Movement and Data scientist




In my role as movement scientist I am in particular interested in skill acquisition/motor expertise and pattern formation in complex biological systems. During my career I was fortunate to work with different research groups resulting in a background in biomechanics, motor control, neuroscience and cognitive sciences which I find quite helpful as skill acquisition apparently does not really care about scientific disciplines. My particular area of interest is tool- and general object-use, which I have studied in human evolution and ergonomics contexts and currently apply to the sports domain.

Regarding pattern formation, I investigate movement patterning at the individual and inter-individual level adopting modern machine learning and signal analysis techniques. Lately, I am working on many-agents systems exemplified by elite soccer using positional data which entails sports analytics and performance analysis techniques.

As a data scientist I am interested in applied maths, programming and statistics. This has allowed me to acquire an expertise in various data analysis techniques and I keep on pushing. This yielded also a couple of pure methods papers as well as constant knocks on my door resulting in statistics consultation sessions. I also do not keep tiring telling my students how important data analytics skills are today. You can find some more of my work on my blog.


Master Sports Science, Physics, and Sports medicine

In 2003, I graduated with a Master of Arts at the Department of Sport Science at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt (Germany) mayoring in Sports Science and minoring in Physics and Sports medicine.

PhD Motor Control

In 2007, I received a PhD in Motor Control from the School of Physical Education at the University of Otago in Dunedin (New Zealand) under the supervision of Prof. Keith Davids and Prof. Chris Button.

Post-Doc EHESS

From 2007 to 2009 I worked as a post-doc under the supervision of Prof. Blandine Bril at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (France) funded in parts through a personal grant by the Fyssen-Foundation.

Researcher and Lecturer

Since 2009, I have been working at the German Sport University Cologne in various research and teaching roles. First at the Department of Neurology and since 2015 at the Department of Cognition and Team/Racket Sport Research.



Rein (forthcoming), Measuring interpersonal coordination - A selection of modern analysis techniques, in Interpersonal coordination and performance in social systems, Passos, Chow & Davids (eds), Routledge
Rein, Raabe, Perl & Memmert (2016), Evaluation of changes in space control due to passing behavior in elite soccer using Voronoi-cells In Chung, Soltoggio, Dawson, Meng & Pain (Eds), Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Computer Science in Sports, 392: 179-183, Springer International Publishing


Helmich, Holle, Rein & Lausberg (2015), Brain oxygenation patterns during the executino of tool use demonstration, tool use pantomime, and body-part-as-object tool use, International Journal of Psychophysiology, 96(1):1-7
Holle & Rein(2015), EasyDIAg: A Tool for Easy Determination of Interrater Agreement, Behavior Research Methods, 47(3):837-47


Rein, Nonaka & Bril (2014), Movement pattern variability in stone knapping: Implications for the development of percussive traditions, PlosOne, 9(11):e113567
Beursken, Helmich, Rein & Bock (2014), Age related changes in prefrontal activity during walking in dual-task situations: a fNIRS study, International Journal of Psychophysiology, 92(3):122-128
Chow, Koh, Davids, Button & Rein (2014), Effects of different instructional constraints on performance outcomes and coordination, Journal of Sports Science and Medicine in Sport, 14(3):224-232


Helmich, Rein, Niermann & Lausberg (2013), Hemispheric differences of motor execution: A near-infrared spectroscopy study, Oxygen Transport to Tissue XXXV, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 789:59-64
Rein, Bril & Nonaka (2013), Coordination strategies used in stone knapping, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 150(4):539-50
Holle & Rein (2013), The modified Cohen's kappa: Calculating interrater agreement for segmentation and annotation, in Understanding body movement: a guide to empirical research on nonverbal behavior: with an introduction to the NEUROGES coding system, Lausberg (ed), Frankfurt (Main), Peter Lang GmbH, 261-275
Rein (2013), Using 3D kinematics of hand segments for segmentation of gestures: A pilot study, in Understanding body movement: a guide to empirical research on nonverbal behavior: with an introduction to the NEUROGES coding system, Lausberg (ed), Frankfurt (Main), Peter Lang GmbH, 163-187


Rein, Feodoroff, Biallas & Wilke (2012), Movement variability in virtual welding, Gait & Posture, 36(S1): S100-101
Rein (2012), Measurement methods to analyze changes in coordination during motor learning from a non-linear perspective, Open Sports Science Journal, 5:36-48
Bril, Smaers, Steele, Rein, Nonaka, Dietrich, Biryukova, Hirata & Roux (2012), Functional mastery of percussive technology in nut-cracking and stone-flaking actions: experimental comparison and implications for the evolution of the human brain, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: B Biological Sciences, 367(1585):59-74


Nonaka, Bril & Rein (2010), How do stone knappers predict and control the outcome of flaking? Implications for the understanding of early stone tool technoloy, Journal of Human Evolution, 59(2):155-167
Bril, Rein, Nonaka, Dietrich & Wenban-Smith (2010), The role of expertise in stone knapping: Skill differences in functional adaptation to task constraints, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36(4):925-839
Rein, Davids & Button (2010), Adaptive and phase transition behavior in performance of discrete multi-articular actions by degenerate biological systems, Experimental Brain Research, 201(2):307-322
Rein, Button, Davids & Summer (2010), Cluster analysis of movement patterns in multiarticular actions: A tutorial, Motor Control, 14(2):211-329

Before 2010

Chow, Davids, Button, Rein, Hristovski & Koh (2009),Dynamics of multi-articular coordination in neurobiological systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, 13(1): 27-55
Chow, Davids, Button & Rein (2008), Dynamics of patterning in learning a discrete multiarticular action, Motor Control, 12(3):219-240
Rein, Button & Davids (2006), Scaling experiments applied to discrete multi-articular movements, Journal of Biomechanics, 39(S1):S29
Rein & Simon (2003), Influence of technique variation training on technique variability in long distance running, International Journal of Computer Science in Sport, 2(2):135


I started way back with the iconic:

10 PRINT "Robert ist cool"
20 GOTO 10

on my Commodore 64 but soon had a more formal training in Turbo Pascal in School. I have never left the keyboard since and over the years I worked my way through Visual Basic, C, C++, JavaScript, AWK, SED, MATLAB, R, and Python, which I have all used for various data acquisition and analysis tasks. Nowadays, I do the bulk of my work using Python, R and JavaScript. Although, Spark/Scala is starting to look like a serious addition to my toolkit.

You can find some of work on Github.

Turbo Pascal C++ C Visual Basic HTML5 CSS JavaScript Action Script MATLAB Python Responsive R Mathematica ML OOP Bash AWK SVG FP Sed CUDA Git TDD Qt VTK Arduino Windows Mac Linux SQLite Vim MySQL MongoDB AngularJS D3 Express NodeJS TypeScript Spark Hadoop


Institute of Cognition and Team/Racket Sport Research
German Sport University Cologne
Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6
50933 Cologne

+49 221 4982 4300