Research areas: personalized web-based systems, human-computer interaction analysis, machine learning, user modelling, trustworthy AI
Position: Lead and Researcher
Maria developed the long-term vision and strategy for the institute. She also conducts research focusing on human-computer interaction analysis, user modelling and personalization. Recently, she has been working in data analysis and modelling of antisocial behavior on the Web. She is active in discussions on trustworthy AI at the national and European levels. For example, she is a former member of the High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence established by the European Commission. Currently she is a chair of the Permanent Committee for Ethics and Regulation of AI established by the Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic. She was also a member of the European Commission Joint Research Center Board of Governors.
Before her work at KInIT, Maria was employed at the Slovak University of Technology for more than 30 years — 15 as a full professor, lead of the PeWe research group (Personalized Web) and director of the User eXperience and Interaction research center. She is a former dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies (FIIT STU). She mentored talented students and participated in various international competitions, advancing several times to the world finals.
- Head of the excellence team PeWe of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, 2019
- Slovakia IT Personality 2016
- Prize of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic for exceptional results in internationally recognized research and the involvement of young talents in research (2010)
- Professor of the Year recognized by the Slovak University of Technology in 2006 and 2009
- 1st place in E-learning Competition ICETA 2010 category Supporting learning materials – Adaptive LEarning Framework ALEF
- ECUK, Engineering Council UK, registered Chartered Engineer (since 1998)
The most valuable awards are awards conferred to my great students.
Maria believes in connecting experts from multiple fields and experiences. She was a founder of the Slovak Research Center for Artificial Intelligence — Slovak.AI — and is active in the AI research community, with a particular interest in recommenders and user modelling. She regularly serves as a reviewer for international journals. She is also a steering committee or program committee member of several international conferences, including UMAP, RecSys, IJCAI, The Web Conference and Hypertext.
Maria has participated in more than 30 research projects, mostly as principal investigator. She continually strives to be involved in international projects. Recently, she participated in projects with Bar Ilan University, Lugano University and British Columbia University. She was an initiator of industrial collaborations at FIIT STU and secured funding for more than ten industrial projects.
- Co-author of reports on trustworthy AI (High-level expert group on AI)
- Member of the editorial board
- Chair of the Permanent Committee for Ethics and Regulation of AI established by the Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic
- Leading PeWe (Personalized Web) Group at FIIT STU (2005-2020)
- Leading User eXperience and Interaction Research Centre (UXI) (2015-2020)
- Mentoring students in international competitions
- Computer Society International Design Competition (CSIDC) (2000-2006). We were evaluated three times among top ten teams and participated in the World Finals (Washington, D.C.).
- Imagine Cup Competition – Software Design category (2005-2011). We participated in the World Finals 2007 (Seoul), 2008 (Paris), 2009 (Cairo), 2010 (Warsaw).
- Founding and coordinating FIIT STU The Best Team Competition — TP CUP (2009 – 2020) (in Slovak)
- Member (or former member) of
- IEEE and its Computer Society (Senior member)
- ACM – Association for Computing Machinery (Senior member)
- Slovakia Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (member, vice-chair since 2009 to 2018, chair since 2018)
- Slovak Society for Computer Science (former member of its executive committee)
- Reviewer for ACM Computing Reviews
- Steering committee member
- Member (or former member) of a number of program committees of international conferences and workshops, including A* or A-ranked conferences: The ACM Web Conference, International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, The ACM Conference Series on Recommender Systems, ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media.
Selected International Projects
DisAI: Improving scientific excellence of KInIT in AI and language technologies to fight disinformation
AI4Europe: The unified platform for boosting European AI academic and industrial research
Doctoral students I currently supervise
- Pecher Branislav – Addressing small labeled data in machine learning training. Co-supervised by Ivan Srba.
- De Leon Santiago – Eye-tracking the consumption of recommended information online. Co-supervised by Robert Moro. Part of MSCA Doctoral Network Eyes4ICU.
