using Flink, it becomes apparent that the traditional dividing line between analytics and operational applications is becoming more and more blurry. Historically, operational applications were built using transactional databases, and analytics were done offline. In contrast, Flink’s, state, checkpoints, and time management are the core building blocks for both operational applications with strong data consistency needs, and for real-time analytics with correctness guarantees. With these shared building blocks, developers start building what is arguably a new class of data-driven applications: applications that are operational in that they serve live systems and at the same time analytical in that they perform complex data analysis. Following application architectures like CQRS and using new features like Flink’s queryable state, streaming analytics and online applications move even closer to each other. In this talk, guided by real-world use cases, we present how the unique core concepts behind Flink simplify the development, deployment, and management of data-driven applications, and we conclude with a vision for the future for Flink and stream processing.

Kostas Tzoumas is co-founder and CEO of data Artisans, the company founded by the original creators of Apache Flink. Kostas is PMC member of Apache Flink and earned a PhD in Computer Science from Aalborg University with postdoctoral experience at TU Berlin. He is author of a number of technical papers and blog articles on stream processing and other data science topics.


In our information-driven world it is easy to forget that technological progress has always crucially depended on progress in materials. The development is still too much based on trial and error, slow and expensive, and predictive computations of materials would be desirable (“Dirac’s challenge”). This problem of quantum mechanics is still not satisfactorily solved, in particular in the important field of “correlated materials” (which I will explain) comprising high-temperature superconductors, rare earths and many other technologically relevant material classes, where the standard workhorse “density functional theory” fails. I will review the current state of the art and show that success for these difficult materials can now be achieved. Nevertheless, further progress in methods is needed, and I will show the benefits of combining traditional methods from solid state physics with methods based on quantum information theory.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schollwöck, born in 1967 in Munich; theoretical Physicist (quantum particle systems). He studied physics at the University of Munich, and at Balliol College, University of Oxford, as a scholarship holder of the Maximilianeum foundation. Master of Science (Oxford) 1991, Diploma (Munich) 1993. Ph.D. student at the French Atomic Energy Agency in Paris; Doctorate in 1995. Assistant at the University of Munich; Habilitation in 1999. 2002-2003: Group leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Physics Stuttgart; 2003-2004: Professor at the University of Munich; 2004-2009: Chair at the Technical University Aachen; since 2009 at the University of Munich. Calls to the University of Innsbruck (2006), to the university of California Los Angeles (2006), to the FU Berlin (2008). 2000: Gerhard-Hess Prize of the DFG; founding member of the Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences; 2007: full member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Science. 2006: honorary member of the American Physical society. Since 2008, Vice-President of the German University-Association. 2009/10: Fellow at the Science College Berlin. Member of the scientific advisory board of Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation Essen (since 2010), of the scientific advisory board of the Institute for Capital Market Research of Deka-Bank Frankfurt (since 2013) and of the scientific advisory board of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (since 2015).

Hardware Hacking

Birdly - the Ultimate Dream of Flying

Max Rheiner - CTO Somniacs

Birdly fulfills people's ancient dream of flying by deploying the latest virtual reality (VR) and advanced simulator technology. The installation creates a vivid full-body experience that instantly lets you forget the mechanics and computer codes behind this spectacular apparatus. The immersive and interactive nature of the installation serves one goal: to enjoy the ultimate freedom of a bird. The experience allows you to intuitively explore the skies, cities like New York and any realistic or imaginary territory that can be built with 3D computer graphic tools.

Max Rheiner is head of the Master Design Interaction Program at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK), where he has been teaching in both the bachelors and masters programs for the Department of Interaction Design, since 2006. He received his Diploma from Zurich University of the Arts in the field of New Media Arts, in 2003. The main areas of discipline that he specializes in are Embodied Interaction and Physical Computing. Of these topics, he conceived and developed the Physical Computing Laboratory for the Department of Interaction Design that has been running since 2006. In 2015 he founded the first ZHDK Spin-Off 'SOMNIACS SA', which transformed the research project 'Birdly' into a commercial product.

