Hi, I'm Dieter.

I'm a computer scientist, specialized in data analytics, software engineering and user experience. This is light.blue, my personal website picturing who I am and what I do. Scroll down to learn more about me.


Who I Am

Ever since I was little, I was fascinated by technology. I built my first computer out of used parts when I was 4, figured out how DOS commands worked while on a computer in kindergarten when I was 5, and installed my first operating system (Windows NT 3.1) at my dad's workplace when I was 6, because the 2 guys sitting there, staring at their screen, couldn't figure out what to do with the install disks (no joke).

It was clear to me that I wanted to do something with technology, specifically computers and electronics. And so I did. I got my Bachelor in Applied Informatics in 2010, after which I worked for about a year as a software developer, whereafter I decided to go for a Master's degree in Engineering, more specifically Computer Science, from which I graduated in 2014.

What I Do

Graduated as a Computer Scientist, I am currently part of a start-up company where I work as a data scientist, technical advisor and mobile app developer. Before that, I worked as a researcher at the University of Brussels in Belgium, where I conducted research in the field of User Interface Design and User Experience, and taught several field-related courses. If you'd like to know more about my skills and work experiences, scroll down or check out my LinkedIn profile.

Besides the everyday work, I like to keep myself busy working on all kinds of in order to improve my skills or learn new stuff, since I have a broad interest in just about anything. There is so much to learn, yet you can never learn enough.

To relieve myself from the daily stress, I play guitar, do sports and often trek into the wild packed with my camera. All very exciting stuff.

My Projects

In my free time, I like to work on all kinds of projects that either digitalize and automate certain processes or enhance the experience of it. Or whenever I'm feeling creative and experimentative, I just create something purely for the sake of creating it. Below are some of the bigger projects I've worked on and am currently working on. All in the name of science. Or something alike.

 

Strategic Water


Description

Strategic Water is a start-up company specializing in data-based strategic planning, logistics and operational management in the water, sanitation and environmental services sector. I am currently part of this start-up as a Data Scientist and Technical Advisor. Since every company, no matter the size, should need a solid website that outlines its goals clearly, I decided to create one for Strategic Water.

The website is responsive, cross-browser compatible and uses SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to help index the website better, ranking it higher and semantically enhancing it when depicting the website and its contents in search results, Google Maps, Google Now and other products.

Support

Cross-browser compatible Cross-browser compatible

Responsive design Responsive design

Touch gestures Touch gestures

Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Search engine optimized

SSL Enabled SSL Enabled

 

Link

Strategic Water website

 

Charity: Water data scraping


Description

A start-up company specialized in water treatment asked me to scrape data publically made available by Charity: Water, in order to discover certain aspects in their data. For this to happen, I wrote a Python script that could scrape the specific data they wanted in an automated way, looping over all the project ID ranges in a smart way and storing the data in CSV format. I first needed to look into their data sources to get the project ID ranges and the DOM tree to discover structures from which I could deviate relevant data.

Data needed to be scraped from 3 different sources, so I divided the script into 3 phases, with each phase getting increasingly harder to scrape data from. Phase 1 was scraping data from static webpages. Phase 2 was scraping data from dynamically build webpages. Phase 3 was scraping data from dynamically build webpages, including a graph, protected by a login.

For the first phase, the complete DOM was immediately available, meaning that I could load the URL from Python, scan through the tree to find the structures and process the data further from there. For the second phase, data needed to be scraped from dynamically build websites, meaning that JavaScript was used to insert code on load. This made scraping harder, as I needed to use a webdriver to first load the website, letting it build completely, before being able to dig into the DOM tree. For the third phase, I needed to automate a login procedure, since the data that needed to be scraped was behind a login form. After automated authentication, a session was created so data could be scraped as in phase 2.

The script also included testing, in case data was not available for scraping, and exception handling, since encoding issues could occur. All phases shared the same project ID as their unique identifier, so after going through all 3 resources and saving this data in separate columns as 1 row, the rest of the projects were looped over. In total, data of around 4000 projects were collected, which will be used by the start-up company for analysis.

