Jana Machajdik Wins ACM SIG Multimedia Test of Time Award
Her research on image classification has significantly influenced the field – she tells us about her master’s thesis and career after academia.
On October 13, 2022, Jana Machajdik was awarded the ACM SIGMM Test of Time Award for a jointly published paper based on her master’s thesis on Affective Image Classification together with Allan Hanbury.
The Test of Time Award honors papers that have had the most significant impact on the field of multimedia since their publication. Affective image classification using features inspired by psychology and art theory was published in 2010 and has been cited over 820 times, according to Google Scholar. It was one of the first papers to automatically classify emotions provoked by images with a strong foundation in psychology and art theory. It further released a testing dataset that ended up being widely used in the field. “I am pleased that even after this considerable time, the research I put a lot of effort in is meaningful and valuable to someone,” Machajdik states.
Outstanding researchers often find many areas of application for their skills: Machajdik now works as a Data Scientist for EFS Consulting, where she develops algorithms, workflows, and tools that analyze and optimize different processes in car manufacturing. “Whereas the specific use case and the features described in the paper are far from my daily practice at the moment, I benefit from my scientific approach to work. An analytical mindset and experience with algorithms and machine learning are most beneficial in my current area of work,” she is convinced. Machajdik worked as a research assistant at TU Wien Informatics after her master’s but decided not to pursue a Ph.D. after a complicated pregnancy set her focus on her family. Machajdik’s advice to future informatics graduates: “It pays off to make an effort to do the best you can, not only with your master thesis. Even if it doesn’t end with an award, you can use what you’ve learned and draw on the experience of having done something well in life. And, of course, it also helps to have a master’s thesis supervisor who is motivating and provides good advice – that’s why I am very grateful to have worked with Allan Hanbury.”