ETH Graduation Ceremony

The last chapter, the very last on my way to PhD – the ceremonial handover of the certificate. The Scherrer lecture hall was decorated festively, as were the new doctors. The ETH Big Band performed with a brassy ensemble, blaring jubilation. Every one of us then would walk there, receiving the certificate from the rector. A few words, smiling towards the photographer, again to the rector, “all the best on your way”. The same procedure for about 150 persons, non-stop certificates. Believe me, it’s nothing special. I had to return to my company in the evening, finishing something, caught in my new job.

Read more →

ETH Inaugural Lecture of Marc Pollefeys

An important event in the ETH community are the inaugural lectures. Every newly appointed professor has the duty to present his field of research and his person to the ETH community. Already in the opening words it became clear why Marc Pollefeys had been chosen for an ETH professorship. Aged 36, he has published about 90 papers, received numerous prices, and is constantly invited in the editorial board of journals and program board of conferences. His career stations are quite typical, starting in Belgium with PhD and PostDoc, moving to Chapel Hill, USA as assistant and associate professor, and coming to ETH in 2007. It seems that most successful scientists at one point had to go over the Atlantic to compile the merits, which are necessary for being appointed as ETH professor.

Read more →

Cortona Speakers

In early September, I will again go to the Cortona week, which is offered by ETH Zurich. Now the list of lecture and workshop contributors seems complete and we – the participants – were asked to moderate sessions. So I went through the list of presenters to see, if any of these persons was particularly interesting for me. And I found interesting persons, but far too many of them. I will introduce four persons to give you an idea about the diversity of persons and topics in this one week in Cortona. Read more →

Paper accepted

Finally, we got it through! I now can also reveal that the scientific journal of my choice was Presence, published by MIT Press. It was a long process, which raised my awareness of scientific language enormously. However, I am not sure whether that is a good thing. I now tend to get on other people’s nerves when they write something and ask for my opinion on that. There are so many mistakes and inconsistencies to discover. Read more →


A new topic which we recently entered for our virtual rowing project in the M3 lab is the assessment of psychological states (stress, engagement, frustration) with physiological parameters (heart rate, skin conductance, brain activity). The term psychophysiology describes this scientific area best. It is actually very interesting for us from a scientific point of view. We will investigate rowing subjects who are confronted with virtual audience or competitors. Our hypothesis is that they will react as in real life, leading to a change in performance, e. Read more →