Support

Python 3 Python 3

Microsoft Office Excel Excel

 

Terra


Description

One of my more passionate hobbies is photography. As a kid, I always loved wandering around in the nature and using my parents' digital camera to make pictures that could captivate awing moments. Recently, I bought an entry-level DSLR to rekindle my interest in photography. Having the proper hardware to expand my playground, I can now take shots and capture moments which I could not do by simply using a compact digital camera.

Since photography is something everyone is into nowadays apparently, I decided to create some kind of blog where I could share my photos and experiences with the world. But not just that, I wanted other photography enthusiasts to know what setup I used and give them access to important EXIF data of my photos. For me, this metadata is impeccable when I see a shot I want to either recreate or learn from myself. The website is called Terra and is powered by WordPress (and a whole bunch of plugins).

Never having set up a WordPress website before, it was interesting to see, from a technological point of view, how the creators of WordPress (and the designers of the plugins) make life so much easier for people who have no skill or experience in webdesign. For sharing photos, adding some text to them, enabling comments and implementing sharing options, a WordPress website is a perfect choice. The plugins enable me to fully profit from Search Engine Optimization (by Yoast in my case) and process everything over a secured connection by making use of my SSL certificate.

Naturepix was my first custom-built website for sharing my photos with the world. However, I took down the website and replaced it with a much more ambitious one. Terra will now be my website on which I share my photos. I also have a 500px account, you can check out my profile to find some of my shared photos on there as well.

Support

Cross-browser compatible Cross-browser compatible

Responsive design Responsive design

Touch gestures Touch gestures

Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Search engine optimized

Powered by WordPress Powered by WordPress

SSL Enabled SSL Enabled

 

Link

Terra website

500px profile

 

grondwerken.land


Description

A friend of mine owns a company that specializes in all kinds of earthworks, such as garden landscaping, the placing of foundations, drainage, etc. He was looking for an easy and accessible way to depict his realisations publically, consisting out of his provided services, pictures that visualize his conducted works, details about the company and a way for customers to contact him through a web interface, so proposals could be made up more easily. Besides all this, it was also necessary to come up with a good name for the domain, create a catchy slogan and design a new logo and other visual designs to make advertisements more attractive in order to draw new customers.

The solution I proposed to him, was the creation of a single-page responsive website, fully supporting all types of screens and sizes, supporting touch gestures and using native web technologies in order to support hardware acceleration, optimally using the device's resources and enhance user experience. The website is cross-browser compatible and uses modern SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques that help index the website better, ranking it higher and semantically enhancing it when depicting the website in search results. I found the domain name grondwerken.land to be fitting for him, so I registered the domain and made a suitable logo with an appropriate color scheme for it. Besides all this, I also designed the logo and other visual designs that are not only used on the website, but also on his trucks and equipment.

Support

Cross-browser compatible Cross-browser compatible

Responsive design Responsive design

Touch gestures Touch gestures

Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Search engine optimized

SSL Enabled SSL Enabled

 

Link

Grondwerken.land website

 

Energy


Description

A relatively big project I've started working on since 2009 is related to the consumption and gain of energy in a household. I recently updated this project, giving it a complete overhaul by designing a modern, responsive website for data visualisation and an Android/Windows app for data input.

The Energy project gives an enhanced overview of the daily consumption of electricity, gas and water, supporting households that have renewable power sources such as solar panels and wind mills. It also calculates how many green certificates you have gained over specific periods and how much power needs to be produced in order to gain the next green certificates. More advanced statistics are used as well, measuring the performance of these renewable power sources so that possible interferences can be detected in order to maximize the efficiency.

This project is currently just for private use and not publically available. The data visualisation is presented in a responsive website and is cross-browser compatible. An earlier version of this can be seen in the screenshot above. Data input is done via the Energy app, which has been written for Windows 8/8.1/10, Windows Phone 8.1/10 and Android 4.4+.

