Georgios at a conference in Greece

Introducing our ESR Phd Student Georgios Peikos

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--   Interview with Georgios Peikos   --

S: Tell us a bit about your background!

G: I am from Greece, where I studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Democritus University of Thrace. During the last two years of my bachelor studies, I was a member of a research group, working on Information retrieval and Data mining projects. In 2018, I obtained my Bachelor’s degree and continued with a Master’s degree in the same department.  During my Master I mainly focused on Information retrieval. In addition, I had the opportunity to assist  many bachelor students with their thesis.

S: How did you find out about DoSSIER and what made you decide to apply?

G: During my Master's, I was actively looking for a Ph.D. position related to topics I am interested in. Luckily, a colleague of mine shared the DoSSIER research project. I decided to apply mainly based on two reasons. Firstly, because DoSSIER is an international project that allows collaboration with distinguished researchers. Also, I thought that my former studies and interests were in line with DoSSIER.

S: How long are you already working on the project?

G: I have been working on project 14 at the University of Milano Bicocca since November, so now I am on it for six months.

S: What are your initial thoughts on DoSSIER and your experience?

G: After almost six months on the project, I find it fascinating how DoSSIER approaches so many different aspects of domain-specific search. Specifically, DoSSIER brings together so many researchers and coordinates meaningful collaborations between them. Personally, I have the opportunity to work closely with two other ESRs, share my thoughts, and discuss new ideas. In the future, I am looking forward to meet all the DoSSIER members.

S: What project are you currently working on?

G: Currently, I am working on project 14: Decision theoretic Approaches for Information retrieval. My main focus is to model the information retrieval process in specific domain searches by employing techniques inspired by decision theory. Specifically, I investigated the information behavior of professional users in the health, legal, and innovation domains and their tasks.

S: Tell us about your team environment. What do you enjoy about collaborating with your small team and the larger lab?

G: Firstly, I have the opportunity to work closely with two other DoSSIER ESRs, exchange ideas, and share our different points of view w.r.t. specific aspects of the DoSSIER project. Besides, as a member of our research group, I have the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers, learn about their research activities and discuss new ideas. Regarding the DoSSIER group, I am glad that it allows us to collaborate with other people easily, discuss our thoughts, and come up with new ideas to test.

S: What excites you the most about the field of IR and HCI?

G: Advancements in these fields have a high impact on people's personal and professional activities. Also, when working in these fields, one can employ a wide range of approaches with respect to different domain characteristics. So it is exciting working on ideas that are meaningful for society and, at the same time, having the freedom to approach the problem from many different perspectives.

S: Walk us through a day in the life of a DoSSIER PhD student.

G: My day starts pretty early in the morning, often around six or seven. The first task of the day is making coffee and then finishing a small task to get things going. Currently, I spend some days working from home and others going to the university.  Every Sunday, I create a weekly "to do" list and organize the different tasks within the week. Each day is focused on a specific topic and divided into two parts.  The first part of the day  is dedicated to reading and writing activities, while the second to coding, meetings and emails. Finally, the last task of the day is to reflect on it and update the weekly tasks.

S: Sounds like a nice day structure, thanks for the interview!

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860721