Cognitive and Digital Science Lab (CoDiS Lab)

The CoDiS Lab focuses on interdisciplinary research by connecting and applying computer science with cognitive psychology. The main research areas of CoDiS include (a) digital literacy development, (b) human and computational decision making, and (c) human-centred system design and evaluation. These thematic areas are based on expertise and research in computer science focusing on extended reality technologies, social and engaging media, and data and information analytics. Furthermore, they incorporate know-how and research on human factors, cognition, and motivation from cognitive psychology. Within its main research areas the CoDiS Lab team performs and implements work on theoretical and cognitive models, conceptual approaches, empirical studies, software applications, and evaluation.

Current Projects

An overview of the current projects and past projects where CoDiS group members were involved can be found on the Visual Project Explorer.

VISDAT - Visual Analytics for Promoting Digital and Scientific Literacy
The VISDAT project aims at stimulating school children’s interest and motivation in dealing with natural science topics and at supporting competence development in scientific and digital literacy. The core idea of the project is to pursue the application of basic data science in dealing with natural science research questions.

  • Funding: Styrian Government
  • Duration: 01.02.2019 - 31.01.2021
  • VISDAT Website

Provenance - Providing Verification Assistance for New Content
Disinformation and low-quality content undermine the digital ecosystem and contribute to the instability of societies across the world. To address this multifaceted problem, the Provenance project is developing a new verification-based warning system for disinformation. The aim is to improve the information environment by building immunity to low quality content while fostering values of trust and openness.

  • Funding: European Commission, H.2020
  • Duration: 01.12.2018 - 30.11.2021
  • Provenance Website

J.UCS - Journal of Universal Computer Science
Journal of Universal Computer Science (J.UCS) - is a high-quality electronic publication that deals with all aspects of computer science. J.UCS has been appearing monthly since 1995 and is thus one of the oldest electronic journals with uninterrupted publication since its foundation. Beginning with 2020, license has changed to the creative commons CC BY-ND 4.0 licens

  • Funding: International Consortium
  • Duration: 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2022
  • J.UCS Website

sCool - Video Game for Computational Skills
sCool is a motivating video game for teaching computational skills in a playful way. It consists of a concept-learning and a practical part. In the concept-learning part players explore a hostile planet, defeat enemies, and collect disks. In this way they learn basic concepts in computer science. The learned concepts are applied in the practical part by controlling a robot on a playing field using the Python programming language.

  • Funding: Internal Funding
  • Duration: 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2024
  • sCool Website

AI 4 Reporters - create AI-driven Wire Service for Statehouse Coverage
In this research the aim is to build a prototype news wire service where narrative content covering state legislatures is automatically generated from primary data sources, and can be distributed to local and regional news organizations for publication. This research is conducted in collaboration with Cal Poly Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy and University of Miami School of Communications.

LOOP Analytics – Object-oriented Cooding MOOC Learning Analytics
This research aims on motivation and learner behavior analytics as well as attrition and retentions prediction based on LOOP data, a MOOC about object-oriented programming. This research is conducted in collaboration with the Technical University Munich, TUM School of Education.

  • Funding: internal funding
  • Duration: 01.07.2020 - 28.02.2021

Infret - Interactive tool for exploring text statistics
The Infret project provides an exploratory and interactive visual environment for learning information retrieval concepts. The main idea of Infret is to provide an environment where students can explore, learn and visualise different IR concepts using real data. Currently, it supports various ways of exploring multiple text statistics and term weighting concepts. Infret was built and evaluated in collaboration with RMIT University in Melbourne. 

  • Funding: internal funding

CERN Push Notification System - Information Retrieval in Multidimensional Information Space for Push Notification Systems
This research collaboration with CERN and Graz University of Technology aims to understand the informational need of users in large organizations, discover novel ways of retrieving important information from large datasets, and visualize information to users in an easily understandable format.

  • Funding: Mixed Funding
  • Duration: 01.08.2020 - 31.07.2023

Collaboration Spotting - Knowledge Graph based Information Retrieval
Knowledge Graph Approaches for Information Retrieval and Exploration based on NPL, retrieval and information visualization for various application domains. This research collaboration with CERN and University Graz focuses on information search and retrieval, information visualization and usability.

sCool@SFZ - Digital Skill Teaching
This project is a cooperation between Technical University of Munich and Schülerforschungszentrum (SFZ) Berchtesgadener Land. The goal of the project sCool@SFZ is to provide a self-designed e-learning course about coding for motivated children. This course should help children to get into programming and learn fundamental coding skills using the e-learning platform and the serious game sCool.

