Niels Taatgen (1964) studied computer science and psychology at the University of Groningen and gained his PhD in 1999. In 2009 he was appointed Professor of Cognitive Modelling at the University of Groningen. He uses computer simulations to investigate human behaviour, for example in multi- tasking. This work earned him a European ERC grant in 2011.
Taatgen is the mastermind of the degree programmes in Artificial Intelligence. In 1991 he was appointed to create the predecessor of the current degree programmes, Cognitive Engineering. Taatgen teaches topics in which he is actively involved himself, and this is apparent from his expertise and enthusiasm. He does not simply stop at his favourite explanation, but always offers the students alternative interpretations. In his lectures the students’ ideas as discussed all together, enthusiastically and in an open manner, and tested on the spot. Taatgen makes it clear that he finds these ideas very valuable both for the subject at hand and for his own research. Students are guided in the right direction without losing their own perspective on the problem and the solution.
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