His research and artistic interest center on interactive and immersive experiences which utilize methods from Virtual/Augmented Reality and Immersive Telepresence. Moreover, his artistic work has been recognized and exhibited in a number of international and well-renowned venues such as the Museum of the Moving Image/USA, Sundance Film Festival/USA, Biennale Venice/Italy, Ars Electronic Linz/Austria and Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media/Japan.

Hyperloop - Competing for the Future of Transportation (in English)

Martin Riedel - Hyperloop Team at the WARR of the TUM

Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation concept proposed by the Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk in 2013. It envisions transportation capsules levitating inside a low-pressure tube close to the speed of sound. By drastically reducing aerodynamic drag in the aforementioned evacuated tube and reducing surface friction by i.e. magnetic levitation or air-bearings, the concept becomes technically feasible. To foster interest and foster innovation, SpaceX has organized an international competition to test sub-scale versions of Hyperloop vehicles on a one mile purpouse-build tube in Hawthorne, California. The "WARR Hyperloop" student team from the TU Munich successfully demonstrated their prototype in the competition with over 700 entries and 30 finalists, and secured the grand prize for the "fastest pod" in the end. Complementary to last year's presentation at BTD9, the design and build process will be reviewed in hindsight of the unique challenges posed by Hyperloop concept and the competition constrains, before eventually taking a look back at the competition week, the final run and concluding why "wheels are pretty good".

Martin Riedel was leading the navigation and control subsystem in the WARR Hyperloop team, where he was responsible to ensure real-time and fail safe control and operation of the competition vehicle. Martin is currently persuing his masters degree in Computer Science at the Technical University of Munich.

Engineering with Toys: Exploring Advanced Mechanics with LEGO® Pieces (in English)

Paul "Sariel" Kmiec - LEGO® Builder

It's been almost 60 years since the introduction of the LEGO® building system, and it has evolved significantly since then. Originally started as simple building blocks for young children, it has grown to include electric motors, gear wheels, pneumatic components, and even programmable computers - all of which are now used by adults as well. Paul will discuss how the best LEGO® model builders in the world use toy parts to create complex mechanisms, how new technologies such as the 3D printing are affecting this hobby, and how far we can currently push the envelope by using LEGO pieces for tasks they were never intended for. He will demonstrate multiple examples of real-world engineering recreated using parts from LEGO sets, several examples of complete, custom working motorized models, and he will talk about various challenges and opportunities that model builders usually face.

Paul, known as Sariel, based in Warsaw, Poland, has 9 years of experience in building custom LEGO models, as well as two books under his belt. He has built roughly 200 models of cars, trucks, tanks, construction equipment, and even trains, planes or ships, starting from very simple ones to ones that were over a year in the making and included close to 20 meters of electric cables. His models have been featured at Top Gear, Jalopnik and Engaget websites, among many others. His tanks have been praised by military experts, members of tank crews, and by team behind the World Of Tanks game. Two of his books on LEGO  - Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide and Incredible LEGO Technic - are now available in 6 languages, including English, German and Chinese. University of Cambridge keeps a link to his tutorial on LEGO gears at their Department of Engineering's website. Paul has also helped the LEGO company in prototyping a few elements and he is acting as one of a handful of external reviewers of LEGO Technic sets - as you can imagine, it is extremely rare for LEGO to reach outside for help. Paul has a YouTube channel with 50+ million views and you'll find more at his website, sariel.pl.

The Most Efficient Electric Vehicle in the World

Alexander Hammerl - Technical Director and Andreas Zimmerer - PCB- & Software Development, both TUfast Eco Team

The TUfast Eco Team, which is part of the student initiative TUfast founded in 2002, offers motivated students from the TU Munich a chance to gain practical experience in the development of highly efficient vehicles and to actively deal with the latest advances in electromobility. The focus is on the development of innovative solutions through interdisciplinary cooperation. Within the scope of this talk, we will first give you a brief overview of the TUfast Eco Team and then have a closer look at the development process and the technical background of our current vehicle. In contrast to the years before, we have not concentrated on the prototype class this season, but have switched to a completely new vehicle class - the Urban Concept class of the Shell Eco-marathon. An urban concept differs in several respects from the prototype class, since the main focus is now not only on the lowest possible energy consumption - a limited roadability is now additionally required. Basically, it is about developing a highly efficient vehicle, which is closer adapted to the everyday conditions and requirements. This means, among other things, an upright sitting position, higher weather resistance, a complete outdoor lighting system and much more.

