High-Tech Agenda Bavaria: FAU establishes two more new departments

A person in front of a computer and two people in the background at a table.
Bild: FAU/ Kurt Fuchs

The Department of Data Science and the Department of Digital Humanities and Social Studies are to open in the new year.

As part of the High-Tech Agenda Bavaria, FAU is establishing two more new departments as of 1 January 2021. The Department of Data Science (DDS) is a new addition to the Faculty of Sciences and focuses on fundamental research into mathematics of data science and statistics. Researchers at the department will link these fundamental findings to applications in areas as diverse as energy, climate and materials research, digital humanities and medicine. The Department of Digital Humanities and Social Studies (DHSS) is tackling the research challenge of translating cultural and social worlds into data and formal models and interpreting the computer-assisted analysis to draw conclusions for our lives in society.

Within the context of the new departments, FAU is creating five new HTA professorships in the DDS and six in the DHSS. Existing professorships and institutions at other faculties and departments will also be able to make a contribution with their research, for example with their professors becoming primary or secondary members of the department. At all times, the focus will be on interdisciplinary work, and this is reflected in the structure of the departments. Both departments have decided against the conventional chair-based structure, acting as pilot projects for testing innovative concepts for structural developments at FAU.

‘I am very proud of the way our universities are seizing the opportunities the High-Tech Agenda Bavaria and the acceleration programme High-Tech Agenda Plus offer for widening the scope of their research. FAU is a shining example of how new, additional professorships can collaborate with existing ones,’ says Bavarian minister of science Bernd Sibler. ‘The future is built on ideas, visions and expertise. That is clearly reflected in FAU’s concept. Interdisciplinarity has always been a feature of FAU. Bringing researchers together in these new structures, however, will move the collaboration which has until now been more on a case by case basis into a whole new dimension.’

Department of Data Science

New HTA professorships (working titles)

  • Informationsgeometrie (Professorship in Information Geometry),
  • Höherdimensionale Statistik (Professorship in High Dimensional Statistics)
  • Computational Stochastics (Professorship in Computational Stochastics)
  • Moderne Approximationstheorie (Professorship in Modern Approximation Theory)
  • Edge Computing (Professorship in Mathematics of Edge Computing).

The new department is keen to promote strong interdisciplinary connections and a consistent focus on practical applications. They hope that intense collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) will help them achieve their goals. At the same time, the topic of data science is a backbone of research at FAU in general. As processing and analysing data is a core discipline in a number of areas across FAU, all faculties will benefit from the research projects at DDS.

The Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in Data Science will be available from the winter semester 202/21, shaping the profile of the University in this respect.

Department of Digital Humanities and Social Studies

New HTA professorships (working titles)

  • Research-oriented Data Management in the Humanities
  • Computing Images & Objects in Cultural Heritage
  • Computing Text and Language
  • Computing (Geo-)Social Data
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Governing of Data Economies.

The new department is keen to promote strong interdisciplinary connections and targeted collaboration with selected central institutions at FAU. As a university which offers the entire spectrum of academic disciplines, FAU offers the perfect framework for interdisciplinary collaboration, a clear advantage when it comes to establishing digital humanities as a key research priority. The transdisciplinary nature of the new professorships will allow established subjects in the area of humanities at FAU to benefit from increased digital expertise.

Since 2016, a degree programme in Digital Humanities and Social Sciences has been offered at Bachelor’s and Master’s level.

‘By establishing these two new departments, we are powering ahead with the next stage of the High-Tech Agenda at FAU at the same time as driving forward our own university strategy for the future #FAU2025,’ explains FAU President Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger. ‘The professorships included in the new departments will also perfectly complement the research of their colleagues in the newly established Department of Artificial Intelligence in Biomedical Engineering. I am particularly pleased about the huge potential benefits for our students. The degree programmes Data Science and Digital Humanities & Social Sciences will profit from an even greater level of subject expertise and a wider range of topics.’

The concepts for both departments were selected from a range of internal concept proposals and were evaluated and recommended by the Executive Board, the deans and external review panels.

Further information

FAU Press Office
Phone +49 9131 8570229