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Department of Informatics DDIS

Lucien Heitz

Lucien Heitz

  • PhD Student
+41 44 635 71 30
Department of Informatics, Binzmühlestrasse 14, CH-8050 Zürich
Room number
BIN 2.D.09

Short Bio

I joined the DDIS group at the Department of Informatics at UZH as a PhD student to continue my work on the news project Informfully. The main goals of my research project are 1.) exploring the normative and theoretical dimensions of diversity of news recommendations, 2.) the algorithmic operationalization of diversity in news, and 3.) conducting user experiments to test the impact of such recommendation algorithms on society.

I have a BA in Philosophy and a MSc in Informatics. Before going to university, I worked as a software developer and acquired a federal VET diploma in application development. I am honored to have received a scholarship of the Digital Society Initiative and to to be a part of the DSI Excellence Program.

You can find me here on Google Scholar and ResearchGate.

Research Interests

Recommender systems, digital democracy, computational social science, and philosophy of information.


Lucien Heitz, Juliane A. Lischka, Alena Birrer, Bibek Paudel, Suzanne Tolmeijer, Laura Laugwitz, Abraham Bernstein, Benefits of Diverse News Recommendations for Democracy: A User Study, In: Digital Journalism Special Issue, Exploring the Normative Dimension, p. 1–21, 2022.

Krisztina Rozgonyi, Lucien Heitz, Bojana Kostic, AI in Content Curation and Media Pluralism, In: Spotlight on Artificial Intelligence and Freedom of Expression – A Policy Manual, Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Vienna, Austria, p. 56–70, 2022.

Luca Rossetto, Matthias Baumgartner, Ralph Gasser, Lucien Heitz, Ruijie Wang, Abraham Bernstein, Exploring Graph-Querying Approaches in LifeGraph, In: Proceedings of the 4th Annual on Lifelog Search Challenge. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, p. 7–10, 2021.

Luca Rossetto, Matthias Baumgartner, Narges Ashena, Florian Ruosch, Romana Pernisch, Lucien Heitz, Abraham Bernstein, VideoGraph – Towards Using Knowledge Graphs for Interactive Video Retrieval, In: 27th International Conference, Multimedia Modeling 2021, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, p. 417–422, 2021.

Abraham Bernstein, Claes De Vreese, Natali Helberger, Wolfgang Schulz, Katharina Zweig, et al., Lucien Heitz, Suzanne Tolmeijer, Diversity in News Recommendation, Dagstuhl Manifestos, Vol. 9 (1), p. 43–61, 2021.

Conferences, Workshops, and Events

When Recommender Systems Select Political News: Effects of Algorithmic News Curation on Party Preferences, conference track presentation, In: The Impact of Algorithm-Powered News Recommendation Systems, 73rd Annual ICA Conference, May 25–29, 2023. Ontario, Canada (website).

Informfully: Infrastructure for News Recommender System Research, guest talk and research visit, Political Communication & Computational Methods Seminar, March 27–31, 2023. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (website).

Liquid Democracy Workshop, workshop co-organizer, DemocracyNet Workshop Series, December 15–16, 2022. University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (website).

Framework for Creating and Assessing Diversity in News Recommender Systems, workshop presentation, In: Diverse News Recommenders: From Concept to Implementation, Lorentz Center Scientific Workshops, November 20–25, 2022. University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands (website).

When AI Selects Political News: Algorithmic Content Curation and Party Plurality, pre-conference track presentation, In: Understanding the Dynamics of (Ir)Responsible AI in Journalism and Algorithmically Shaped News Flows, 72nd Annual ICA Conference, May 26, 2022. Paris, France (website)

SAIFE Policy Manual Launch Event, rapporteur, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, January 26, 2022. Virtual event (website).

Exploring Graph-Querying Approaches in LifeGraph, presentation and demo, In: Lifelog Search Challenge 2021, ACM International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval, November 19, 2021. Virtual event (website).

Benefits of Diverse News Recommendations for Democracy, conference track presentation, In: Algorithms and News, Future of Journalism Conference 2021, September 22–24, 2021. Virtual conference (website).

AI & Freedom of Expression Workshop on Media Pluralism, rapporteur, In: SAIFE Spotlight Initiative June 23, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, 2021. Virtual workshop (website).

VideoGraph – Towards Using Knowledge Graphs for Interactive Video Retrieval, presentation and demo, In: Video Browser Showdown 2021, 27th ACM International Conference on Multimedia Modeling, June 22, 2021. Hybrid event, virtual and Prague, Czech Republic (website).

Benefits of Diverse News Recommendations for Democracy, workshop presentation, AI, Journalism & Democracy: Exploring the Normative Dimension, April 23, 2021. Virtual event (website).

Diversity-optimized Political News Recommender System for Online and Social Media Platforms, workshop presentation, Young Scholars in Computational Social Science, November 19–20, 2020. Virtual workshop (website).

Normative Recommenders and News Consumption, workshop presentation, Digital Democracy Workshop 2020, November 5–6, 2020. Virtual workshop (website).