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Anecdotes on the occasion of 25 years of service: Prof. Dr. Jörg Scheidt looks back

Prof. Dr. Jörg Scheidt from the Institute for Information Systems (iisys) can look back on a quarter of a century in science and research. He has been working at our university since March 2002 – in other words, for almost two decades. We asked the jubilarian to reminisce a little for us (interview)

Prof. Dr. Jörg Scheidt in the mirror of time: The pictures show the respective staff photos of Hof University of Applied Sciences since 2002; pictures: private;

25. Your 20th anniversary of service, almost 20 years of which at Hof University of Applied Sciences – dear Prof. Scheidt: What is the very first thing you remember when you think of your time at the university?

When I started here, there was just the A-building, no research institute, few courses of study, everyone still knew everyone else. Today, you can see from the buildings that have been added what has happened in the years since then. The university has undergone a great development!

What brought you to Hof back then and did you always intend to stay at the university for such a long time?

Together with the then Schmidt-Bank, the university had installed a major in banking informatics, and I was appointed to it. When I arrived in 2002, however, this had already been phased out for well-known reasons. But it was no problem to set new priorities and to commit to them.

We still feel very much at home in Hof. The university has developed splendidly and as “newcomers” we have come to appreciate Hof very much. As a family, it’s a very good place to live. The cultural and recreational offerings are fantastic for a city of this size, and the prices are extremely family-friendly.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Scheidt

Headache radar, citizen research, CoVaKo study: your topics have been very present recently. How demanding is it to get all that under one hat?

It works because I have an extremely well-coordinated team of employees. We were able to recruit some of the best computer science graduates for our research group early on. Even with my very first colleagues at iisys, with whom I established the research group in 2010 – they have since founded smartlytic GmbH at Einstein1 – I still work intensively together on various projects.

The very first MIRA (migraine radar) team at Hof University of Applied Sciences – most of them are still on board today: back from left: Adrian Wöltche, Dirk Reinel, Florian Wogenstein, Prof. Dr. Jörg Scheidt, Sven Rill; front from left: Stefanie Polster, Thomas Weber, Chirangeevi Uppalapati; Image: private;

Where and how do you relax in your private life?

At the stove. I’m the cook in the family, so every evening I relax by cooking. In addition, I am interested in culture – regular visits to the wonderful Hof Symphony Orchestra, the Hof Film Festival, occasional visits to the theater. In addition, I spend beautiful hours at the Untreusee and Theresienstein.

Also nice memories: Barbecuing with the entire research group in the garden; photo: private

Were there any special situations that you remember fondly and can tell us about?

There was one drastic experience with great repercussions for me: In 2008 – I was just dean of the faculty – I was asked to come to the president immediately and fetch colleague Richard Göbel from his lecture in the large lecture hall and bring him with me. I don’t know if that had happened before or since. What had happened? A representative of the ministry was on the phone. The money originally reserved for the Transrapid (“10 minutes!”) was being distributed to universities, among others, and the question was how to use some of the money in Hof. Fortunately for us, Richard Göbel had a concept for a research institute for information systems in the drawer. A few days later we had the positive decision. That was the beginning of iisys, for me THE starting point for my research activities here in Hof.

How has the work changed over the two and a half decades and how have the students perhaps changed as well?

At the beginning of my work, the focus was exclusively on teaching. In the meantime, research has taken up an ever-increasing share of my activities. In addition, there is committee work in various positions. The students seem to be getting younger and younger. Is that because I am getting older? At the beginning of my work, I was once mistaken for a student by a colleague. That no longer happens

Prof. Dr. Jörg Scheidt (front left) at one of his hobbies: simultaneous chess; picture: private;

In 25 years there has been an enormous technical leap. In a changing society, many people are increasingly afraid of this. Is technology a blessing or a threat?

Technology is a blessing. But it must be used with a sense of proportion. We have the freedom to decide for ourselves what we want to do with it. Personally, I would have been pleased with the research possibilities of today during my studies. I remember well the many visits to libraries. We didn’t always find a book with the information we wanted. But in a way, we also had it easier than young people today. The smaller selection made it easier to distinguish the important from the unimportant

What’s next in your work and what are your goals?

Of course, we want to make a success of the ongoing projects we mentioned earlier. In addition, we need to acquire new projects. Our staff is purely externally funded, and it is an essential task for me as a research group leader to raise money for the continued employment of my staff. My primary goal is therefore to ensure the continued existence of my research group and to acquire interesting projects for it, primarily – but not only – from the health sector.

University President Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann thanked Prof. Dr. Scheidt for his many years of service and presented the anniversary certificate; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

What is your greatest wish when you think of Hof University of Applied Sciences?

The university has established itself as a driver of progress in the region. Can you imagine Hof without the university? My personal wish is to give many more young people a good start in their careers. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing initially shy freshmen become well-educated, self-confident graduates. I still keep in touch with many of them, and it’s wonderful to see what happens to them.

Thank you very much for the interview!

Rainer Krauß

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