Benjamin Paassen
Last changed: 2024-06-18

Work Experience

April 2023 - Today
Junior Professor (tenure track) for Knowledge Representation and Machine Learning at Bielefeld University.
Dec 2021 - Dec 2023
Deputy head of the Educational Technology Lab supervised by Prof. Niels Pinkwart.
Jun 2021 - April 2024
Senior Researcher at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Germany, in the Educational Technology Lab supervised by Prof. Niels Pinkwart. Funding provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the project AI-supported personalization in job-related education (KIPerWeb).
Jan 2021 - May 2021
Research Affiliate at Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany, supervised by Prof. Niels Pinkwart. Funding provided by the DFG in the project Teaching Computer Programming using Deep Recursive Neural Networks.
Jan 2020 - Dec 2020
Research Affiliate at The University of Sydney, Australia, supervised by Prof. Kalina Yacef and Prof. Irena Koprinska. Funding provided by the DFG in the project Teaching Computer Programming using Deep Recursive Neural Networks.
Jun 2019 - Dec 2019
Researcher at Bielefeld University, Germany. Member of the Machine Learning Research Group. Funding provided by Bielefeld University in the Bielefeld Young Researchers' Fund.
May 2015 - May 2019
Researcher at Bielefeld University, Germany. Member of the Machine Learning Research Group. Funding provided by the DFG from May 2015 to May 2018 in the project Learning Dynamic Feedback for Intelligent Tutoring Systems (DynaFIT).
Sep 2012 - Apr 2015
Scientific Assistant at Bielefeld University, Germany. Member of the Machine Learning Research Group. Funding provided by the DFG in the project Learning Feedback for Intelligent Tutoring Systems (FIT).
Sep 2011 - Aug 2012
Scientific Assistant at Bielefeld University, Germany. Member of the Practical Computer Science Group.

Academic Education

May 2015 - April 2019
PhD Studies in the doctoral programme Intelligent Systems at Bielefeld University, Germany supervised by Prof. Barbara Hammer. Dissertation on ‘Metric Learning for Structured Data’, graded ‘excellent’ (summa cum laude).
Oct 2013 - Apr 2015
Master Studies in the graduate programme Intelligent Systems at Bielefeld University, Germany. Thesis on ‘Adaptive Affine Sequence Alignment Using Algebraic Dynamic Programming’ supervised by Prof. Barbara Hammer, graded ‘very good’ (1.0).
Oct 2010 - Sep 2013
Bachelor Studies in the undergrad programme Cognitive Informatics at Bielefeld University, Germany. Thesis on ‘Search Algorithms and their Application in BiBiServ2’ supervised by Prof. Robert Giegerich, graded ‘very good’ (1.0).

Awards and Scholarships

Jan 2024
Golden Chalk teaching award by the students' council of the faculty of technology of Bielefeld University for Introduction to Data Mining.
Jan 2024 - Dec 2027
Member of the Young College of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts in the program Humboldtn.
Jan 2021 - May 2021
Reintegration Fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Dec 2020
Winner (1st place) of the NeurIPS 2020 Education Challenge (Task 3) with Jessica McBroom.
Oct 2020 - September 2025
Junior Fellow of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research
Sep 2020
ICML 2020 Top reviewer certificate.
May 2020
Nomination for the Doctoral Disseration Award of the International Neural Network Society (INNS).
Jan 2020
Dissertation Prize of the University Society Bielefeld.
Jan 2020 - Dec 2020
Research Fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Jun 2019 - Dec 2019
Postdoctoral Career Bridge Scholarship of the Bielefeld Young Researchers' Fund.
March 2019
Best Poster Award (2nd) for the poster ‘Unfair Feedback – On Long-Term Fairness of Automatic Decision Making With and Without Affirmative Action’ at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2019.
March 2018
Best Poster Award (3rd) for the poster ‘Greedy for Diversity: The Participant Partition Problem in IK Interaction Groups’ at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2018.
March 2017
Best Poster Award (2nd) for the poster ‘Transfer Learning for Robust Control of Bionic Prostheses’ at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2017.
Sep 2016
Best Presentation Award for the paper ‘Linear Supervised Transfer Learning for Generalized Matrix LVQ’ at the New Challenges in Neural Computation Workshop (NC2) 2016.
Apr 2015
Best Student Paper Award for the paper ‘Adaptive structure metrics for automated feedback provision in java programming’ at the European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN) 2015.
Apr 2014
Best Student Paper Award for the paper ‘Adaptive distance measures for sequential data’ at the European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN) 2014.
Feb 2011 - Apr 2015
Full Scholarship of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (‘Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes’).

