Hi!

I'm Manuela.

Check out my blog, or send me a mail.

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Education

2009: Selected Topics (Master's Level)
University of Oslo (Informatics Institute), Oslo, Norway
Focus: Computer supported co-operative work, experimental design of IT, social aspects of technology and science
2005 – 2007: Digital Media (Master of Science)
Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, Hagenberg, Austria
Specialization: Interactive Media
Diploma Thesis: TimeLeaves: A Spatio-Temporal Tool for Video Creation Based on High-Resolution Image Sequences (PDF)
GPA: 1.41 (Austrian grade evaluation)
2001 – 2005: iTec – Information and Communication Engineering (Diplom-Ingenieur)
Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, Dornbirn, Austria.
Diploma Thesis: Moment-based Facial Feature Tracking using Java (PDF)
GPA: 1.53 (Austrian grade evaluation)

Exchange semesters

February 2004 – June 2004
At Ingeniørhøjskolen i København (Copenhagen University College of Engineering), Copenhagen, Denmark.
February 2006 – June 2006
At Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Awards & Scholarships

  • Gifted student award 2005/06
  • Gifted student award 2004/05
  • Gifted student award 2002/03
02/2006 - 09/2006: EU-NZ Pilot Cooperation in Higher Education
Scholarship for 7 months of international exchange
Hamilton, New Zealand and Ljubljana, Slovenia
08/2005: European Forum Alpbach
Student scholarship
04/2005: Intensive Programme
Scholarship for EU-funded program to improve the success of the ICT project's quality assurance (2 weeks)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Languages

  • German: mother tongue
  • English: business fluent (TOEFL iBT: 114, IELTS: 8.5)
  • Norwegian: fluent
  • Danish: basic knowledge
  • French: basic knowledge
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Work Experience

03/2008 - 01/2013: Desktop User Interface Developer at Opera Software, Oslo, Norway
I was involved in the development of many new features, including:
  • A new UI markup language, based on YAML
  • Opera Speed Dials
  • Opera Unite, a webserver within the browser
  • Automation of internal procedures, to improve rollout time
I was in charge of the team’s innovation process, promoting creativity through participatory design workshops. I was also the company librarian.
03/2007 – 06/2007: Teaching assistant at Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, Hagenberg, Austria
I was teaching a Qt beginners workshop with Mag. Volker Christian.
To learn the basic concepts of Qt, we had the students create a chat application based on a pre-written template.
July 2004 – January 2005: Internship at Sun Microsystems, Vienna, Austria
I was part of a group that implemented a web portal for Austria's biggest mobile service provider (http://mail.a1.net), based on the Java Enterprise System.
Summer 2003: Internship at eurofunk Kappacher, St. Johann im Pongau, Austria.
I developed a modular framework for automated software tests (using Borland SilkTest).
Summer 2002 and 2001: Tour guide at the Fortress of Hohenwerfen, Austria
I held guided tours (in German and English, dressed up in medieval costumes).
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Publications

Towards the design of a kids' music organizer (PDF)
Sally Jo Cunningham and Manuela Hutter
Proceedings of CHINZ'08, the ACM SIGCHI New Zealand Chapter's International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (2008-07-02, p.17-22)
A system for continuous learning of visual concepts (PDF)
Danijel Skočaj, Gregor Berginc, Barry Ridge, Ondrej Vanek, Manuela Hutter and Nick Hewes
In International Conference on Computer Vision Systems ICVS 2007
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Projects

Desktop Applications

Opera Desktop browser Opera web browser: I was working on various features of browser over the course of 5 years.
TimeLeaves screenshot TimeLeaves - Qt-based panning time-lapse generator: The developed tool provides a 3D (spatio-temporal) view on a panoramic image sequence, allowing to set keyframes of image sub-selections.
Facial movement tracer screenshot FamoT - Java Facial Movement Tracker: Thesis project. Using platform-independent technology, this program was developed to track facial feature points without using markers on the face.
VisualCC screenshot VisualCC - Qt Camcat course visualization tool: Student project with company cooperation, realized using Qt. CamCats are cameras that move along 2 ropes in order to film fast-moving objects (e.g. Formula 1 racing cars). The tool allows to simulate the camera movement in relation to object movements.

Web Applications

Vebu.de screenshot Vebu.de: Website for the Vegetarian Society of Germany. A highly customized Joomla-based CMS implementation.
A1.net Portal screenshot A1.net Portal: Portal website for Mobilkom Austria, the biggest mobile phone provider in the country. Developed as part of a team, during my internship at Sun Microsystems.

Games

Planet Pong screenshot Planet Pong: A simple game to study the importance of a good gameplay. Planet Pong is a mixture between the old-school games "Pong" and "Spacewar!". It is Pong with gravity as your opponent: The user circles the sun in the center, trying to bounce off the asteroid, to save it from being drawn into the sun.
Gomoku screenshot Gomoku - Five in a Row: This game was developed to study game algorithms. Gomoku is a five-in-a-row game. Two players alternate in placing stones on the intersections of a 19x19 grid. The player that can first create an unbroken straight line of five of his stones wins. Gomoku was implemented using a min-max algorithm with alpha-beta pruning.

Interactive Data Visualizations

LangVis screenshot LangVis: Visualization of all languages of the world (Java application)
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Ethnography

Kids drawing Preschool children's approach to music: An ethnographic study to learn about what kind of music player kids would use. I was investigating their taste in music (and what they are influenced by), the ways in which they interact with music, and how their limited attention span affects their interaction.
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UI Developer

Writing code is a great superpower.