Successfully defended doctoral dissertations
- Kaššák Ondrej – Modelling Changes in User Short-term Behaviour on a Website. Co-supervised by Michal Kompan. Defended 2017. Rector’s Award. — Data Scientist at Luigi’s Box
- Móro Róbert – Navigational Leads for Exploratory Search and Navigation in Digital Libraries. Defended 2017. — Senior Researcher at KInIT
- Šajgalík Márius – Modelling Text Semantics. Co-supervised by Michal Barla. Defended 2017. — Researcher at Google (Zurich)
- Ševcech Jakub – Towards Symbolic Representation of Potentially Infinite Time Series. Defended 2016. — Senior Data Scientist at Swiss Re and Research Consultant at KInIT
- Rástočný Karol – Metadata Management for Large Information Spaces. Defended 2016. — Software Architect at ME-Inspection SK
- Kuric Eduard – Automatic Estimation of Developer’s Expertise. Defended 2016. — Founder of UX Tweak and Assistant Professor at the Slovak University of Technology
- Srba Ivan – Promoting Sustainability and Transferability of Community Question Answering. Defended 2016. — Senior Researcher at KInIT
- Zeleník Dušan – Reducing the Sparsity of Contextual Information for Recommendation. Defended 2014. — Researcher & Analyst & Developer at Orderlord Europe
- Kramár Tomáš – Utilizing Lightweight Semantics for Search Context Acquisition in Personalized Search. Defended 2014. — Co-founder and CTO at Luigi’s Box
- Kompan Michal – Group and Single-user Influence Modeling for Personalized Recommendation. Defended 2014. — Scientific Director and Expert Researcher at KInIT
- Šimko Jakub – Harnessing Manpower for Creating Semantics. Defended 2013. Rector’s Award. — Team Lead and Expert Researcher at KInIT
- Šimko Marián – Automated Acquisition of Domain Model for Adaptive Collaborative Web-based Learning. Defended 2012. Rector’s Award. — Team lead and Expert Researcher at KInIT
- Barla Michal – Towards Social-based User Modeling and Personalization. Defended 2011. — Co-founder, Head of product at Luigi’s Box
- Tvarožek Michal – Exploratory Search in the Adaptive Social Semantic Web. Defended 2011. Rector’s Award. Among the Winners of the 2010 Student Research Competition Grand Finals: 2nd Place. — Enterprise IT Architect at TÜV SÜD
- Tvarožek Jozef – Bootstrapping a Socially Intelligent Tutoring Strategy. Defended 2011. — Self-employed
- Bartalos Peter – Effective Automatic Dynamic Semantic Web Service Composition. Defended 2011. — Software Development Engineer at Amadeus IT Group
- Vojtek Peter – Contribution to Relational Classification with Homophily Assumption. Defended 2010. — Director of Engineering at Kindbody
- Andrejko Anton – Novel Approaches to Acquisition and Maintenance of User Model. Defended 2009. — Business Analyst at Erste Digital and Owner and Graphic Designer at ANTONA SK
- Vranic Valentino – Multi-paradigm Design with Feature Modeling. Defended 2004. — Associate Professor at the Slovak University of Technology
Selected excellent past bachelor and master projects
I have supervised up to now more than 90 successfully defended final bachelor projects and more than 70 successfully defended master thesis projects. I have been all the time lucky supervised most of the best students of our faculty. I list bellow some of them that were the best among these. Results of almost all projects mentioned bellow were published in scientific journals or international scientific conferences or workshops.
Best of the best Master theses
- Hucko Michal – Identification of User Confusion in a Web Application. Defended 2019. IT SPY 2019 Gallery.
- Konôpka Martin – Software Metrics Based on Developer’s Activity and Context of Software Development. Defended 2014. IT SPY 2014 Gallery. IET Award.
- Ševcech Jakub – Navigation on the Web Using Annotations. Defended 2013. IT SPY 2013 Gallery.
- Móro Róbert – Personalized Text Summarization. Defended 2012. Best Diploma Thesis Dean’s Award. IAB 2012 Best Thesis Competition. 3rd place.
- Srba Ivan – Encouragement of Collaborative Learning Based on Dynamic Groups. Defended 2012. Best Diploma Thesis Dean’s Award. IT SPY 2012 – Student Project of the Year Czech and Slovak Competition: 5th place.
- Labaj Martin – Recommendation and Collaboration through Implicit Feedback. Defended 2011. Best Diploma Thesis Dean’s Award. IT SPY 2011 – Student Project of the Year Czech and Slovak Competition: 4th place
- Holub Michal – Adaptation of website navigation based on users’ behavior. Defended 2010. Best Diploma Thesis Dean’s Award. IT SPY 2010 – Student Project of the Year Czech and Slovak Competition: 5th place
- Divéky Marko – Generating Dynamic Interactive Stories. Defended 2009. Best Diploma Thesis Dean’s Award.
- Šimko Marián – Adaptive semantic web for e-learning. Defended 2008. Best Diploma Thesis Dean’s Award.
