Lucien Heitz



Lucien Heitz
PhD Student / Research Assistant
Department of Informatics
University of Zurich
Binzmühlestrasse 14
CH-8050 Zürich
Room BIN 2.D.09
Phone +41 44 635 71 30


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 research goal of this project is to explore the normative and theoretical dimensions of diversity of political news recommendations, the algorithmic implementation, and the impact of such recommendations on society.

I have a BA in Philosophy and a MSc in Informatics. Before going to university, I worked as a software programmer 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.

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: LSC '21 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 and Workshops

"When AI Selects Political News: Algorithmic Content Curation and Party Plurality," presentation for pre-conference session: Understanding the Dynamics of (Ir)Responsible AI in Journalism and Algorithmically Shaped News Flows, ICA 2022, May 26, 2022. Paris, France.

"Benefits of Diverse News Recommendations for Democracy," presentation for conference session: Algorithms and News, Future of Journalism 2021, September 22, 2021. Virtual conference.

AI & Freedom of Expression Workshops on Media Pluralism, rapporteur, SAIFE Spotlight Initiative (OSCE), June 23, 2021. Virtual workshop.

“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.

“Normative Recommenders and News Consumption,” workshop presentation, Digital Democracy Workshop, November 5–6, 2020. Virtual workshop.