  • Funding: Internal

LearnInf - Digital Skill Teaching
An introduction into programming is fundamental in computer science programmes at universities. Novices are often faced with new paradigms which can be hard when starting to code. A central goal of this project is to analyse this process in a first-year programming course in order to support and engage students and take countermeasures when problems in learning appear. This project is a cooperation between the psychology department of the University of Graz, the University College of Teacher Education and CoDiS Lab Graz.

  • Funding: Internal

OpenWebSearch.EU - Piloting a Cooperative Open Web Search Infrastructure to Support Europe's Digital Sovereignty
This project will develop the core of a European Open Web Index (OWI) as a basis for a new Internet Search in Europe. In addition, the project will set the foundation for an open and extensible open Web Search and Analysis Infrastructure (OWSAI), based on Europe’s values, principles, legislation and standards. The CoDiS Lab team will focus on the design and integration of user-centered aspects and ethical values in the search technology, and will lead the creation of search applications that demonstrate both the open web search infrastructure and the human values.

  • Funding: European Commission, Horizon Europe
  • Duration: 01.09.2022 – 31.08.2025
  • OpenWebSearch.EU Website []
  • Press Release 


Gütl, Christian, Assoc.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
Head of CoDiS Lab; background and technical doctorate in computer science; “venia legendi” for applied computer science in 2009; his research interests include information search and retrieval, natural language processing, adaptive media technologies, social media and behavior analytics, e-education and e-assessment, mixed reality and game engineering for skill and knowledge acquisition.

Nussbaumer, Alexander, Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
Postdoctoral researcher. Doctorate in computer science and thirteen years of research experience in international projects in areas between psychology and computer science. Research interests include digital learning, digital literacy, decision support, visual analytics, human factors, and evaluation analytics.

Ebner, Sylvia, BA BSc MSc
Sylvia graduated in psychology and educational science; her research interests include digital learning, digital literacy, cognitive processes, development of motivation and interest of young people in the STEM field as well as the evaluation of learning and research environments.

Steinmaurer, Alexander, Mag.rer.nat
University Assistant and PhD student; teaching diploma in computer science; his research interests include computer science education and didactics, computational skill teaching, learning analytics, digital learning, and engaging learning technologies.

Zeisberg, Johanna, B.Sc.
Publishing Manager of the Journal of Universal Computer Science; graduated in philosophy, literature and mathematics; insights in various academic cultures and scientific standards; tasks include administrative and editorial activities related to publication processes of science journals and edited volumes.

Ziegler, Kirsten-Stefanie
Student Project Assistant; she studies Softwareengineering and Management at TU Graz, while also visiting psychology courses. Stefanie is assisting the CoDis Team with the editorial activities on the Journal of Universal Computer Science and she is writing her bachelor thesis on the Collaboration Spotting Tool from CERN.

Visiting and Adjunct Fellows

Christopher Cheong is an associate professor in the Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics in the School of Accounting, Information Systems and Supply Chain at RMIT University.  His research interest involves the application of computational techniques to address issues in various domains, such as business and education. His current research focus is on analytics, persuasive systems, and educational technologies. In recognition of his teaching excellence and technology-enhanced learning research, he was awarded an Office of Learning and Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in 2016 and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018.

Christian Eckhardt, PhD, is a computer scientist, physicist, and software developer, Entrepeneur, founder of the Mixed Reality Lab (MRL) at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2017. The MRL is an graduate research facility emphasizing Christian Eckhardt's main research topics: Mixed Reality, Computer Graphics, Human-Computer Interaction, and Physics Simulations.

Krzysztof Pietroszek is a Polish/Canadian computer scientists and filmmaker. His research and art projects involve designing volumetric capture equipment, telemedicine technologies, persuasive virtual and augmented reality, interaction techniques for artificial reality continuum, applications of machine learning to animation and volumetric capture, and interactive narrative and montage in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. 

