Dr.-Ing. Oskar Elek  ...there is no single answer

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→ I am a cross-disciplinary scientist specializing in complex systems simulation, artificial life, data modeling and visualization, currently based at the University of California in Santa Cruz and the Open Source Program Office therein.

→ My work has theoretical and applied aspects. On the theoretical side I explore novel algorithms for bio-inspired emergent network reconstruction and interactive 3D visualization of the resulting datasets. On the applied side I work with domain experts (primarily astrophysicists) on different scientific use-cases, including the understanding of problem-specific knowledge, designing custom computational pipelines, and presentation of the results for public dissemination. More in this pictoral overview. In my previous research work I also explored topics like physically-based rendering, Monte Carlo simulation, computational 3D printing and applied optics. More about that in my research works index.

→ Community plays an essential role of my work as an academic researcher. I designed and taught multiple undregraduate courses -- Real-time Graphics, Creative Coding and Open Source Programming -- and individually mentored dozens of diverse students at Charles University in Prague, University of California in Santa Cruz and within Google Summer of Code. To help students gain meaningful skills I involve them in collaborative research projects and make sure that their work aligns with their professional trajectory. I am also involved in community building around my main research project PolyPhy and more broadly as social event coordinator at UC Santa Cruz Postdocs Association.

→ My goal is to contribute to humanity's understanding of complex phenomena, both natural and cultural. Given the ever increasing complexity of our world we need new methods, concepts, metaphors, specific language, and modes of thinking to overcome the challenges presented to us today. Beside directing my research agenda, an important aspect of this goal is doing scientific outreach in the form of computational art as part of the Liminal Space Collective -- more about that in the overview of my creative works.

→ TLDR resume (email me for full CV)
Current appointment: Incubator Fellow at Open Source Program Office and Adjunct Lecturer at Baskin Engineering, UC Santa Cruz
Previous appointment: Early-stage researcher at Charles University Prague and Marie Sklodovska-Curie Fellow within DISTRO ITN
Education: Bc/MSc at Charles University Prague, PhD at Max Planck Institute for Informatics and Saarland University, Saarbruecken

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