Humboldt professorship awarded to Bréard and Franze

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Image: FAU/Boris Mijat (Franze); Gudrun Holde-Ortner (Bréard).

FAU represented by two award winners at official prize-giving ceremony in Berlin

After being canceled for two years in a row due to the pandemic, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has now once more invited guests to attend the awards ceremony for the prestigious Humboldt professorships in Berlin. FAU has two reasons to celebrate: both the medical physicist Prof. Dr. Kristian Franze and mathematics historian and sinologist Prof. Dr. Dr. Andrea Bréard will receive an award on 12 May. The next Humboldt professorship at FAU is already in the pipeline: in October, Dr. Vincent Müller, an expert in the field of ethics in AI, is set to come to Erlangen. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live on the website of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Eight Humboldt professorships in total, five in a row

It is the most prestigious international prize for research in Germany. With the Alexander von Humboldt professorship, the Humboldt Foundation recognizes leading international researchers from all disciplines in order to allow them to conduct research at German universities over the long term. The prize money from the German Ministry of Education and Research is intended to finance the first five years in Germany. Researchers working in theoretical fields receive 3.5 million euros, those working in experimental fields receive 5 million euros. Only up to ten professorships are awarded each year.

Neurosciences, sinology, mathematics or linguistics: FAU has already won eight Humboldt professorships, including five in a row over the last five years. This underlines once again its strength in research. The latest FAU professors to receive the prestigious award, Prof. Dr. Dr. Andrea Bréard and Prof. Dr. Kristian Franze, will now receive their prizes at the official awards ceremony, with Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger in attendance

Chinese history of numbers

Numbers have a history of their own, and they shape the history of people and societies. Mathematics historian and sinologist Prof. Dr. Dr. Andrea Bréard, who has been a Humboldt professor at FAU since February 2021, focuses on the history of Chinese mathematics from Ancient times until the present day. Rather than focusing only on the history of mathematics in China, however, she also traces the intellectual history of the country and hopes to encourage cultural exchange between Asia and Europe. More information on Andrea Bréard is available in this portrait as well as in the press release announcing the Humboldt professorship.

A question of nerves

Nerve cells decide how we perceive the world and control our responses. But how do nerve cells know in which direction they are supposed to extend and which cells they should connect with? And what can influence or disrupt the function of these nerve cells and, in the worst case, trigger disease? Prof. Dr. Kristian Franze is a pioneer in his field. He is one of the world’s leading scientists investigating the impact of mechanics on the nervous system and he has had a decisive influence on this growing research field. More information on Kristian Franze is available in the portrait and in the press release announcing the award

The next Humboldt professorship is already in the pipeline: Prof. Dr. Vincent Müller

Prof. Dr. Vincent C. Müller
Prof. Dr. Vincent C. Müller (Image: Bart van Overbeeke/TU Eindhoven)

In November 2021, the Humboldt Foundation announced the prize winners for 2022. Among them is Prof. Dr. Vincent Müller, a pioneer in the new discipline of the philosophy and ethics of artificial intelligence (AI). We expect him to start at FAU in June 2022, bringing the total of Humboldt professorships at FAU to eight. He will be awarded the Humboldt professorship officially next year.

All Alexander von Humboldt Professorships