Support

Cross-browser compatible Cross-browser compatible

Responsive design Responsive design

Touch gestures Touch gestures

SSL Enabled SSL Enabled

Android 4.4+ support Android (4.4+)

Microsoft Windows 10 support Windows 8/8.1/10

Microsoft Windows Phone 10 support Windows Phone 8.1/10

 

light.blue


Description

What originally started as a simple plan to have a digital identification of myself on the internet, I started planning on doing something more than just that. I wanted a name and a style that would have a potential future use. A name that is short, catchy and easy to remember. After brainstorming about all kinds of possibilities, the idea came of registering a premium gTLD (generic Top-Level-Domain), with a short and easy name that I could use to brand future apps and projects. Something light, yet with a hint of blue. And so, light.blue was born.

This website, light.blue, currently just gives a short overview of who I am, what I do and what I have done so far. It's also my playground in testing all kinds of new web technologies which I can use in future projects. This website is a good examples of those experiments, as it implements all kinds of new stuff I'm still testing out. However, I'm planning on doing much more with light.blue soon.

Support

Cross-browser compatible Cross-browser compatible

Responsive design Responsive design

Touch gestures Touch gestures

Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Search engine optimized

SSL Enabled SSL Enabled

 

Link

light.blue website

 

Smart Study


Description

During my Master's thesis, I conducted research in the domain of handwriting recognition and e-learning. During this time, I create an educational platform, which I named Smart Study, that uses the Livescribe Echo smartpen and Anoto dotted paper for writing, an Android tablet or responsive website for feedback, and a lightweight framework running on a Windows machine in the background for the synchronization and data storage between the pen, server and tablet.

Smart Study is an educational platform allowing learners to continue using pen and paper for exercise solving, accomplished by using a digital pen and Anoto paper. Handwritten solutions are digitalized, automatically corrected, and animated feedback is provided by means of a tablet device. By using pen and paper, read-write learners can still use their preferred learning method while other types of learners can practice their handwriting. The use of a tablet for feedback and additional information makes it a lightweight and mobile platform, easy to use by children. The platform was evaluated by means of a case study involving a group of 15 children, showing that they were more motivated than usual and enjoyed making exercises using the Smart Study platform.

After starting to work as a researcher at the university, I decided, together with my supervisor, to create a paper out of my Master's thesis and submit it. To my surprise, it was accepted and I was able to present my paper at the conference. In June 2015, I attended the KES-SEEL 2015 conference in Sorrento, Italy, where my submitted paper, titled 'Smart Study: Pen and Paper-Based E-Learning', received the Best Paper Award.

Support

Cross-browser compatible Cross-browser compatible

Responsive design Responsive design

Touch gestures Touch gestures

Android 4.4+ support Android (4.4+)

Microsoft Windows 8/8.1/10 support Windows 8/8.1/10

Livescribe Echo Smartpen Livescribe Echo

 

Link

Demonstration video

Master's thesis

 

Math, chemistry & shape recognition


Description

In 2015, I assisted 2 Master thesis students whose topics were related to the domain of handwriting recognition. In order to make life easier for the students, I designed a small platform and environment in which they could test their software that uses a smartpen (the same one used in Smart Study). Once this was designed, I wanted to do something more with this, unrelated to their theses, but still related to the domain I was researching. I came up with an enhanced version of Smart Study, that supports full-fledged mathematic exercises and chemistry equations using the MyScript recognition engine. The result was really impressive. Using the smartpen, you could write down entire math/chemistry equations, which were digitalised and in the end even processed automatically to LaTeX, meaning that they couldn't just be automatically corrected, but could also be used for people who don't want to spend half an hour typing in all kinds of LaTeX code for an equation. The recognition was very high, making this a very usable way of digitalising handwritten equations. A demo of this can be seen in the first YouTube video above.

Besides math and chemistry exercises, I also set up a small environment in which shapes and their relationship with each other could be recognized and semantically processed. This was used in the context of Object Role Modelling and worked really well. A demo of this can be seen in the second YouTube video above.

