René Pfitzner

I am the Lead Data Scientist at Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Switzerland's newspaper of records. I am interested in media innovation, especially algorithmic approaches for newsmedia.

I am the technical lead of this news innovation project.

Before joining NZZ, I spent three years at ETH Zürich as a Research Assistant. My research broadly evolved around the topics "network theory" and "information networks". Before that I spent one year at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

I've always been searching for challenges and opportunities, intellectual and societal -- and being in (news) media these days one definitely finds both.

Together with Nino Maspoli I am organizing TechTuesday Zurich.


Feel free to stay in touch with me using any of the following.
  • Twitter

  • I am a very active Twitter reader, and tweet myself from time to time.
  • LinkedIn

  • I have a LinkedIn Profile and use it as my "digital wallet of business cards". I am not actively posting content on LinkedIn.
  • Email

  • Certainly the best way to get in touch with me. Mail me at contact(at)renepfitzner(dot)net.
  • Security (for the privacy-aware and paranoid)

  • Depending on the desired security level there are several options. If you can tolerate that a potential eavesdropper knows you want to set up a secure communication channel, simply write me an email with such a request including your phone number and we'll use the Signal app to communicate. If you desire a (most likely) secure communication channel from our first interaction on, use this pgp key to encrypt your message. In case you have an advanced need for security use the above pgp key to tell me so. I'll generate a new key pair, stored solely on an offline machine, which we will use.

Some interesting links

  • My Weblog

  • Blog with things-to-remember and some of my thoughts. Irregularly updated.
  • My slides

  • Recently I started publishing slides of my talks to slideshare. I might add some older slides as well.
  • Neue Zürcher Zeitung

  • With 237 years of age, it feels like the oldest Startup of Switzerland. To be in news media these days is super exciting. I am happy to be part of it's transformation towards (tbd).


Back in 1995 (ish) ...

... something like this is what my webpage would have looked like. I was 10 years old at that time and never heard of the "World Wide Web". Being born in communist GDR and, by 1995, living in a western democracy for as little as five years, my family just got used to having a landline phone at home.
I still remember my first encounter with, and fascination by, an i386 PC in the early 90's, playing Lemmings for hours and hours. My first own computer was a VTech Genius Leader 2000. I found all games on this machine to be stupid (or more precise: found myself to be too stupid/young to answer questions on world geography) and usually "played" with Basic -- which is then how I learned to code.
As is true for many of us, I certainly would have not imagined that the web, and computer technologies in general, would become such an important part of my life and the backbone of modern society.

© René Pfitzner, 2017

Hands down, this site could never be 1995 ...