North Rhine-Westphalia’s Science Minister Ina Brandes visits Paderborn University
On her first official visit to Paderborn University on Thursday, 20 October, the new Minister of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Ina Brandes gained an overview of key topics and research activities at the university.
“Over the past 50 years, Paderborn University has made a name for itself as a strong research university that today teaches and conducts research into cutting-edge topics such as quantum technology, AI research and high-performance computing. The university stands out for its interdisciplinary approach, which ensures that scientific issues are tackled from different, multidisciplinary perspectives. Another factor for Paderborn’s success is the relevance of its research for practical application – the successes in transfer speak for themselves,” said Minister Brandes.
Professor Birgitt Riegraf, President of Paderborn University, presented the university’s profile: “Paderborn University is a pioneer in a wealth of fields of research. The university is committed to leveraging its research to help tackle the major challenges facing society. Interdisciplinary projects running within Paderborn University have been connecting technological and social aspects for many years now – in both basic and applied research.”
The diversity of research in Paderborn
During a series of discussion sessions, Paderborn researchers presented selected projects. Physicist Professor Christine Silberhorn described the many developments in the field of quantum research in Paderborn, including the university’s Photonic Quantum Systems Laboratory (PhoQS Lab): “The Photonic Quantum Systems Laboratory, or PhoQS Lab for short, is currently being built on campus, with the aim of establishing an international centre for quantum photonics. Quantum technologies are at the interface between pure basic research and practical application. The goal is to develop new approaches to research, in terms of both developing technologies and developing theoretical and experimental concepts.
Psycholinguist Professor Katharina Rohlfing (Spokesperson of TRR 318 ‘Constructing Explainability’) and computer scientist Professor Axel-Cyrille Ngonga Ngomo (Director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Institute (JAII)) outlined current projects on interdisciplinary research into artificial intelligence (AI). The approaches of the researchers promote the active participation of humans in socio-technical systems and deal with (algorithmic) basics of human-machine interaction from different perspectives.
Professor Christian Plessl, Chair of the Paderborn Center for Parallel Computing (PC²) at Paderborn University, and chemist Professor Thomas D. Kühne talked about high-performance computing. The two scientists presented the Paderborn supercomputer Noctua 2 and its application possibilities.
Professor Bardo Herzig, Director of the Paderborn Centre for Educational Research and Teacher Training (PLAZ), presented the course and research-related profile of teacher training in Paderborn. The nationally renowned institution is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Professor Caren Sureth-Sloane gave insights into the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC)/TRR ‘Accounting for Transparency’, in which researchers are investigating under which conditions and how corporate reporting influences the transparency of companies, when more information means more transparency, and when less, and how taxation and accounting regulation and transparency affect the economy and society.
Professor Mirko Schaper, Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, and Professor Thomas Tröster, Chair of the Institute for Lightweight Design with Hybrid Systems (ILH), spoke about current developments in the field of mobility research. They provided insights into modern vehicle technology and transportation concepts, energy supply and digitalisation based on the ‘New Mobility Paderborn’ initiative.