- Barla Michal – Interception of User’s Interests on the Web. Defended 2007. Best Diploma Thesis Dean’s Award.
- Tvarožek Michal – Personalized navigation in the semantic web. Defended 2007. Best Diploma Thesis Dean’s Award. Werner von Siemens Excellence Award for Diploma Thesis.
- Nagy Peter – Personalised planning of presented information sequences in e-course. Defended 2006. Best paper award at the EC-TEL 2007 conference. Best Diploma Thesis Dean’s Award.
Master theses recognized by international community
- Tomáš Juhaniak: Cognitive Load Evaluation as a Part of User Studies. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2018. IT SPY 2018 Gallery. Dean’s honourable mention for excellent diploma thesis. Part of research in UXI.
- Andrej Švec: Modelling the appropriateness of text posts. Diploma thesis. Co-supervised with Matúš Pikuliak. Successfully defended in June 2018. Paper at Workshop on Abusive Language Online – EMNLP 2018, Association for Computational Linguistics.
- Metod Rybár: Evaluation of user explicit feedback based on his implicit feedback measurement. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2016. Part of research in UXI.
- Martin Lipták: Researcher Modeling in Personalized Digital Library. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2014. Part of research project Tradice.
- Roman Burger: Personalized Reading Resources Organization. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2013. Paper at WISE 2014, LNCS Springer.
- Anton Benčič: Context-based Recommendation in a Specific Domain. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2012. Award of Slovak Academy of Sciences.
- Eduard Kuric: Automatic Photo Annotation Based on Visual Content Analysis. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2011. Dean’s honourable mention for excellent diploma thesis.
- Michal Lohnický: Spatial and Time Navigation in Multimedia. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2011. Paper at Human-Computer Interaction, IFIP, Vol. 332, Springer.
- Dušan Zeleník: Recommending based on Similarity Relations. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2010. 2nd place in Diploma Thesis of the Year Czech and Slovak Competition.
- Pavel Michlík: Solved exercises in adaptive educational web-based system. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2010. Best Paper at RecSysTel 2010.
- Michal Kompan: Personalized Recommendation of Interesting Texts. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2010. 1st place in Diploma Thesis of the Year Czech and Slovak Competition. Academy of Sciences Award.
- Marek Tomša: Metadata browsing on the Semantic Web. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2008. Award of Slovak Academy of Sciences.
- Oto Vozár: Adapting educational content on the Web using continuous assessment. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2008. Dean’s honourable mention for excellent diploma thesis.
- Richard Veselý: Relational model for ontology representation and querying. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2008. Dean’s honourable mention for excellent diploma thesis.
- Michal Jemala: Visual browsing of RDF documents. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in January 2007.
- Katarína Matušíková: Personalised navigation in information space. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2006. Dean’s honourable mention for excellent diploma thesis.
- Michal Moravčík: Modeling of adaptive web-based systems. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2006.
- Michal Tury: Identification and management of ontology changes. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in January 2006.
- Andrej Krištofič: Discovery of knowledge about student’s behavior during the process of learning programmming. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2005. Award of Slovak Academy of Sciences.
- Rastislav Habala: Adaptive presentation of evolving information within different contexts. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2003.
- Radovan Kostelník: Support of learning programming by examples. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2002.
- Peter Ágh: Adaptive textbook. Diploma thesis. Successfully defended in June 2001.
Best Bachelor theses
- Michal Hucko – Analysis of students answers to questions. Defended 2017. Best Bachelor Thesis Rector’s Award.
- Dragúňová Mária – Evaluation of User Experience by Eye Tracking. Defended 2016. Best Bachelor Paper IIT.SRC 2016 Award.
- Juhaniak Tomáš – Measuring Cognitive Overload in Human Computer Interaction. Defended 2016.
- Vnenk Ľubomír – Context-aware Information Space Browsing. Defended 2014.
- Filipčík Richard – Evaluation of Student Activity and Motivation in an Educational Web-based System. Defended 2014.
- Zbel Pavol – Source Code Search within Context. Defended 2013.
- Ševcech Jakub – Automatic Web Content Annotation. Defended 2011. Deans Award. IAB 2011 Best Thesis Competition. 3rd place.
- Srba Ivan – Tracing strength of relationships in social networks. Defended 2010. Deans Award.
- Unčík Maroš – Annotating Texts in Educational Web-Based System. Defended 2010. IT SPY 2010 Finals. 2nd place.