Alexander von Humboldt Professorship – The Award Winners 2013

Gregory Ralph Crane

Classical Philology
Gregory Ralph Crane combines classical philology and computer science in an innovative approach, applying computer science methods to systematise human cultural development. He owes his reputation as a pioneer of digital humanities to his development of the Perseus Digital Library, a comprehensive and freely accessible online library for antique source material. By appointing him to the University of Leipzig, the university aims to expand its Institute of Computer Science into an internationally visible digital humanities centre.

Nominating university: University of Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Gregory Ralph Crane,
    born in 1957, currently holds a chair in the Department of Computer Science at TUFTS University, Medford, USA. He completed his doctorate in classical philology at Harvard University in 1985 and subsequently worked there as an assistant professor. From 1985, he was involved in planning the Perseus Project as a co-director; in 1992, he became an assistant professor and later an associate professor at TUFTS University where he has held the Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship since 1998. He has received, among others, the Google Digital Humanities Award 2010 for his work.

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Frank Fehrenbach

Art History
Frank Fehrenbach is globally recognised as an outstanding scholar who has revitalised art history and established it as overarching Visual Studies. He received international acclaim for his studies on the works of Leonardo da Vinci in which he examines aspects of art history in a new interdisciplinary context invoking mathematics, optics, physics, geoscience and psychology. Fehrenbach thus overcomes the boundaries of his discipline and sets new benchmarks for art history as one of the innovative humanities. In Hamburg Fehrenbach is due to spearhead the realignment of the long-established Department of Art History and build up and lead a cross-disciplinary Research Centre on Images of Nature which is set to play a pioneering role in art history internationally.

Nominating University: University of Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Frank Fehrenbach,
    born in 1963, currently a senior professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. Doctorate in Tübingen (1995), habilitation in Basel (2003), including an extended period as an assistant professor at the Max Planck Society’s Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. From 2004 at Harvard with visiting professorships in Berlin and Jena. Honours include the Hans Janssen Prize for European Art History awarded by Göttingen Academy of Sciences (1996) and a research award from the Aby Warburg Foundation Hamburg (2004).

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Michael Neil Forster

Philosophy
Michael Neil Forster owes his reputation as a philosopher with a globally unique profile not least to his work on the connection between modern language philosophy and its Romantic roots in Herder’s writing. In his work, he combines the Anglo-American analytic philosophy approach with the continental approach, and is thus considered an important representative of those who examine the historical connections between these two schools of thought. His areas of specialisation include the philosophy of German idealism in Kant and Hegel, ranging all the way to the hermeneutics of Heidegger and Gadamer.
At the University of Bonn, Forster is to help develop the newly founded Internationales Zentrum für Philosophie des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen and thus raise the international profile of philosophy at Bonn.

Nominating university: University of Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Neil Forster,
    born in 1957, is currently the Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, USA. He conducted a research stay at the University of Heidelberg from 1984 to 1985, and gained his doctorate in 1987 at Princeton, USA. He was an assistant professor from 1985-1990, then an associate professor, and later a full professor at the University of Chicago. Forster has received numerous awards and honours.

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Stephan Hartmann

Philosophy of Science
Stephan Hartmann is one of the world’s leading academics in formal epistemology and the philosophy of science. He gained his reputation particularly for his transdisciplinary approach, for example in applying Bayesian network theory, a statistical model of probability distribution, to complex issues in various areas of philosophy.
At LMU Munich he is to hold a chair in “Philosophy of Science” in the Faculty of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science and the Study of Religion. In addition, he is to manage the faculty’s Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy together with Humboldt Professor Hannes Leitgeb The faculty aims to become one of the five most important institutions for logic and the philosophy of science.

Nominating university: LMU Munich
  • Prof. Dr. Stephan Hartmann,
    geb. 1968, derzeit Professor am Department of Philosophy und Gründungsdirektor des Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS) an der Tilburg University, Niederlande. 1995 Promotion an der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen. Forschungsaufenthalte an der University of Washington und an der University of Pittsburgh. Von 2002 bis 2005 Leiter der Forschungsgruppe Philosophy, Probability and Modeling an der Universität Konstanz, 2004 bis 2006 Leiter des Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS) an der London School of Economics and Political Science und von 2006 bis 2007 Professor (zuvor Lecturer und anschließend Reader) am Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method ebendort. Gastprofessuren an der University of California, Irvine, und an der Lund University.

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Michael Köhl

Nuclear and Molecular Physics
Michael Köhl is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of experimental atomic physics and quantum optics. He specialises in ultra-cold particles and their interactions. His achievements include developing methods for examining atomic fermi quantum gases that have been adopted by other research groups around the world. His research is of practical significance for, among other things, zero-resistance current flow in superconductors. Köhl has worked closely with Humboldtians and Nobel Laureates in Physics, Wolfgang Ketterle and Theodor Hänsch.
By continuing his research at the University of Bonn he is to lay the foundations for an outstanding research centre at the intersection of quantum optics and condensed matter.

Nominating university: University of Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Köhl,
    born in 1975, is currently in the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He gained his doctorate at LMU Munich in 2001, then worked as a research assistant at ETH Zurich, where he completed his habilitation in 2006. From 2007 to 2011, he was a university reader in Cambridge, becoming a professor in 2011. Köhl received the Roentgen Award of the University of Gießen in 2007 and, in 2009, a European Research Council starting grant and the Leadership Fellowship of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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Oskar Painter

Quantum Optics
Oskar Painter is a pioneer in the development and physical characterisation of optical nanosystems. His current research focus is the study of quantum mechanical characteristics of mechanical solid state structures and their interaction with light. In his research, he uses the characteristically very low radiation pressure of light to prepare and study mechanical resonators in a quantum state. Applications of this technique include the development of quantum-limited high-precision sensors and the realisation of integrated networks for quantum optical communication. Oskar Painter will work both at FAU’s Physics Department and at the MPI for the Science of Light, intensifying cooperation between the two institutions. At the university he will strengthen the existing research focus on optical sciences, which has also received funding from the German government’s Excellence Initiative.

Nominating University: University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in combination with the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for the Science of Light, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Oskar Painter,
    born in 1972, currently Professor in the Laboratory of Applied Physics at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, USA. Doctorate there in 2001; subsequently assistant professor (2002) and associate professor (2008). Since 2011, co-director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech. Awards include the Caltech Graduate Student Council Mentoring Award (2005); IQEC/CLEO Pacific Rim Plenary Speaker (2011). Co-founder of Xponent Photonics, member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE), the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society.

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Wolfram Ruf

Medicine
Wolfram Ruf is one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of coagulation physiology. The main focus of his work is on examining the protein thromboplastin which plays an important role in blood clotting. Increased thromboplastin production resulting, for example, from cancer may have negative effects – in addition to causing thromboses, the protein can also increase tumour growth. Ruf has shown that these cellular processes caused by thromboplastin can be influenced without negatively affecting blood clotting.
His appointment to the University Medical Center (UMC) of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is intended to strengthen UMC’s recently founded Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis (CTH).

Nominating university: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfram Ruf,
    born in 1958, currently works at the Scripps Research Institute/Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, La Jolla, USA. From 1984 to 1988, he was a doctoral candidate and research associate in the clinical research unit on Blood Coagulation and Thrombosis of the Max Planck Society; he has worked at the Scripps Research Institute since 1988, and been a professor there since 1996. In 2005, he received the Special Recognition Award in Thrombosis of the American Heart Association.

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