Teaching & Guest lectures

March 2024
Lecture Series on Machine Learning at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2023.
Winter 2023
Lecturer for Introduction to Data Mining at Bielefeld University.
Summer 2023
Lecturer for Human-Centric Machine Learning at Bielefeld University.
March 2020
Lecture Series on Machine Learning at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2023.
September 2022
Keynote speaker at the Knowledge Sharing Festival.
September 2022
Keynote speaker at the DELFI workshop “Rahmenbedingungen für Künstliche Intelligenz in EdTech”.
May 2021
Keynote speaker at the final event of the network for digital qualification in chemistry (DQC_Net).
March 2021
Lecture Series entitled The AI Go Tournament at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2021.
Winter and summer term 2020
Guest lecturer at The University of Sydney for IT research methods.
March 2020
Lecture Series on Machine Learning at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2020.
Winter Term 2019/2020
Tutorial Design and Management for Applied Optimization at Bielefeld University.
March 2019
Tutorial Design and Management for Deep Learning at Bielefeld University.
Jan 2019
Guest Lectures at the University of Groningen on Neural Networks and Pattern Recognition.
Winter Term 2018/2019
Tutorial Design and Management for Applied Optimization at Bielefeld University.
Summer Term 2018
Tutorial Design and Management for Theoretical Computer Science at Bielefeld University.
March 2018
Lecture Series at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2018 on Myoelectric Signal Processing and Pattern Recognition.
Jan 2018
Guest Lectures at the University of Groningen on Neural Networks and Pattern Recognition.
Winter Term 2017/2018
Seminar on Applied Modelling at Bielefeld University.
May 2017
ERASMUS+ Guest Lectures at the University of Pisa on Transfer Learning and Metric Learning.
Summer Term 2017
Lectures, Tutorial Design and Management for Theoretical Computer Science at Bielefeld University.
Winter Term 2016/2017
Tutorial Design and Management for Theoretical Computer Science at Bielefeld University.
Summer Term 2016
Seminar on Applied Modelling at Bielefeld University.
March 2016
Guest Lecture at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2016 on Similarity-Based Machine Learning
Jan 2016
Guest Lecture at the University of Ulm on Metric Learning for Structured Data.
Winter Term 2015/2016
Tutorial Design and Management for Theoretical Computer Science at Bielefeld University.
Summer Term 2015
Tutorial Design and Management for Algorithms of Computer Science at Bielefeld University.
March 2015
Guest Lecture at the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2015 on Semantic Web Technologies for Word Processing.

Academic Functions

June 2024 to September 2025
Program Chair for the 48th German Conference on Artificial Intelligence (KI2025)
March 2025
Chair of the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2025.
May 2024
Participated in Dagstuhl seminar 24192 - Generalization by People and Machines.
March to December 2024
Area chair for the International Conference on Neural Information Processing (NeurIPS) 2024.
Since January 2024
Co-Founder of the Network AI and digital autonomy in science and education.
September 2023 to July 2024
Program Chair for the International Conference on Educational Data Mining 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Since March 2023
Speaker of the program committee for the Interdisciplinary College (IK).
May 2022 to August 2024
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Project KI4CoLearnET.
Jan 2022 to July 2022
Co-Lead of the Mentoring Program for the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN) 2022.
Oct 2021
Co-Chair of the Special Session Deep Learning for Graphs at the Europian Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN) 2021.
Sep 2021
Area chair for the applied data science track at the European Conference on Machine Learning (ECML) 2021.
Jun 2021
Member of the program committee for the Educational Data Mining in Computer Science Education (CSEDM) Workshop at the International Conference on Educational Data Mining.
Jun 2021
Co-Chair of the Workshop Computational Approaches to Creativity in Educational Technologies and member of the program committee for the iTextbooks workshop at the Artificial Intelligence in Education Conference.
March 2021
Chair of the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2021.
Dec 2020 to today
Member of the IEEE task force on reservoir computing.
May 2020 to today
Associate Editor for the Journal Neural Processing Letters.
Feb 2020 to today
Member of the IEEE task force on learning for structured data.
Apr 2020
Member of the Technical Program Committee for the European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN) 2020
March 2020
Conference Management for the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2020.
Apr 2019
Chair of the Special Session Embeddings and Representation Learning for Structured Data at the European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN) 2019.
March 2019
Conference Management for the Interdisciplinary College (IK) 2019.

Outreach & Press

May 2024 to October 2024
Podcast Autonomie & Algorithmen - Freiheit im Zeitalter von KI with Christiane Attig, part of the Year of Science 2024 “Freedom”.
June 2024
Talk AI and autonomy in higher education at the University:Future Festival.
January 2024
Blog Entry for Jan-Martin Wiarda: Why universities should now host open-source language models.
February 2023 to June 2024
Invited talks at several outreach events on ChatGPT and education, e.g. Verband der Privatschulen NRW, Weiterbildung Hessen e.V., Hessischer Volkshochschulverband, TU Braunschweig, Bundesschülerkonferenz, VHS Höxter, Diakonie Baden, and VHS-Verband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
July 2023
Interview with Deutsche Welle SHIFT on AI in education
August 2022
Featured by Matt Parker (aka standupmaths) in two videos for a graph-theoretic solution to finding five words with distinct letters an documenting later, faster solutions.
April 2022
Founding member and member of the scientific advisory board for StarCode e.V..
August 2021
Participant of the Summer Academy on International Politics and AI of the Academy for International Affairs NRW.
August 2021
Contribution to the 3Blue1Brown Summer of Math Exposition.
Apr 2021
Blog entry at ZiF Hypotheses on AI and Ethics.
Jan 2020
Interview with Hertz 87.9 on toxic gamer culture.
Dec 2019
Panel member at the ScienceCinema in Bielefeld.
Oct 2019
Public demo at the Northrhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences on machine learning for changing data.
Sep 2019
Interview with Hertz 87.9 on societal impacts of machine learning.
May 2018
Public demo at the data science day of Bielefeld University on prosthesis research.
Apr 2016
Presenter at the Famelab in Bielefeld.

Reviews

Over ninety reviews for indexed academic journals, as well as numerous reviews for top conferences, such as the International Conference on Advances in Neural Information Processing (NeurIPS), the International Conference for Machine Learning (ICML), the International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), the European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN), and the International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks (ICANN).

Supervision

I am currently supervising a team of six PhD students and one postdoctoral researcher.

I supervised ten bachelor’s theses, eight master’s theses, one honors thesis (Sydney), one research internship, and four student research assistants. Some of these theses resulted in peer-reviewed publications (Paaßen, Jensen, and Hammer, 2016 as well as Kummert et al., 2016).