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I am a computer scientist, researcher and software engineer with a strong focus on machine learning, intelligent agents, and applications of artificial intelligence.

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Thomas’ interests in research and development cover various aspects of learning and intelligent systems. He is fascinated by the idea of creating adaptive software that learns autonomously how to solve a task or how to support a human in a smart way. He has focused on both, theoretical foundations of machine learning, multi-agent systems and decentralized control as well as on the practical implementation and deployment of adaptive agent-based applications in domains like recommender systems, mobile applications, robotics, or computer games.

Thomas studied Computer Science at the University of Kaiserslautern and at Carnegie Mellon University and received his Diploma degree (comparable to Master) in 2003. During his PhD studies, Thomas worked at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Osnabrück. On the one hand, he researched on classical AI topics, like knowledge-based systems, case-based reasoning, and knowledge management. On the other hand, he became deeply involved in machine learning, specifically in multi-agent systems and reinforcement learning. In his PhD thesis, he investigated learning algorithms for multi-agent systems and their practical application to operations research and job-shop scheduling problems. He received his PhD “summa cum laude” from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Osnabrück in 2009. Subsequently, he joined the Machine Learning Lab at the University of Freiburg as a post-doctoral research fellow. There, Thomas helped to set-up a new research group working on intelligent agents, autonomous robots, and applications of machine learning.

Thomas was also team leader and project manager for the robotic soccer simulation team Brainstormers, which is a team of intelligent software agents participating in the simulation league of RoboCup (real-time simulation of soccer). While heading this team, the Brainstormers achieved three world-champion and six European-level champion titles in robotic soccer.

Thomas’ industrial experience includes engagements at IBM Germany and the German Air Navigation Service Provider (DFS) where he worked as developer, researcher and expert in software engineering. From 2011 to 2014, he has been involved in various research projects in the context of air traffic control and has taken a leading role in the development of intelligent software for the management of aircraft arrivals, for optimization and scheduling of inbound traffic, and for supporting the work of air traffic controllers.

Thomas published about 40 scientific papers and was author of a textbook on reinforcement learning, published by Springer. In September 2014, Thomas joined Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences as professor in the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering. His teaching focuses on practical computer science, programming, mobile and learning systems as well as on foundations and applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

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