This was a side-project of my research, yet still something interesting to mention, as this has never been done before with a smartpen and normal paper. No further work has been conducted related to this project, unless of course I continue with the Smart Study project, which will only happen when I get better smartpen hardware (and software).

Support

Microsoft Windows 8/8.1/10 support Windows 8/8.1/10

Livescribe Echo Smartpen Livescribe Echo

 

Link

Math, chemistry & shape video

Object Role Modeling video

 

Advanced Password Generator


Description

Advanced Password Generator is a Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 app that lets you generate strong passwords. Different character sets can be toggled on or off, ranging from upper case, lower case, numeric and special characters. There is also a possibility to use your own custom character set. Password length can be customized or even randomized. After password generation, the password can be copied to the clipboard by simply clicking the button. This ensures safe and easy copy/pasting of the generated password.

This app was part of a security-related project I set up a couple of years ago, namely hiding spyware in an app and publishing it to the Windows Store. The app in this case is a password generator with an array of options to generate a specific string. This was part of a project I did for a security course I followed at university. The outcome of it was pretty amazing/frightening at the same time. My project and paper regarding this matter were highly appraised, since neither the users, the OS or any firewall/anti-virus software were aware of the spyware running in the background. And not just that, I was actually able to successfully publish this app to the Windows Store, twice.

In short, the spyware I wrote was able to bypass the security parameters set up by the Windows (back then 8) operating system for camera and microphone devices, enabling me to use the microphone and camera of the device without the user having to permit this. Short 7sec videos were recorded, stored and uploaded while running the app, even in the background. This was programmed threaded, so when a recording was still saving or uploading, the next one could already start recording without having to wait. To make it complete, I made sure it used as little resource as possible to not raise any suspicion and was even able to disable the privacy light, that little light next to the camera lens that lights up when the camera is active. This was done by activating and deactivating the camera every 50ms, but since the delay of the light is higher, the driver/firmware would sometimes bug out, resulting in the privacy light not lighting up. All very scary stuff that worked surprisingly well (due to good software engineering of course).

Since this was purely for the sake of the course and educational purposes, the app was removed (the package was changed) within 24 hours. The original app, without the spyware of course, is still available on the Windows Store. Future releases of this app will extend it to be more than just a password generator.

Support

Microsoft Windows 8/8.1/10 support Windows 8/8.1/10

 

Link

Windows Store app

 

TInformatica


Description

When I was in my first year of my Bachelor in Applied Informatics, I registered a domain, tinformatica.be (which stands for Toegepaste Informatica) and designed a website that could be used by the entire group of my year. People could share notes, help each other out with assignments, group together when given group assignments, give ideas and opinions about courses (and teachers), keep each other notified about events such as classes that are dismissed, and of course to post ridiculous and irrelevant stuff.

Besides this community, I also designed an environment which the entire group could use to upload and download files, the FTP of TInformatica. The creation of not just the community website but also the FTP interface, was a very good exercise for me to practice not just my design and web technology skills, but more importantly my security skills, since securing the login, file access and data transmission was very important to me (basically to every one of my class). Every semester I improved the website by doing a design overhaul and making it security-wise tighter.

Above are a couple of screenshot of the first version of the forum and FTP. These are the only ones I could still find while digging through some really old back-ups, since I couldn't find a back-up of the last version of either the forum or the FTP. The web domain and website are of course no longer available. I closed it down when I graduated as a Bachelor in Applied Informatics, since it was no longer needed. The original link was www.tinformatica.be, so should this domain at any point be reserved again, rest assured that it is not mine (any more).

Support

Cross-browser compatible Cross-browser compatible

FTP interface FTP interface

Contact


Want to get in touch with me?

Then do not hesitate to contact me. I am always open to new, innovating and interesting oppertunities. You can use the icons below to contact me via email or connect with me on LinkedIn and other social media channels.

 

I'm looking for new job opportunities

I am currently looking for job opportunities as a team-lead, technical advisor, or a position in the field of Data Science. If you would like to discuss any opportunity, please contact me via email or LinkedIn.