Alexander Hammerl studies Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich. He came to TUfast due to his Bachelor thesis on efficient driving strategies. Today he is the technical manager of the TUfast Eco Team and in this position responsible for the new vehicle being one of the most efficient cars in the world.

Andreas Zimmerer has been a member of the TUfast Eco team since his first semester in Computer Science. There he is responsible for the hardware-related programming of the specially produced circuit boards. All systems must communicate perfectly with each other in order to guarantee a smooth sequence of events in real-time.

The 835kph Sailplane and Dynamic Soaring (in English)

Spencer Lisenby - prototype developer at DSKinetic

Most people wouldn't imagine that the world's fastest radio controlled airplane has no propeller, jet, or any source of propulsion on board. Dynamic Soaring is a unique method of soaring which has enabled radio controlled gliders to achieve speeds in excess of 835kph.  We will explore the fundamentals and progress of dynamic soaring and examine the challenges associated with designing, building, and flying an un-powered model airplane at speeds comparable to modern passenger jets.  We will also give some thought to practical applications of dynamic soaring and discuss where it could be applied in the future.  

Spencer Lisenby graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and currently resides and chases wind in Southern California.  He has set the world speed record for radio controlled gliders 14 different times and holds the current record of 519mph (835kph) with his 130" Kinetic DP (www.DSKinetic.com). 

Beam me up - Holographic Telepresence with the Hololens

Thomas Endres and Martin Förtsch - TNG

What would happen if one could communicate with holographic augmented reality spectacles with far away acquaintances as if they were in the same room? The hardware hacking team of TNG Technology Consulting GmbH has developed a software prototype for holographic telepresence for Microsoft HoloLens. Thus, similar to the Star Wars series, it is possible to project a person as a hologram into their own field of view. The idea of augmented reality (Extended Reality) has existed since the late 1960s. With the HoloLens, Microsoft has succeeded in bringing a self-sufficient device onto the market, which expands the real world immersively with computer-generated elements and so-called holograms. Within the framework of the lecture, ideas and concepts in the field of mixed reality are going to be introduced and explained. Technical details of the HoloLens are presented and demonstrated by means of several interactive live demonstrations. In addition, simple programming examples for the HoloLens using Unity 3D are developed in live coding.

Thomas Endres is an IT consultant working for TNG Technology Consulting in Munich. Besides his normal work for the customer he is creating various prototypes like a see-through Augmented Reality device or a telepresence robotics system with the company's hardware hacking team. In his spare time, he is working on gesture control applications, i.e. for controlling quadrocopters with bare hands. But he is also involved in other open source projects written in Java, C# and all kinds of JavaScript languages. Apart from this, he is working as a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences in Landshut. Thomas studied IT at the TU Munich and is passionate about software development and all the other aspects of technology. As an Intel Software Innovator and Black Belt, he is promoting new technologies like gesture control, AR/VR and robotics around the world. He has recently received a JavaOne Rockstar award.

Martin Förtsch studied computer science and is working as a software consultant. Occupational his focus areas are Agile Development (mainly) in Java, Search Engine Technologies, Information Retrieval and Databases. As an Intel Software Innovator and Intel Black Belt Software Developer he is strongly involved in the development of open-source software for gesture control with 3D-cameras like e.g. Intel RealSense and has built an Augmented Reality wearable prototype device with his team based on this technology. Furthermore, he gives many talks on national and international conferences about Internet of Things, 3D-camera technologies, Augmented Reality and Test Driven Development as well and was awarded with the JavaOne Rockstar award. He is an author for the technical blog ParrotsOnJava.com.