The fun part about creating software is that you are given a nearly enless possibility of new things to make, ideas to prove, or just to spend fun time on.

Opera Software logo

I gained most of my programming experience in my 5 years as a User Interface developer contributing to Opera Software's Desktop Team. In that role, I hoped to help develop something that might improve the lives of numerous people around the world.


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Health

I talked to so many people who say, "I may not live as long as you health nuts, but I sure am going to enjoy the time I have by eating steaks whenever I want, smoking if I so choose and doing anything else that I want." [...]

The enjoyment of life, especially the second half of life, is greatly compromised if we can’t see, if we can’t think, if our kidneys don’t work or if our bones are broken or fragile. I, for one, hope that I am able to fully enjoy not only the time in the present, but also the time in the future, with good health and independence.

T. Colin Campbell
A picture of raw red cabbage salad I made

Yes, I agree with Mr. Campbell that we can to a great extent influence our wellbeing. I therefore strive to eat a healthy, plant-based diet, without compromising the enjoyment of having good food. I am convinced that is is possible to combine the two.

The accidental chocolate praline or deep-fried pastry won't kill us, though...


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Crafter

We are all makers, right?

Aside from creating software, I started to embrace this slogan only very recently. I love working on quick upcycling projects, recycling otherwise thrown-away materials into apartment decoration. I also have revived my childhood passion for tunisian crochet. And, since I *love* food, I also love making fun stuff out of it; a Rubik's cube cake, for example.

Rubik's cube cake finished Rubik's cube cake in the making: one layer of the cake
Picture of Tunisian crocheted yarn Picture of a tree shaped wall decoration
Picture of me performing with my band home

Singer

Music makes the people come together.

Madonna
(Yes, I'm quoting Madonna.)

I love singing and have done so since I was a little girl (I don't come from a Sound of Music kind of place for no reason!).

I sang in many arrangements, including an amateur Opera choir and a hobby band called 'Not a Number', mostly playing jazz-influenced versions of pop songs.

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A picture of me dancing tango

Dancer

The state of being so completely immersed in the music, and so profoundly connected to your partner, that movement flows from within the partnership, uninhibited by conscious thought.

Dan Boccia

I am a passionate dancer. Dancing gives me the possibility to express myself, to let go of the many challenges of everyday life. Dancing gives me endless energy. Dancing is my drug.

In 2011, I found my passion for tango. Tango is different from most other dances. It craves your full attention, active leading/following, and an unbroken connection to your dance partner.

I like to dance gender-neutral Argentinian tango. It gives me the opportunity to dive into the world of tango with all its richness from both its perspectives—leading and following—, only to break up the fixed roles and intertwine them into one whole.

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Who doesn't love reading books?

I, for one, do. I also love buying books, and just wandering through book stores and libraries and such. Since time is limited, and it takes less time to acquire books than it takes to read them, my collection of unread books is growing. And since everyone likes lists, here's one:

1. Favorite book as a kid:
Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren
2. Favorite book as a teenager:
Fermat's Last Theorem, by Simon Singh
3. Favorite kids book now:
Kurt, by Erlend Loe
4. Favorite dictionary:
The Deeper Meaning of Liff, by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd
5. Favorite science book:
A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
6. Most moving book:
Demian, by Hermann Hesse
7. Most inspiring book:
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Other than that, I organized the Oslo UX Book Club during my time in Norway.

A little wooden bridge on an Austrian mountain home

Building Bridges

One of the most crucial issues that we face when creating new things is communication difficulties. We need to get our point across (maybe even speaking a non-native language); we need to comunicate with people from different fields.

I am not an expert in anything really. But I am good enough in many things to be the woman in the middle, communicating on behalf of the parties involved.

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The Teacher Me

According to my mother, my teaching career started in kindergarten, where I was reading books to other kids.

When I got a little older, I tutored classmates in Math, French, and CS. At university, I worked as a teaching assistant, teaching a Qt beginners class. Now, at work, I hold a bi-weekly innovation workshop, and I take every chance I get to explain stuff to colleagues while scribbling on my beloved whiteboard.

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Home is family, home is friends. Home is all the little memories that make me smile. Home is everywhere and nowhere.

Home is the combination of all the places I lived in. I was brought up in the Salzburg province of Austria and lived in several places around the country (Dornbirn, Hagenberg, Vienna). I stayed in Copenhagen/Denmark and Hamilton/New Zealand for half a year each, and in Ljubljana/Slovenia for a month.

For almost five years, I lived in Oslo/Norway before returning back to Austria. Time will tell if/when that will change again.

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ac·tiv·ism /ˈaktəˌvizəm/
The policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.

I agree with the Austrian animal rights activist Martin Balluch that activism is a vital part of every democracy. It allows weaker stakeholders in democratic processes to have a say, by mobilizing the media and thus the general public. I therefore see it as my duty as a citizen of a democracy to do my part.

My activism focuses on the rights of (human and non-human) animals. I promote veganism, I have organized talks about animal rights, and have participated in many information stalls and demonstrations.

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Yes, humans might run on corrupted hardware that makes us want to signal our significance rather than be significant. That, though, doesn't make me lose faith in humanity. I strongly believe that most humans want to do good, with varying priorities. I trust that we have a good chance to overcome our weaknesses, if only we collaborate. I have trust in humanity. I have trust that I, most effectively as part of a group, can contribute positively to the lives of many others (human and non-human), and I will continue fighting my hardware to do so.

On this page though, I admit, my signaling modules have won the fight.

The end is not for a while.