New at the Department: Professor Arjan Kuijper

Mathematical and Applied Visual Computing


Arjan Kuijper has been Professor of Mathematical and Applied Visual Computing (MAVC) at the Department of Computer Science at TU Darmstadt since September. Kuijper, whose academic career has included positions as a research assistant at the IT University of Copenhagen and as a senior researcher at the Johann Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics (RICAM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Linz, has been working as a research coach at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics (IGD) in Darmstadt since 2008. At the age of 52, the current president of the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR) has been appointed to a cooperative professorship at the TU's Department of Computer Science. We asked Professor Kuijper a little bit about his work:

Why should students be interested in your subject? What is exciting about it?

Visual computing is about extracting information from images (2D, but certainly also 3D, 1D, n-D) and vice versa: visualising information. We create a digital twin of reality. Anyone with a smartphone knows how important this is!

Aspects of human vision, interaction, virtual and augmented reality, computer graphics and computer vision play an important role. So it's quite interdisciplinary and multifaceted. To research it properly, we need mathematical models, programming skills and deep learning.

There is also the Fraunhofer IGD in Darmstadt, which focuses on visual computing. In my cooperative professorship, I do research at both the TU Darmstadt and the Fraunhofer IGD, which strengthens the cooperation that has already existed for decades.

Interdisciplinarity is very important at TU Darmstadt. Where do you interface with other disciplines you work with?

Almost everywhere! Since we are measuring the properties of materials, we work with several groups in mechanical engineering. For the human aspects, the humanities – cognitive science – come into play. Image acquisition and analysis is also done in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, with which we also collaborate, for example on final year projects.

In addition, Visual Computing is a course that is not only a compulsory course in Computer Science, but is also part of the curriculum of the Medical Technology program and is taken as an elective by many students from other departments. Aspects of mathematics and physics are important in modeling. This covers almost the entire TU Darmstadt!

If I were a student today, I would …

… think outside the box again! I made the most of my time as a student, spent some time abroad and was very active in a student union. Studying is the time when you have the most freedom.

Enjoy this time! Use your studies to develop yourself, to do sports and to get and deepen a vision for society.

Specialist knowledge is important – but health, social skills and interdisciplinary abilities make all the difference. TU Darmstadt offers plenty of opportunities for this.