Haxl: Making Concurrency Unreasonably Easy (in English)

Simon Marlow - Software Developer at Facebook

At Facebook we built and open-sourced the Haxl framework because we wanted a way for engineers to be able to exploit concurrency without thinking about it. In this talk I'll illustrate how Haxl works and explain some of the ways it's been successful at helping engineers worry less about performance, enabling them to focus more on correctness. I'll also talk about some forthcoming improvements to Haxl that significantly generalise the way the framework handles concurrency, and demonstrate some compelling use cases.

Simon Marlow is a Software Engineer on Facebook’s Abuse Detection Systems team in London. He is working on Haxl, a Haskell-based domain-specific language that is used by the teams fighting spam, malware, and other types of abuse. Simon is a co-author of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler, author of the book “Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell”, and has released a series of research publications in functional programming, language design, compilers, and language implementation.

Thinking in Functional Style (in English)

Dr. Venkat Subramaniam - Founder of Agile Developer, Inc. and creator of agilelearner.com

Functional Programming is gaining a lot of excitement. While this style of programming has been around for a while, the mainstream languages have finally and recently caught up. Programming in functional style is a lot less about the syntax and a lot more about the mindset. What does it mean to program in functional style? More important, why should we care? That's the focus of this presentation.

Dr. Venkat Subramaniam is an award-winning author, founder of Agile Developer, Inc., creator of agilelearner.com, and an instructional professor at the University of Houston. He has trained and mentored thousands of software developers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and is a regularly-invited speaker at several international conferences. Venkat helps his clients effectively to apply and succeed with sustainable agile practices on their software projects. Venkat is a (co)author of multiple technical books, including the 2007 Jolt Productivity award winning book “Practices of an Agile Developer”. You can find a list of his books at agiledeveloper.com. You can reach him by email at venkats@agiledeveloper.com or on twitter at @venkat_s.

IT Security and Data Protection

The Art of Fuzzing - with Applications to L4Re

Dr. Daniel Loebenberger - IT Security Expert at genua GmbH

Fuzzing is a technique in semi-automated security analysis which traditionally feeds random data to the inputs of a computer program. The goal is to find inputs which trigger some unexpected behavior of the program, pointing to weaknesses in the implementation and therefore revealing unknown security problems of the program. Recently, there were considerable advances in this field which enable us for the first time to fuzz system-call interfaces of any pre-compiled kernel by constructing a suitable user-land driver, which connects any fuzzer to the kernel of interest. We apply this idea to the L4 microkernel L4Re and explain the techniques to analyze the implementations by examining for example the IPC interface in the L4Re microkernel. Furthermore, we elaborate on the different fuzzers available today and present the results of our analysis.

Daniel Loebenberger obtained his doctorate in computer science from the University of Bonn in 2012, where he researched and taught various topics in applied cryptography. Since 2016 he works as an IT security expert with focus on cryptography at genua GmbH, Kirchheim in various research projects including one with focus on semi-automated penetration testing. Additionally he is an associate lecturer at Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden.

New Rules for Data Protection: The Basic Data Protection Act and the new Federal Law for Data Protection as a Challenge for Practice

Prof. Dr. Gregor Thüsing LL.M. (Harvard) -  Director of the Institute for Labor Law and Law for Social Security at the University of Bonn

This talk will deal with the topic of data protection with regard to the new Federal Law for Data Protection. In particular, a closer look will be given on how seriously personal data is taken, which new sanctions were enacted, as well as the impact of the changes on compliance issues. In addition, this talk deals with examples comparing the situation before and after and describes vividly what is really no longer possible and what challenges arise for the practice.

Prof. Dr. Gregor Thüsing, LL.M (Harvard) is a board member of the Association for Data Protection and Data Security e. V., the largest data protection organization in Germany. He is professor at the University of Bonn and engaged in particular with data protection and compliance issues. He is considered an excellent orator and outstanding expert on this subject.

