About Me

My name is Michael Borkowski and I am studying for a PhD in computer science at the TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology).

I am primarily working on distributed systems, with regards to both research and engineering problems. In addition to my studies, from time to time, I am also working for private projects. I also do some basic web design when the need arises.

For some time now I have been maintaining several linux servers. I am currently preparing for the LPIC-1 junior level linux certification exam and plan on taking the advanced level exam as well.

As a part of my studies, I am working as a project assistant (research scientist) at my university, where I am contributing to CREMA, an EU project in the field of Cyber-Physical Production Systems. Before that, I have been working at a company active in the field of industrial-quality open source development with a focus on the Eclipse ecosystem, and was also previously employed as a software engineer and development operations administrator at a company working in the field of Smart Homes. I have also been working as a tutor at my university, where I supported the teaching of programminng to first-semester students by conducting exercise classes, assisting in supervision and performing administrative tasks. I am also giving coaching (private lessons) in mathematics to students between 12 and 18 years of age.

Apart from working with computers, I am also singing in a choir whenever time permits it, playing the piano and the electric bass guitar. Also, I am very interested in semi-professional photography and like to go for interesting photoshoots.

Out of interest, curiosity and admiration, I am currently learning Austrian Sign Language (ÖGS).

Research

Thanks to the employment at my university, my focus has broadened towards working in research topics, instead of addressing only the engineering aspect of computer science. I am particularly interested in the fields of distributed computing, with the main focus of my working group being in the topics of elastic processes, ubiquitous computing and the Internet of Things.

Due to my rather recent start work in research, I have yet to publish scientific work.

Software Engineering

Software development has fascinated me for as long as I can remember and has evolved into more than a hobby for me. Throughout my studies I gained experience and refined my skillset of designing and building software.

I like planning and implementing software projects of all different sizes and types. My main focus lies in developing server and back-end software, my primary languages are Java and C#, although I was trained in and got to use several other languages throughout my studies and employments, including architectures ranging from system programming in C and microcontroller code in Assembler and web programming in JavaScript, PHP and JSF to stack-based programming in Forth.

I believe that robust design and thorough implementation are as important in every software project as a crisp, savvy and reliable development team. Also a major focus of my work and studies lies in software and internet security, a topic which is becoming more and more relevant and present, but has often been neglected even in major projects.

Music and Photography

Having taken piano lessons for over ten years, I have become very fond of this versatile instrument. I have also been part of a (Pop/Rock) band for about a year, where I was playing the electric bass guitar and helping out on the keyboard.

During my studies, I have joined the choir of my university (called the TU Wien Chor), a nice and very talented bunch of singers I am happy to share practice and performances with.

Another field of interest is photography – I like to shoot all kinds of subjects or sceneries with digital SLR cameras. I am currently using Canon cameras with various lenses. If I get round to it, I will put my best shots on my website.

Sign Language

Having sometimes witnessed deaf people conversing and noticing how quick and skillful communication without using spoken words can be, I became interested in sign languages and the deaf society. I then enrolled in Austrian Sign Language at the University of Vienna and am currently learning and practising.

It amazes me how much of a role aspects like body language and facial expressions play in sign language, and how little we notice them in our every-day lives. I think non-verbal communication has a lot of potential to be yet discovered by most, and through sign language I find it easier to reflect on and actively train nonverbal communication.