Where have I been?

Seen from the perspective of the scientific community at large I have gone mostly silent in the last 1.5 years. So many may ask where I have been and what I have been doing.

The boring answer is that applying for a new position, negotiating a deal and then moving your lab (while keeping your old one running for some years) takes an awful amount of time, and in a pretty unpredictable fashion. Also, I participated in several grant proposals with colleagues in Göttignen almost immediately after the hire (thanks for taking me on board very quickly) and a surprisingly large fraction of these turned out to be succesful - bringing with them some more administrative duties :-).

Long story short, things in Göttingen now are set up, and furniture, computer infrastruture and similar things are in place. I also have made the first hires (but I’m still looking for two more Post Docs and a PhD student). I am especially happy that Abdullah Makkeh from the group of Raul Vicente at the Computer SCience Department of the University of Tartu will join the group to work with me on new measures for partial information decomposition (PID), and that Aaron Gutknecht will join the group as a PhD student to work on network inference, multivariate trasnfer entropy and PID in neural data. Although it turned out harder than many initially thought PID is still a problem that I find really fascinating and that I will spent considerable time working on in the near future.

At the neuroscience side of things I am still working hard for the success of the Collaborative Research Center 1193 of the German Research Foundation (SFB 1193, DFG) on the neurobiology of resilience against stress related disorders, and I am quite happy by about the progess my CRC group in Frankfurt has made.

At the moment, I also think a lot about my contribution to (avoid) global warming. One of these thoughts directly relates to work: As our group’s information theoretic analyses, and especially those of continuous-valued data, consume a lot of computing resources, I feel that we need more precise numbers on the Joule to solution that various systems (CPUs, GPUs with their hosts and others) need for certain problem configurations and sizes in the analyses of multivariate trasnfer entropy. Thus, I am benchmarking things in the background here hoping to post advice sometime soon here and on the IDTxl project pages.

Written on August 14, 2019