License Management when using Open Source Software

Dr. Till Jaeger - Partner at JBB Rechtsanwälte

Nearly every new development of software involves the use of open source components, generally covered by different licenses. Because a violation of licensing terms leads to a copyright infringement, an elaborated license management for open source is necessary. The new Version 1.1 of the OpenChain standard for the open source license compliance in the supply chain was introduced April 2017. The lecture explains the structure and content of the specification of the standard and how the use of open source software can be legally protected.

Till Jaeger has been a partner of JBB Rechtsanwälte since 2001 and has a special emphasis on the legal issues of open source software. Till Jaeger is a co-founder of the Institute for Legal Issues of Free and Open Source Software (ifrOSS), where he is also active in the fields of software and copyright law. This includes publications as well as lectures and seminars. He advises companies on compliance with open source licenses and on compatibility issues as well as developers and software companies on the national and international enforcement of these licenses.

Till Jaeger is a lecturer of the Leibniz Universität Hannover for the IT and Intellectual Property Law Program and is active in all licensing matters of intellectual property law. In addition to the licensing of copyrighted creations, he has a focus on patent and know-how licenses.

Hacking for Everyone – a Different Approach to IT Security

Tobias Schrödel -  Stern TV

A Live-Hacking-Show, that so far inspired thousands of people worldwide. This talk will bring you closer to the world of hacking and allows you to take a look at the poison cabinet of IT. In the process, security gaps in computers and mobile phones, which affect us all, are going to be uncovered in an entertaining way. This talk means infotainment: It is understandable for everyone and does not require any technical know-how. Thus, everyone will detect fascinating everyday examples throughout this lecture. Passwords will be cracked within seconds; discrediting information will be uncovered and without further ado a smartphone will be hacked. Every example is live and real, but of course anonymous. Every listener will be able to recognize himself – no one is going to be exposed. For risks and side effects please consult your data protectors or Tobias Schrödel.

Tobias Schrödel is IT-Specialist, IT-security-expert and acts as computer-expert on TV. After working as a consultant in a big, international IT-company for 14 years, he functions since 2011 as the face of sternTV regarding questions about IT-security and computers. His book “hacking for managers” won the price for “best business book” of the year in 2011. For more than 10 years, Schrödel has been examining prospective IT-specialists for the IHK. In his free time, he likes to occupy himself with historical Cryptoanalysis and security gaps in everyday IT and electronic products. He wants to sensitize users and stimulate them to reflect on the topic.


lichess.org: Community-powered Online Gaming (in English)

Thibault Duplessis - OSS-Developer, Founder of lichess.org

Chess is alive and well; as you read this, tens of thousands of people are playing it online. Despite the large demand, the market of online chess servers is saturated, and the competition is fierce. Nowadays, most chess servers are traditional businesses, relying on ads and/or paywalls. But there exists an exception. lichess.org is a free-software, free-service, and free-of-ads chess server. It makes the hypothesis that a good service can be built by a community of volunteers, out of passion for the game, and with humanist values at its core. What happens when users are treated as contributors rather than clients? How sound is it to open the source code of an online gaming server? Can a community run its own free service and compete with big companies? Turns out it can, and it's a lot of fun.

Thibault Duplessis is the founder and main developer of lichess.org. He built backends and frontends for web applications in several startups, and has been an active open-source contributor for 7 years. He advocates functional programming and strong static typing, and mostly uses scala and typescript to get the job done.

It is said that there are more possibilities in chess than there are atoms in the universe. However, size may not be all that matters. The different rules according to which the different chess pieces move, impose a highly nontrivial structure on the game's configuration space. Clearly, direct sampling of even small portions of this space is out of reach. Yet, the task of figuring out properties of a state space that is too vast to enumerate, is a familiar one for statistical physics. In this talk I will show how we applied transition-path sampling, an advanced Monte-Carlo simulation method that is usually used to study crystallization, protein folding or the flow behavior of polymers, to chess. The simulations show that chess' state space decomposes into a large number of weakly connected "pockets" that reflect the pawn structures emphasized by good chess players.