Katya Alvarez-Molina, PhD is an audio/sonic interaction designer and an enthusiast of music with 10+ years in music technology. Katya has been involved in different electronic art projects. Her research areas include algorithmic creation, embodied music cognition, design of interactive music systems, and HCI tools and techniques in music.

France Cheong is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics in the School of Accounting, Information Systems and Supply Chain at RMIT University. His current research interest is on enterprise artificial intelligence as well educational technologies.

PhD Students

Aleksandar Bobic
Aleksandar’s dissertation topic is 'Enhancing the Information Retrieval Processes using Network Analytics' which is a research collaboration with CERN. As part of his research, he investigates how the combination of network techniques and retrieval techniques impacts the information retrieval process, new ways of introducing additional context to data using network techniques and approaches for investigating network structures generated from retrieved documents using various network concepts to identify meaningful connections between documents or concepts.

Sarah Frank
Her dissertation topic is 'Automatic Summary Generation of Scientific and Information Repositories', which is a research collaboration with CERN. For this, she investigates different ways of extracting the main points of information from a variety of inputs, and explores the possibilities for further processing into a singular information source.

Igor Jakovljevic
His Thesis Title is 'User Navigation and Information Retrieval in Multidimensional Information Space for Push Notification Systems' which is a research collaboration with CERN. The goal of this doctoral dissertation is to research and prototype an information retrieval and user navigation approach and system that will be used by the CERN Push Notification System.

Xhelal Jashari
His dissertation topic is 'Devising Prototype Model for Assessing the Digital Competencies Based on DigComp Framework'. The research investigates methods and frameworks for assessing digital skills and competencies in order to devise an assessment model. Moreover, it focuses on integrating the digital skills framework for learning, teaching, and assessing digital skills with an adaptive learning strategy.

Rene Kaiser
He is working on his thesis with the preliminary title 'Virtual Director - A Generic Concept and Computational Approach for Live Video Stream Adaptation and Personalisation'. Rene developed this concept in the realm of several European research projects and applied and evaluated it in use cases for group video communication, live event broadcast and theatre performance.

Joachim Maderer
His dissertation topic is 'Integrated Assessment Strategies for 3D Learning Environments to Support Flexible, Open Learning Scenarios in the Classroom'. The research investigates flexible methods and concepts for automated behavior-based assessment, feedback and guidance in STEM-related explorative simulations and studies the effectiveness and applicability in different classroom settings.

André Rattinger
André’s research topic is 'Semantic Information Retrieval for Multidimensional Publication and Patent Graphs'. This research is conducted in association with a web-based graph retrieval project developed at CERN. His work focuses on the development of semantic information retrieval methods that aid in finding the most relevant publications and patents and presenting them in the context of knowledge graphs.

Manuel Rebol
Manuel’s dissertation topic is 'Crossing the uncanny valley of nonverbal communication using volumetric capture' which is a research collaboration with American University and George Washington University. The goal of his research is to develop a visual communication system that will be used by physicians for simulation and remote procedures.

Tanja Reiterer
Her dissertation topic is 'Creation and Usage of Patient Summaries in the Austrian Healthcare System'. This research investigates how the Austrian healthcare system can benefit from the exchange of structures patient summaries between healthcare providers. It focuses on the application of language processing algorithms and ontologies in order to improve the extraction of structured data from textual patient charts.

Alexander Steinmaurer
Alexander's dissertation topic is 'Design and Implementation of a Learning Framework for Coding in School Education'. The goal of this dissertation is to research methods and concepts for coding in school within an e-learning environment in order to best support beginners. It investigates the process of learning to program and what features are necessary to help students while learning to program.

Ossy Dwi Endah Wulansari
Her dissertation topic is Research and Development of Online Tools for Measuring the Level of and Experiencing Empathy. This research investigates how to develop a model for designing online tools for teaching, experiencing, and measuring empathy, as well as showcase and experiment with online tools. The specific focus of interest is on computer games and computer-based storytelling.


Gütl, Christian, Assoc.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
+43 (316) 873 - 5604

Nussbaumer, Alexander, Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
+43 (316) 873 - 30638

Steinermaurer Alexander, Mag. rer. nat.
+43 (316) 873 - 5626

Ebner, Sylvia, BA BSc MSc

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