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friedrich 120: Astounding journeys

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Dear readers,

Some of you may know the poem by the American poet Robert Frost: ‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.’ Each day of our lives we have to decide which roads to follow. Some are so familiar to us we can follow them in our sleep. However, we are often overcome by curiosity and seek out new, perhaps even risky paths on our journey. This is particularly true in academia. Researchers are always searching for new ways to find solutions to the major questions facing our society.

The topic of ‘pathways’ for this edition of friedrich is an obvious choice. We take a closer look at different pathways in various contexts, for example, why and how are people on the move? To be on the move can also be taken more literally, something we tend to neglect in today’s sedentary lifestyle. What changes can we make in this respect? And how are detours or workarounds created? As you can see, this edition of friedrich is branching out down various avenues.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Prof. Joachim Hornegger, FAU President

Editorial of the research magazine friedrich: Astounding journeys

Research magazine friedrich:

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On the move

Illustration U-Bahn
Chemists and engineers at FAU are working on designing locomotives which run on green hydrogen, whilst mathematicians are optimising timetables to cut electricity consumption by trains.

Smart Traffic
Veronika Grimm, professor of economics and energy market researcher at FAU, discusses new mobility concepts, alternative drive systems and the question of what we can learn from the coronavirus pandemic.

A collage of people
During the course of 2015, a topic which had tended to take a back seat in media reports and political debate suddenly hit the headlines: refugees and migration. It has never entirely gone away since. Researchers at FAU have an important role to play in this respect: they ask searching questions, they are a valuable source of advice and experience, they can see the bigger picture and think to the future.

Die berühmteste Handelsstraße, die Seidenstraße, erlebt eine Renaissance.
The silk roads were once the most important trading routes between Europe and China. At the same time, they encouraged the spread of Christianity towards the East. Today, the old idea is experiencing a not entirely uncontroversial revival in the concept of the ‘New Silk Road’.

A woman on a street.
People who live in one country and commute to another to work are proof of the success of European integration, but there are still stumbling blocks along the way.

Symbolbild liefernder Drohnen
More individual solutions, faster delivery and lower costs. Modern logistics in an increasingly connected and technological world involves much more than simply transporting goods efficiently from A to B.

Individuals who engaged in physical exercise regularly as children will most probably continue to do so as adults – and benefit from the positive effects it has on their health. But boys and girls are active to different degrees: Why is that and what can we do about it? Interview with Professor Anne Reimers, Professor for Sport Science and Chair of Physical Activity and Public Health at FAU.

Neurologists and computer scientists at FAU have designed a shoe which monitors the movements of Parkinson’s patients and uses artificial intelligence to allow for more objective diagnosis and treatment. It is hoped that the system will bring about a lasting improvement to the mobility and quality of life of those suffering from neurological disorders.

Cycles have an important role to play in nature and technology, as demonstrated by water in the natural world and ventilation in an energy-efficient home.

The human brain is a hotbed of activity, with billions of neurons tirelessly communicating via trillions of synapses. One of the major benefits of this complexity is our ability to speak and understand language. Patrick Krauss is using artificial intelligence (AI) to research the neural basis of this ability.

Detour to success

Not all scientific knowledge is acquired at the desk or in the laboratory or observatory: On historical research expeditions as a special place for knowledge production.

Have you already ignored some rules or recommendations today and done something your way instead? The question is whether this was a good idea or not and whether others could even learn from you. Workarounds like these are a fascinating field of research for information systems specialists at FAU. Their findings are now so advanced that they can improve processes on a long-term basis.

Globalisation, contact restrictions, quarantine – a lot of what we are experiencing in conjunction with the coronavirus is not new, say medical historians. What has changed considerably is how we map and forecast how the disease spreads – an aspect IT experts, mathematicians and engineers are currently getting to grips with.

The expansion of the digital infrastructure in Germany is progressing slowly. This raises the question: does rural areas need 5G at all?

At FAU, scientists from a wide variety of fields of research are studying signalling pathways on the cellular and molecular level that are still far from being fully understood, and hope to create the basis for new types of treatment as a result.

Pilgrimages are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. But has there been a change in what motivates people today compared to those in Medieval times?

The road to completing an undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral degree can be long and winding. However, there are sure to be some funny moments along the way which brighten the journey for at least a little while.

 


Research magazine friedrich

Cover FAU-Forschungsmagazin friedrich Nr. 119

friedrich no. 119

Venture into hidden worlds together with FAU researchers from a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from the humanities to natural sciences, and from engineering to medicine. Read the latest 2019 issue of the FAU research magazine ‘friedrich’. Read more

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  • Published by: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Schlossplatz 4, 91054 Erlangen, the President, Schlossplatz 4, 91054 Erlangen, phone: +49 9131 85-0, fax: +49 9131 85-22131
  • Responsible for content: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Communications and Press, Dr. Susanne Langer, Schlossplatz 4, 91054 Erlangen, phone: +49 9131 85-70200, fax: +49 9131 85-70207, presse@fau.de
  • Editor: Katrin Piecha
  • Layout: zur.gestaltung, Nürnberg