Professor Thomas Voigtmann received his PhD in physics from the TU München in the field of the theory of glasses in 2003. After post-doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh and at the Università di Roma La Sapienza, in 2007 he joined the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Köln. From 2008 to 2014, he led a young investigator group researching on the flow behavior of metallic melts under strong mechanical forces, with a grant awarded by the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft. He was also fellow of the Zukunftskolleg der Universität Konstanz, a central part of the university's institutional strategy for the German Excellence Initiative. Since 2014, Prof. Voigtmann is faculty member of the Universität Düsseldorf. He now teaches in Düsseldorf and researches on the process-history dependence of material properties at the DLR in Köln. His work on chess was inspired by working with students and colleagues that are all good chess players.

Tools and Methods

Scaling Architecture @ Zalando

Felix Müller - Software Architect at Zalando

Zalando has introduced Radical Agility two years ago: an organisational concept that relies on team autonomy. This raises the question of how architectural work is realized in such an environment. I will illustrate how Zalando SE ensures an uniform architectural image of the services with architectural principles and guilds. Thereby I discuss organizational peculiarities and the main guidelines which we use in our development processes and furthermore I give you a brief insight into exciting technical challenges we face.

Felix Müller works as an architect at Zalando SE in Berlin, developing the next generation of the Zalando platform. He is particularly interested in distributed systems, smart architectural solutions and engineering excellence.

Agile Architecture – How much Stability does Agility Tolerate?

Gerhard Müller - TNG

The world is turning faster and faster. We live agile with Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Integration/Deployment, and DevOps; we build prototypes, MVPs and try new technologies. Nevertheless, we need structures and procedures that are more fundamental and more sustainable. In our fast-moving daily routine of our systems and products, does software architecture get the necessary attention? Do we test it as we today (luckily almost self-evident) write unit tests? How do we document it? How do we sustain it? What are the organizational framework conditions? What do we have to do to stay master of our architecture? The talk examines this area of conflict and reflects corresponding experiences.

Gerhard Müller has studied computer science at the Technische Universität München and is co-founder and partner of TNG Technology Consulting. He has been involved in enterprise software development for 15 years. During this period, he has repeatedly realized that good software is indeed a prerequisite for the project and the product success, but this alone is not sufficient. Just as important and often even more challenging is to keep a close eye on business, markets and customers.

Data Science is to software development what alchemy is to technical construction. They use the same basic tools and methods and exist alongside each other but the former puts its focus on fast prototyping and trying of new methods rather than targeting stability and performance. In my talk, I will use development requirements and applications from the Mobility Data Services Center as an example to show how –and why- we use a python-based DevOps approach to tackle the Data Analytics requirements of the rail world.

If there is one word that describes Helge Aufderheide, it is "curiosity", leading him to a widely-scoped study of physics in six countries. During these studies, he became increasingly fascinated by the question how we can sustain functionality of the fundamental systems we all depend on, from communication networks and electrical grids to ecological food webs, despite their ever-growing complexity. Driven by this fascination, he proceeded into a PhD in "complex systems research" focusing on perturbation propagation and failure mitigation through complex networks. In 2014 Helge Aufderheide joined the Siemens Mobility Data Service Center in Munich as a Data Scientist. His focus is to develop applications and strategies to intelligently leverage Data Science in industrial environments and the rail world.

Restarting the Browsers wars. After two browser wars (Netscape vs. Explorer and Chrome vs. Firefox), Cliqz is starting the browser war III with a focus on search & privacy as the core of the browser. We will address the questions: Why Now? Why from Germany? and Why with Burda? does that work? In the 3rd question, I will address the successful digitization of Burda since 1994 where I joined.

Jean-Paul is the Chief Scientist of Hubert Burda Media - a global media company. He is also the founder and CEO of Cliqz GmbH and the President of Ghostery, Inc. He also serves on different board most notably on the Board of Directors of XING AG (a leading online professional network) and the board of CocCoc, a Vietnamese Browser company with 21 million active users. He was the CTO and CEO of Burda Digital from 1996 to 2003. Jean-Paul received a B.A. in Economics as well as a Master's Degree in Philosophy (magna cum laude) from the University of Louvain (Belgium). He also completed at MS in Computer Science at Stanford University. Jean-Paul is fluent in English, French, German and Dutch. He is an avid mathematician, hardware hacker and is fluent with all the latest software technologies.

