Alexander von Humboldt Professorship – The Award Winners 2012

Rolf Harald Baayen

Linguistics

Rolf Harald Baayen is regarded as one of the best and most innovative researchers in the field of vocabulary research and quantitative linguistics. He is a pioneer of computer assisted and empirical linguistic research and psycholinguistics, and has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of human speech and the role of the memory in language processing. Baayen is set to assume the Chair of Quantitative Linguistics at the University of Tübingen and help make linguistic research a key sector in the university’s strategic plan.

Nominating university: University of Tübingen
  • Rolf Harald Baayen

    Prof. Dr. Rolf Harald Baayen,
    born in the USA in 1958, currently at Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
    Doctorate in 1989 and postdoc at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands; from 1990 Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands; from 1998 Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, initially as an associate and subsequently a full professor of Quantitative Linguistics (2006); since 2007 professor in Edmonton. Honours include the PIONIER Award of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research in 1998; member of the Linguistic Society of America.

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Friedrich Eisenbrand

Mathematics

Friedrich Eisenbrand is a world leader in the field of algorithmics and discrete mathematics and works at the intersection between pure research and applications. He researches into integral optimisation, for example, which could be of use to both industry and telecommunications in capacity planning. Eisenbrand’s presence at TU Berlin, the Zuse Institute Berlin (co-nominator) and the DFG Research Centre Matheon is expected to promote the status of Berlin as a leading location for mathematics.

no longer receiving sponsorship

Nominating University: Technische Universität Berlin in conjunction with the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB)
  • Friedrich Eisenbrand
    Photo: Andreas Schwarze

    Prof. Dr. Friedrich Eisenbrand,
    born in Germany in 1971, currently at Faculté des Sciences de Base, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Doctorate in 2000 at the Saarland University and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken; subsequently junior research group leader and visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, 2004; in 2005 professor at the Technische Universität Dortmund; from 2006 to 2008 professor at the University of Paderborn; since then, professor of mathematics and computer science in Lausanne. Awarded the Otto Hahn Medal by the Max Planck Society in 2001 and the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Award by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2004; member of various international scientific societies.

Jochen Guck

Biophysics

Jochen Guck has the reputation of being one of the world’s best and most innovative researchers in the field of biophysics. A physicist by trade, he conducts research at the interface to biology and biomedicine. His work currently focuses on the mechanical properties of cells and tissues. Guck is to take over the chair of “Cellular Machines” at the Biotechnology Centre of TU Dresden (BIOTEC) and work with the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), DFG Research Center and Cluster of Excellence, and the Collaborative Research Center for stem cell research, thereby strengthening Dresden’s leading international position in the field of bioengineering.

Nominating University: Technische Universität Dresden
  • Jochen Guck

    Prof. Dr. Jochen Guck,
    born in Germany in 1973, currently works at the Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, UK. He studied physics in Würzburg and completed his Master’s degree (1997) and doctorate (2001) at the University of Texas at Austin, USA, where he then worked as a graduate research assistant before transferring to the Institute of Soft Matter Physics at the Universität Leipzig as a scientific assistant. Since 2007 he has been a lecturer at the Cambridge Physics Department. He has also acted as a scientific consultant to businesses, won awards, including the Young Scientist Award in Biomedical Photonics of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, and is a member of numerous scientific committees.

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Hans-Arno Jacobsen

Computer Science

Hans-Arno Jacobsen has the reputation of being one of the most important and technically outstanding researchers at the interface of computer science, computer engineering and information systems in the world. He holds numerous patents for diverse software and is involved in important industrial developments with partners such as IBM and Bell. At Technische Universität München he is due to assume a chair in Information Systems, add his weight to the Faculty of Informatics, which already achieved success in the Excellence Initiative, and help establish a centre of excellence.

Nominating University: Technische Universität München
  • Hans-Arno Jacobsen

    Prof. Dr. Hans-Arno Jacobsen,
    born in Germany in 1969, currently at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Doctorate in 1999 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, preceded by extended scientific work abroad in Grenoble, Strasbourg and Berkeley; a year as a postdoc at the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA), near Paris; in Toronto since 2001, from 2009 as full professor for Computer Engineering and Computer Science; concurrently visiting scientist at IBM, Canada; many honours, some from industry, and member of scientific committees.
     

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Robert Schober

Communications engineering

Robert Schober is one of the world’s leading researchers in communications engineering and wireless communications. Combining academic excellence and industrial application in a manner ideally suited to the engineering sciences, he has for example developed an algorithm used in many modern mobile telephones. At the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Schober is to take a leading role in the interdisciplinary research area of communication technology, thereby strengthening the university’s international profile as a centre of technology.

Nominating university: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Robert Schober

    Prof. Dr. Robert Schober,
    born in Germany in 1971, currently works at the University of British Columbia, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Vancouver, Canada. He studied electrical engineering and completed his doctorate in 2000 at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, then worked as a postdoc at the University of Toronto, Canada. He joined the University of British Columbia in Vancouver as an assistant professor in 2002, and has been a full professor there since 2008. Awards he has received include the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2002, the Vodafone Innovation Prize in 2004, and the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Humboldt Foundation in 2007.

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Matthias Tschöp

Medicine

Matthias Tschöp is considered one of the world’s leading scientists examining the metabolic diseases of diabetes and obesity. His work focuses both on research into molecular transduction mechanisms that play a role in diabetes and insulin resistance, and on new preventative and therapeutic approaches. At Technische Universität München, Tschöp is to take the new chair of Insulin Resistance and become the director of the also newly established Institute of Insulin Resistance at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, thus strengthening diabetes research as a key area.

Nominating university: Technische Universität München in conjunction with the Helmholtz Zentrum München
  • Matthias Tschöp
     

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp,
    was born in Germany in 1967 and currently works at the Metabolic Disease Institute of the College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, USA. He studied and completed his doctorate (1993) at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, then completed specialist medical training at the Klinikum der Universität München before joining a pharmaceutical company in Indianapolis, USA as a postdoc in 1999. Following a period as a scientist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam he returned to the USA in 2003, where he is a professor at the Metabolic Disease Institute at the University of Cincinnati and has held a chair since 2010. He has also won numerous awards and is a member of several scientific committees.

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Michael Weiss

Mathematics

As a leading expert in algebraic and differential topology, Michael Weiss enjoys an outstanding international reputation. One of his greatest achievements is proving the Mumford conjecture, a mathematical problem that extends into many areas of the discipline. At the University of Münster, Weiss is to take on a new professorship in mathematics and strengthen geometric research in Münster, as well as helping the university join the world’s leading institutes in topology.

Nominating university: Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
  • Michael Weiss

    Prof. Dr. Michael Weiss,
    was born in Germany in 1955 and currently works at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK. He completed his doctorate at the University of Warwick, UK, in 1982, then worked as a postdoc and scientific assistant at IHÉS, near Paris, and the universities of Bielefeld, Edinburgh and Göttingen. He then held various posts as associate or visiting professor before transferring to the University of Aberdeen in 1999, where he has been a professor since 2003. He is a member of numerous scientific committees and winner of, for example, the 2006 Fröhlich Prize of the London Mathematical Society.

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