Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Jun. Prof. Dr. Mark Hall


Jun. Prof. Dr. Mark Hall studied Computer Science at the Alpen-Adria-Universtät Klagenfurt, Austria  (Bachelor 2005, Master 2005) and at Cardiff University, UK (PhD 2011). After that he worked as a postdoc at the UK National Archives (2010) and at the University of Sheffield (UK) (2011-13). 2013 he started as a Lecturer (2014 Senior Lecturer) for web-development at Edge Hiill University (UK). Since 2018 he is the Junior Professor for eHumanities in the Department for Computer Science at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.


Dr. Hall's research focuses on developing digital methods for opening up our cultural heritage beyond the traditional boundaries of academia. To this end he has undertaken research in a range of areas including browsing interfaces to information retrieval systems, overview visualisations of large text or meta-data data-sets, and natural language processing on historical text data, and social science interview data. He also retains an interest in automated processing of natural language from his PhD.

He enjoys the challenges and rewards of the kind of interdisciplinary work that is the hallmark of the digital humanities. In the past he has collaborated with researchers from the fields of history, geography, library sciences, museums, and the social sciences.

Selected Projects

  • Old Jokes Archive - An archive of jokes from the 19th and early 20th century, which develops new methods to automatically visualise jokes in order to make them accessible to modern audiences.
  • Museum Map - A novel interface to support novice users in exploring a digital cultural heritage collection.
  • Experiment Support System - Developed as part of the PROMISE EU project, it is a system for constructing online experiments (surveys, crowdsourcing, ...) that are both scientifically reliable and conform to data-protection and research ethics guidelines.
  • Paths    - The PATHS project focused on letting users develop their own stories and guides through large digital cultural heritage collections.

Selected Publications

  • Heather L. O’Brien, Paul Cairns, Mark Hall, A practical approach  to measuring user engagement with the refined user engagement scale  (UES) and new UES short form, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 112, 2018, Pages 28-39, ISSN 1071-5819,   
  • Ross  S. Purves, Paul Clough, Christopher B. Jones, Mark H. Hall, and Vanessa  Murdock. Geographic information retrieval: progress and challenges in  spatial search of text. Foundations and Trends® in Information Retrieval, 12(2-3):164–318, 2018. URL:   , doi:10.1561/1500000034   .
  • David  Walsh, Mark Michael, Hall, Paul Clough, and Jonathan Foster. The ghost  in the museum website: investigating the general public's interactions  with museum websites. In TPDL'17. 2017.
  • Mark Michael Hall, Christopher B Jones, and Philip Smart. Spatial Natural Language Generation for Location Description in Photo Captions. In Sara Irina Fabrikant, Martin Raubal, Michela Bertolotto, Clare Davies, Scott Freundschuh, and Scott Bell, editors, Spatial Information Theory, volume 9368 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 196–223. Springer International Publishing, 2015. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-23374-1_10   .
  • Mark Michael Hall, Samuel Fernando, PaulD. Clough, Aitor Soroa, Eneko Agirre, and Mark Stevenson. Evaluating hierarchical organisation structures for exploring digital libraries. Information Retrieval, 17(4):351–379, 2014. URL:   , doi:10.1007/s10791-014-9242-y   .
  • Mark Michael Hall. Explore the Stacks: A System for Exploration in Large Digital Libraries. In 2014 IEEE/ACM Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL). 2014.

Full list of publications   


Dr. Hall's teaching covers two primary areas:

  • eHumanities - focuses on introducing computer science students to work in the humanities, to the computational tools that exist to support that work, and to the question of how to successfully work collaboratively in such an interdisciplinary context.
  • Web Development - looks at core practical aspects of modern web development, but also at wider concepts such as user experience that heavily influence modern web design and development.

He is a big fan of lecture capture and of using tools to provide students with a more immersive, interactive, and fast-feedback learning environment. In the past he has developed custom virtual learning environments to teach programming and used automated testing tools to provide students with immediate feedback on their work.