Spotlight on Young Researchers: Dimitra Anastasiou

 

December 2016

In 2015, Dimitra Anastasiou was featured in our campaign ‘Spotlight on Young Researchers’, which highlighted early-career researchers with a connection to Luxembourg. In November 2015, Dimitra moved to Luxembourg with her young family to start her prestigious Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). One year on, we caught up with Dimitra!

Dimitra moved to Luxembourg in 2015 to start at LIST with her colleagues Eric Ras and Valérie Maquil within her European project ‘Gestures in Tangible User Interfaces’ (GETUI), which was accepted in the call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014.

GETUI has a duration of two years and through user studies investigates the use of gestures in interaction with Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) in the context of technology-based assessment (TBA) of collaborative and complex problem solving skills.

“I am very excited be working in Belval and live the experience of this multilingual and -cultural community of Luxembourg with my small family! I have changed many cities and countries in my academic career (Limerick-Ireland, Bremen-Oldenburg-Germany), but I hope that Luxembourg will be a longer stop and good push for my career”, Dimitra said.

One year on: Thriving in Luxembourg

Dimitra is now one year into her GETUI project and has already run user studies with 63 participants at two secondary schools in Luxembourg.

Over the past year, Dimitra has acquired know-how on gesture taxonomies in human-human and human-computer interaction, as well as expanded her knowledge about ethics and data protection, and she has also proactively learned about transferable skills.

She has also supervised two Master students and presented the results of her project at no less than 6 conferences.

Dimitra, who has been living in Luxembourg for just over one year now with her young family, says about the Grand Duchy: “Luxembourg is a great country with nice landscape and lot of possibilities for children, including many indoor parks for the winter and many children’s festivals in summer!”

About Dimitra Anastasiou

Dr Dimitra Anastasiou finished her PhD in 2010 within five years on the topic of “Machine Translation“ at Saarland University, Germany. Then she worked for two years as a post-doc in the project “Centre for Next Generation Localisation (CNGL)” at the University of Limerick, Ireland. There she lead the CNGL-metadata group and was a member of the XML Interchange File Format (XLIFF) Technical Committee.

Over the next two years she continued with the project “SFB/TR8 Spatial Cognition” at the University of Bremen, Germany. After her maternity leave, she worked at the University of Oldenburg, Germany in the DFG-project SOCIAL, which aimed at facilitating spontaneous and informal communication in spatially distributed groups by exploiting smart environments and ambient intelligence.

In early 2015 she was awarded a Marie Curie-Individual Fellowship grant on the topic of Tangible User Interfaces. In the last years, she has supervised numerous BA, MA and PhD students. In total she has published a book (PhD version), 17 journal/magazines papers, 39 papers in conference and workshop proceedings, and she is editor of 6 workshop proceedings. In addition, she is a member of 20 programme committees for journals, conferences, and workshops.

Dr Dimitra Anastasiou started her MSCA Individual Fellowship at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) in November 2015
The Young Researchers campaign infographic introducing Dimitra (click to enlarge)
Example of a Tangible User Interface (TUI) used for collaborative problem-solving and decision-making.
Dimitra outside her office in Belval, Luxembourg

RELATED HIGHLIGHTS

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Glioblastoma and the challenge of getting cancer drugs to reach the brain

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain tumours in adults. The incidence is about 4 per 100.000 people and the average survival after diagnosis is about 14 months with current treatments. The tumour’s location represents a major challenge – few drugs make it past the blood brain barrier. Researchers are working on designing a novel kind of drug that could help do just that.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Identifying environmental pollutants

Nobody is untouched by environmental chemical pollution, but most are unaware of how they are exposed, what to, and the possible health consequences. With over 350,000 registered chemicals in use, an important first step towards assessing their environmental impacts is to make chemical information more machine-readable and open. Environmental Cheminformatics is on the case.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Understanding drug resistance in skin cancer

Melanoma is a rare type of skin cancer, but it is the deadliest type – and incidence is on the rise. Metastatic melanoma has seen a rapid emergence in drug resistance: After a few months, treatment stops working and tumours begin to grow again. Molecular biologists are working to understand why this happens.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Towards predicting ageing-related diseases

A rapid increase in both life expectancy and global population size has led to a rise in the prevalence of chronic ageing-associated diseases. Brain and heart age-associated diseases including hypertension, stroke, heart failure, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are leading causes of mortality and disability worldwide. Researchers are working on much-needed ways to predict these diseases.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Are you what you eat?

Cardiometabolic complications threaten health and reduce life expectancy. In Luxembourg, 1 in 3 people have metabolic syndrome, as a risk factor for cardiometabolic complications such as obesity, high blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as hypertension. Science has shown a link between what we eat and our health – nutritionists are now investigating how dietary strategies could prevent these health complications.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: AI for ethical and legal debates

Looking at popular culture, big tech and ongoing societal debates – technological progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) affects us all. Researchers from numerous scientific fields are working on the best way to bring AI forward, including the study of systems able to autonomously reason over arguments – calculators for philosophical, ethical or legal debates.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: How is scientific quality fostered by research collaboration?

In the last decades, how research is conducted has been profoundly changed by ICT, and there has also been a shift from the ‘sole genius’ towards teamwork and especially interdisciplinarity: Today, millions of researchers worldwide collaborate across organisational, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries, extending the possibilities of new scientific discovery. This, and the associated data, has paved the way for the scientific field Science of Science, where one key question is understanding exactly how scientific quality is fostered by research collaboration.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Turning up the heat on solar absorbers

Using solar absorbers for collection and storage of heat from the sun is an environmentally friendly way to generate heat, yet only 16% of heating is generated from renewable energy. Material scientists are looking for ways to boost this number by making the solar absorber coatings more efficient.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Ramping up carbohydrates production

Carbs are all around us: a major constituent in food, they also play a role in many biological processes such as intercellular communication; they are in demand in the pharmaceutical industry, where they are currently used as anticoagulants and in skincare. With the goal of no longer having to rely solely on nature’s production of carbs, scientists have been working on ways to ramp up production. A case for chemistry!

Spotlight on Young Researchers: The role a gene plays in neurodegeneration and cancer

Neurogenerative diseases and cancer affect millions of people worldwide, especially people over 60. While advances in diagnosis and treatment have been made, there are still many open questions on the path to better treatment and earlier diagnosis. Translational neuroscientist Pauline Mencke studies a gene that is involved both in Parkinson’s disease and the brain cancer Glioblastoma multiforme.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies for analytics purposes. Find out more in our Privacy Statement