I was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany in December 1980. From 1999 to 2004, I studied Computer Science at the Ludwig-​Maximilians-Universität in Munich. In 2003, I completed a Master Course in Biology at the University of Oxford. My Bioinformatics project on gene finding during this time was supervised by Dr Irmtraud Meyer (now professor at UBC Vancouver). I was a scholar of the Stiftung Maximilianeum, the German Academic Merit Foundation, and the Bavarian Scholarship for the Gifted during these years. I wrote my master thesis in Computer Science at the NICTA Statistical Machine Learning Group in Canberra, supervised by Prof. Alex Smola (now Professor at Carnegie Mellon University) and Prof. SVN (Vishy) Vishwanathan (now Professor at Purdue University).