Edgar R. Weippl holds a MS and a Ph.D. in Computer Science, and an MA in Business Administration. He has taught courses on computer security at the University of Linz (Austria), The Polytechnic University (Hagenberg, Austria), Beloit College (Wisconsin, USA) and the University of Vienna (Austria).
His general areas of interest are security and e-learning. Specifically, his work focuses on security in e-learning (http://www.e-learning-security.org). E-learning can be considered as a special form of e-business. The good involved is digital content that has to be distributed, maintained, and updated. Moreover, the value of this good has to be adequately protected from unauthorized use and modification, without preventing students from using it in a flexible way.
The goal of Weippl's research is to analyze the requirements of using e-learning content, which emerge from both the technical interactions between systems and the social interactions of individual students and faculty. The complexity of such cooperative systems often necessitates new methodological and theoretical directions, encompassing both technically sound solutions and user-centered design.
When trying to increase user acceptance, a standard approach taken by many e-learning researchers and vendors is to incorporate interactivity and to improve multimedia capabilities of the system. Although these features may contribute to the success of e-learning systems, Weippl considers security as the crucial part when it comes to enhancing user acceptance. The reason why security can be seen as an enabling technology in this context is that people often refrain from using systems that they do not trust. When analyzing the requirements of security in complex cooperative systems, he has drawn data from the risk analysis of several previous projects touching this issue. The goal of security in e-learning is to protect authors' e-learning content from copyright infringements, to protect teachers from students who may undermine their evaluation system by cheating, and to protect students from being too closely monitored by their teachers when using the software. Since these intertwined requirements are not met by existing systems, new approaches are needed.
Scholarly activities such as giving tutorials at renowned conferences (for instance, ED-MEDIA) and serving as a reviewer for scientific journals (including IEEE Internet, where he was mentioned as an outstanding reviewer in 2000,) play a major role in Weippl's daily work. He also serves on the editorial board of JISE.
Currently, Weippl is creating a chapter on security in e-learning in a multi-university e-learning project (http://www.planet-et.at). He has presented tutorials at various conferences, and actively participates in the scientific community. Previously, he worked for three years in a non-profit research organization focusing on security.
Weippl spends his leisure time exploring underwater worlds with his scuba diving wife Kathrin, and--like many Austrians-- skiing and snowboarding in the Alps.