My name is Franz-Benjamin Mocnik. I am a university assistant at the Research Group Geoinformation at the Vienna University of Technology.

My research include the modelling of physical and social reality in respect to space and time by structural theories, as well as the analysis of space and time by formulating structural laws. My methods are based on a strong background in mathematics and physics in combination with (spatial) information science and philosophy of science.

At the moment, I am finishing my phd studies under the supervision of Andrew U. Frank. Before I moved to Vienna in 2012, I was part of the Münster Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL) in the Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi) at the University of Münster where I was supervised by Werner Kuhn.

Current

My paper about Modelling Spatial Structures was accepted for the COSIT 2015 (Conference on Spatial Information Science)! You are welcome to watch a video presentation related to the paper, as well as to have a closer look at a the following demo which allows you to dynamically construct spatial graphs:

Project Scale-Invariant Spatial Graph Model

Research

My scientific interests include topics from different fields: information science, spatial information science, mathematics, physics and philosophy of science. This plurality has highly influenced my way of thinking and allows me to carry over methods between different fields of science. I am interested in finding answers to the following questions:

Which properties have space and time, and how do they impact spatial information?
Space and time have a simple and uniform physical structure, influencing also spatial information. How can we detect such a structure in spatial information? How can we model spatial information?

How can we formalise social and physical processes simultaneously in space and time?
Space and time affect us in many ways resulting in a multitude of concepts. As social processes intermesh with physical ones, concepts have to be compatible in order to formalise such processes. Yet, many concepts are (partly) incommensurable. How can we gain formalisations that describe many aspects appropriately?

How can we model spatial information using mathematical and physical concepts?
Theories discussing structures (i.e. relations between entities) rather than the entities itself have turned out to be more stable under the evolutionary process of building and modifying theories, as is discussed in structural realism. Category theory and other formal approaches have contributed to the success of mathematics and physics because they describe strong structures. Spatial information is in many cases affected by uncertainty and exposes only weak structures. How can we nevertheless use formal approaches to describe spatial information?

How can we find universal laws for spatial information?
Tobler's first law of geography is one of very few examples of universal laws that we know of in spatial science. Which additional laws exist, and how do they reflect the statistical nature of the data? Which concepts and theories in mathematics and physics can be reused in spatial information science?

How can we handle the advancing amount and the increasing heterogeneity of information?
Big data (i.e. extensive and highly heterogenous data) confronts us with many questions: How can we represent such information? How can we process data of this complexity? How can we develop suitable algorithms based on the properties of space and time? How can we visualise big data?

My toolbox to tackle these questions includes algebra, category theory, networks and graphs, data science, spatial reasoning, ontologies, linked (open) data technologies, information visualisation, and many more.

Education

present
2013
Continuation of Doctoral studies
Advisor: Andrew U. Frank
Research Group Geoinformation at the Vienna University of Technology
2012
2011
2011
Diploma in Mathematics (minor subject: Physics)
Thesis: Bogomolovs Zerlegungssatz für Calabi-Yau-Mannigfaltigkeiten
Advisor: Daniel Huybrechts
Mathematical Institute at the University of Bonn
2004
Pre-diploma in Physics (minor subject: Astronomy)
Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Bonn

Affiliations

Publications

You are welcome to download a list of my publications as a BibTeX file.

Teaching

GIS Theory (tutor, lecture by Andrew U. Frank), fall 2014
Mobile GIS-Applications (tutor, lecture by Andrew U. Frank), fall 2013
Teaching activities for school students for GI@Schoool, fall 2012, spring 2012, fall 2011
Analysis IV (tutor, lecture by Werner Müller), spring 2010
Analysis III (tutor, lecture by Werner Müller), fall 2009
Linear Algebra II (tutor, lecture by Werner Ballmann), spring 2009
Linear Algebra I (tutor, lecture by Werner Ballmann), fall 2008
Algebra I (tutor, lecture by Daniel Huybrechts), spring 2008
Groups, Rings, Moduls (tutor, lecture by Michael Rapoport), fall 2007
Linear Algebra II (tutor, lecture by Daniel Huybrechts), spring 2007
Linear Algebra I (tutor, lecture by Daniel Huybrechts), fall 2006
Analysis IV (tutor, lecture by Jens Franke), spring 2006
Analysis III (tutor, lecture by Jens Franke), fall 2005
Analysis II (tutor, lecture by Jens Franke), spring 2005

Contact

Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation / 120.2
Vienna University of Technology
Gußhausstraße 27–29
1040 Vienna, Austria
office room CD 03 38
phone +43 1 58801-12715
fax +43 1 58801-912715