Press releases
Next round for two Collaborative Research Centres

Great success for two research collaborations at the University of Bonn: The Collaborative Research Centre Transregio (CRC-TRR) 224 "Economic Perspectives on Societal Challenges" and the CRC-TRR 228 "Future in Rural Africa" have convinced with their research work of the past four years. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is therefore funding both collaborations for a further funding period with several million euros each. In the CRC-TRR 224 project, scientists from the Universities of Bonn and Mannheim are jointly opening up economic perspectives on social challenges. The CRC-TRR 228 project brings together researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC) and the German Development Institute (DIE) to work on shaping the future of rural Africa.

New Collaborative Research Centres for the University of Bonn

New boost for excellent research at the University of Bonn: The German Research Foundation (DFG) is establishing two new Collaborative Research Centres (CRC). In the CRC 1502 "Regional Climate Change: The Role of Land Use and Water Management", researchers are investigating the hypothesis that human-induced land use change and intensified water management influence the regional climate. The speaker of the consortium is Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kusche. In the Transregio-CRC 333 "Brown and Beige Fat Organ Crosstalk, Signaling and Energetics ( BATenergy)", the research teams are looking at different types of adipose tissue and their role in metabolic diseases. The network is a collaboration of the Universities of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München. The speaker is Prof. Dr. Alexander Pfeifer.

Spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Ethiopia is underestimated

In an Ethiopian-German research collaboration, researchers of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the LMU University Hospital with participation of the University of Bonn investigated blood samples of frontline healthcare workers and residents from urban and rural communities for antibodies. The results suggest that the true COVID-19 prevalence is much higher than previously reported official figures. Therefore, the research team recommends a realignment of the vaccination strategy for Africa. The study is published in the journal “The Lancet Global Health”.

Mathematics meets Life Sciences

The tremendous advances made in experimental life sciences in recent years provide a wealth of data on how organisms function. To gain biomedical knowledge from these data, both mathematical modeling and numerical analysis techniques in conjunction with experimental data are essential. At a joint symposium of the Clusters of Excellence Hausdorff Center for Mathematics and ImmunoSensation2 as well as the Transdisciplinary Research Areas "Modelling" and "Life and Health" of the University of Bonn, the professors working at the interfaces and their colleagues presented their research and invited to participate.

BMBF funds “Robots in Everyday Life” transfer center

Smart robots, such as vacuuming or mopping robots, are becoming more prevalent in everyday life and will also increasingly take care of tasks in the public sphere in the future. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has now approved EUR 2.25 million of funding for the Robots in Everyday Life (RimA) transfer center project. Computer Scientists at the University of Bonn will be working on the Benchmarking of Assistance Robots subproject until 2025.

What factors impact the spread of viruses?

Many different factors are responsible for the spread of infectious diseases. What is known is that the spread process depends essentially on the infectiousness of the pathogen and the immune response of the host, but also on human behavior. This relates, for example, to the extent to which distance regulations are observed. Less often considered, however, is the fact that the factors and their influence can vary greatly between groups of people - both at the biomedical and socioeconomic levels. Mathematicians, physicians and economists now want to take a closer look at this so-called inter-individual variability in a joint collaboration project of the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Munich. The goal is to determine new factors that are relevant for the transmission or containment of SARS-CoV-2 viruses. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the project with several hundred thousand euros, of which 270,000 euros will go to Bonn.

Winning a $100,000 Machine Learning Competition

How can parcel delivery be optimized with a mass of routes and parcels? More precisely, how can algorithms learn and use the knowledge and behavior of experienced drivers? To solve this problem, mathematician Prof. Dr. Stephan Held from the University of Bonn, together with two colleagues from Canada and Denmark, has now emerged as the winner of a worldwide competition - the "Amazon Last Mile Routing Research Challenge". The competition is organized by Amazon and the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics in Boston. The prize money of $100,000 for the winning team attracted 2,285 participants from all over the world this year.

Mathematical Epidemiologist Elba Raimundéz won the Pfizer Poster Prize for Covid19-Modelling.

Mathematical Epidemiologist Elba Raimundéz won the Pfizer Poster Prize for Covid19-Modelling at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mathematical Biology. Her work addresses the limitations of publicly available case numbers for epidemiological modeling demonstrated on data of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan. This work motivated another collaborative research initiative on parameter and prediction uncertainties, which is currently funded by the TRA Modelling.

Ulf-G. Meißner receives an ERC Advanced Grant

What happens when strange quarks are inserted into atomic nuclei? Which "habitable" universes are theoretically possible? These are just some of the questions Prof. Dr. Ulf-G. Meißner from the Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics at the University of Bonn wants to investigate. For this project, the researcher receives an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Funding for the project, in which the Forschungszentrum Jülich is also involved, amounts to about 2.3 million euros.

Discrete Mathematics for Green Route Planning

How can parcels and freight be delivered in a more resource-saving and sustainable way? Since 2017, the University of Bonn and the Deutsche Post DHL Group cooperate in the area of route planning. The Research Institute for Discrete Mathematics has developed an algorithm that exploits the considerable optimization potential and is already being used successfully in practice. Therefore, the Deutsche Post DHL has founded the subsidiary company Greenplan that aims at using the algorithm for a wide variety of applications. The cooperation will now be continued for an unlimited period.

First Argelander professorship filled at the University of Bonn

How can different actors make joint decisions when they have different information or face uncertainties? This and other questions are tackled by mathematician and theoretical economist Dr. Florian Brandl, who will take up an Argelander Professorship at the University of Bonn on April 1 and at the same time start as a Bonn Junior Fellow at the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics. He is the first researcher to hold such a professorship, as these are new positions created by the University of Bonn for outstanding up-and-coming professors who distinguish themselves by combining different disciplines. In Florian Brandl's research, these are mathematics, economics and computer science.

Better decision-making: researchers link models from economics, epidemiology and financial research

Making a decision involves risks and uncertainties - as everyone experiences in their everyday lives. In pandemic times, however, the complexity of decisions and the many uncertainties that come together from different areas become all too apparent. A team of economists, epidemiologists, mathematicians and financial experts has now joined forces at the University of Bonn to bring their individual models together and calculate uncertainties. The goal: Making decisions based on a wider range of information. The Transdisciplinary Research Unit "Mathematics, Modelling and Simulation of Complex Systems" at the University of Bonn is funding the project with nearly 100,000 euros over two years. The results may be relevant for policy advice.

A WLAN Router May Become Your New Security Guard

Can standard wireless computer networks (WLAN) be used to track burglars more effectively? Researchers at the University of Bonn, together with colleagues at the Osnabrück Police Department and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), believe it is possible. Their plan is to use routers to identify unauthorized intruders and trigger an alarm. The project, dubbed “WACHMANN,” will bring roughly 560,000 euros in funding to the University of Bonn as part of the “Research for Civil Security” program by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Research Unit on robotics goes into the next round

The German Research Foundation extends the Research Unit 2535 "Anticipating Human Behavior" for three more years. Since 2017, scientists in the group have been investigating how artificial intelligence recognizes and anticipates human behavior. On the one hand, the researchers develop techniques to analyze complex interactions between humans and robots, and on the other hand, technologies for service robots. Due to demographic change, the importance of such robots is steadily increasing.

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