10 Reasons why Scrum can not Work. And why we are Successful Anyway!

Dr. Markus Friedrich - Syskron GmbH 

Scrum, that won’t work!” - Several mechanical and plant engineers are skeptical regarding the use of modern concepts for and methods of software development. In many cases, software development is also not their core competency. Indeed, the product development process usually follows a classic waterfall and factory approach. Syskron GmbH has started in the fall of 2016 an exciting restructuring process. The aim is to evolve its working procedures using new concepts and approaches and, thereby, modernize the MES software products. This field report shall illustrate the clash between two mindsets, the constrains and challenges faced, and the solutions found to counteract them. But above all, in this talk you will find out what has already been successfully implemented, despite all obstacles, and what has been accomplished since.

Markus Friedrich studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Munich and completed a doctorate on product development in information technology. He has been, for the last 10 years, involved in various positions and roles with regards to software development for machines and in the machine environment. Temporarily, he has also been engaged in classical enterprise software development projects. He is currently responsible for the product development of Sitepliot MES software in the plant digitalization sector of Syskron GmbH (Krones AG). He is convinced that agile methods are the basis for successful software product development.

Cloudy with a Chance of Test Failures (in English)

Dr. Martin Höfling and Dr. Johannes Ebke - TNG 

Test infrastructure is an important part of software development projects. Fast test-feedback cycles allow developers to commit more often, to move fast and resolve problems quickly. Test runtime is often dominated by integration tests, in some projects running for hours. Databases are often shared resources or require locking. The first step to faster tests is therefore to encapsulate the whole test system into containers, so that previous points of contention can be run in parallel. Currently, test infrastructure is often run in-house for convenience, frequently leading to a trade-off between server cost and test speed since the usage outside office hours is limited. We show that by transferring the test system to an automatically scaling kubernetes cluster, we can gain significant speedups and their associated benefits. --

Johannes Ebke is Senior Consultant at TNG Technology Consulting. Formerly analyzing data on the grid as a particle physicist at CERN, he's now working on cloud-based distributed web systems. Martin Höfling is Principal Consultant at TNG Technology Consulting, focusing on cloud technology and architecture of distributed systems. Currently, he is involved in the development of a large-scale web application using Salt, Terraform and AWS to automate deployments.

Check_MK - Software Architecture away from Mainstream

Mathias Kettner - Developer of Check_MK

The project Check_MK, launched in 2008, developed within only a few years from a small collection of scripts to a mature IT monitoring system, which is becoming increasingly popular and whose further development in the meantime keeps a company with 15 employees occupied. Part of the success is based on some very unusual design decisions in the software architecture. Mathias Kettner, the founder of the Check_MK project, gives insights into the inner life of Check_MK after a short live demo of the software and shows by some examples where Check_MK is "different " and why the courage to go own ways in software development can pay off.

Mathias Kettner studied computer science in Munich, worked as a developer at SUSE during the big Linux start-up period from 1998 to 2000 and has been independent since then. After a longer time as a freelancing Linux expert he has founded the company in 2008, which today is only all about Check_MK.

Software Defined Storage for Virtualization, Big Data, and more

Paul Emmerich - Co-Founder and Tech Lead, croit GmbH

During this talk we will cover what Ceph is exactly, what it does, and why you need it. To do so, Mr. Emmerich provides details of his last 4+ years of experience with Ceph as well as of his learning curve. Her further compares the current solutions that exist on the market. Afterwards, he shows live a demonstration installation of a complete cluster, using the explained software. There is also enough time left for a Q&A.

Paul Emmerich is a Ph.D. student at the Technical University of Munich at the Chair for Network Architectures and Network Services. In addition to his doctorate, he also gains practical experience as a consultant for First Colo GmbH, where he is responsible for networks, monitoring, and operation of the Ceph-Cluster. Today, as co-founder of croit GmbH, he is responsible for the backend as technical manager.