Principal Investigators

The 17 "Principal Investigators," renowned, internationally acclaimed scientists from the fields of Computer Science, Computational Linguistics and Phonetics at Saarland University, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence as well as the newly founded Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, were able to demonstrate their team spirit in jointly preparing the applications for funding. "We agonized for weeks together on how to formulate each sentence, and prepared ourselves meticulously for the presentation to the German Research Foundation," reminisces Professor Kurt Mehlhorn, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Informatics.

Prof. Dr. Michael Backes

Prof. Dr. Michael Backes

Prof. Dr. Michael Backes ist der Direktor des CISPA und Professor für Informationssicherheit und Privacy an der Universität des Saarlandes. Er leitet gleichzeitig als Max Planck Fellow eine Forschungsgruppe am Max Planck Institut für Softwaresysteme. Weiterhin ist er leitender Wissenschaftler und Vize-Koordinator des Saarbrücker Exzellenzclusters Multimodal Computing and Interaction.

Fon: +49 681 302 3249

Prof. Dr. Matthew Crocker

Prof. Dr. Matthew Crocker

After 10 years at the University of Edinburgh, Canadian-born Matthew W. Crocker came to Saarbrücken in 1999 as a research scientist and was appointed to the newly established Chair of Psycholinguistics shortly thereafter. In his research, he has been concerned with implementing computational models of the procedures people use to grammatically and semantically understand language.

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Fon: +49 681 302 6555

Prof. Dr. Peter Druschel

Prof. Dr. Peter Druschel

Professor Peter Druschel is the managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, founded in 2004. The institute conducts basic research relating to the design, analysis and engineering of software systems, including programming languages; formal methods; security; distributed, networked and embedded systems; and human-computer interaction.

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Fon: +49 681 930 39101

Prof. Dr. Matthias Hein

Prof. Dr. Matthias Hein

The work of Matthias Hein in the machine learning area has been focused on the development and theoretical analysis of kernel and graph based methods. He recently started a project about learning with manifold-valued output, which can be seen as complementary to the important field of learning with structured output. He is currently applying these learning methods to problems in bioinformatics, computer vision, computer graphics and image processing.

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Fon: +49 681 302 57328

Prof. Dr. Antonio Krüger

Prof. Dr. Antonio Krüger

Since 2009, Antonio Krüger has been a full professor of computer science at Saarland University. At the same time, he was appointed as Scientific Director of the Innovative Retail Laboratory at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Saarbrücken, Germany. Antonio's main research areas are intelligent user interfaces and mobile and ubiquitous context-aware systems.

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Fon: +49 681 857 755 075

Prof. Dr. Thomas Lengauer

Prof. Dr. Thomas Lengauer

Computational biologists such as Prof. Thomas Lengauer are decoding the building blocks of life with mathematical-statistical methods. In examining molecular biological causes of various illnesses using computational biology, he provides physicians with important software tools for diagnosis and therapy. He regards his work mainly as serving medical science: "My research is successful when it helps both doctors and patients."

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Fon: +49 681 932 53000

Prof. Dr. Kurt Mehlhorn

Prof. Dr. Kurt Mehlhorn

Each morning when Professor Kurt Mehlhorn enters the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science, of which he is the director, the first thing he sees is the huge "Welcome home" poster with his picture hanging over three floors of the atrium of the building. This was how his students, colleagues and fellow professors welcomed him back when his six-year term as vice-president of the Max Planck Society was over in the summer of 2008.

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Fon: +49 681 932 51000

Prof. Dr. Manfred Pinkal

Prof. Dr. Manfred Pinkal

The research of Professor Manfred Pinkal, a computational linguist, provides the foundations for the development of efficient language processing and dialogue systems for the analysis of our present-day language and also important tools for the multimodal information management of the future.

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Fon: +49 681 302-4344

Prof. Dr. Bernt  Schiele

Prof. Dr. Bernt Schiele

Bernt Schiele is Max-Planck-Director at MPI Informatics and Professor at Saarland University since 2010. The long-term goal of his research is to make progress on questions of how to process, structure, access and truly understand multi-sensory data both for online use as well as for large-scale databases. His group currently focuses on two main areas of the broader field, namely computer vision and multimodal sensor processing.

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Fon: +49 681 9325 2000

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Seidel

Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Seidel

Hans-Peter Seidel is the Scientific Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence. In 1992 he was instrumental in establishing one of the first Computer Graphics chairs in Germany in Erlangen, and in 1999 he became the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science.

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Fon: +49 681 9325-4001

Prof. Dr. Raimund Seidel

Prof. Dr. Raimund Seidel

Professor Dr. Raimund Seidel came to Saarland from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1994. Professor Seidel, who was born in Austria, and his "Theoretical Computer Science" group research the mathematical foundations for dealing with complex geometric configurations. As the coordinator of the International Graduate School for Computer Science in Saarbrücken, he also focuses on attracting young academics to the Computer Science hub in Saarbrücken.

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Fon: +49 681 302-4513

Prof. Dr. Philipp Slusallek

Prof. Dr. Philipp Slusallek

While studying physics at Frankfurt and Tübingen, Professor Philipp Slusallek was already involved in the development of commercially successful CAD systems, and he founded a company for architectural visualization before specializing in this field and obtaining a Ph.D. in Computer Graphics. In his opinion, sound basic research is a necessary prerequisite for any application-oriented science. His contacts to research-oriented industrial companies such as Intel and IBM are therefore very close.

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Fon: +49 681 302-3830

Prof. Dr. phil. Elke Teich

Prof. Dr. phil. Elke Teich

Elke Teich studied English linguistics (major), Slavic languages, informatics and machine translation (minors). She holds a PhD in Linguistics from Universität des Saarlandes, where she also obtained her qualification for professorship ("Habilitation"). She has done research in various areas of natural language processing (notably text and speech generation), in corpus linguistics and in the digital humanities.

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Fon: +49 681 302 70071

Prof. Dr. Hans Uszkoreit

Prof. Dr. Hans Uszkoreit

The computational linguist Hans Uszkoreit is the scientific director and head of research department Language Technology at German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Language has fascinated him since his youth. He studied computational linguistics — at a time when this subject didn‘t actually exist. Today he develops and researches applications at the DFKI which are aimed at freeing us from repetitive, uncreative tasks.

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Fon: +49 681 302-4115

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang Wahlster

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang Wahlster

Professor Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence and the only German computer scientist on the Nobel Prize Committee, has an ambitious aim: "One day computers should be able to communicate in such a human manner that they are no longer perceived as computers – and everyone should have access to the blessings of IT."

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Fon: +49 681 302-2363 or -4162

Prof. Dr. Joachim Weickert

Prof. Dr. Joachim Weickert

Human communication is based on visual information to a very high degree. For this reason, the "Image Processing and Computer Vision" working group of Professor Joachim Weickert plays a key role in the Cluster of Excellence, as it researches how images are processed and interpreted by a computer. Although he mainly focuses on researching the mathematical principles, his work has already produced a number of practical applications.

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Fon: +49 681 302-57340

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Weikum

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Weikum

There used to be two data worlds in research and application: structured data in databases, mainly numbers which were obtained with logic-based search techniques, and unstructured data in texts obtained with statistics and probability calculation. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Weikum, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science, and his "Database and Information Systems" team help merge these two worlds to create a comprehensive database of global knowledge which provides real answers instead of just hit lists.

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Fon: +49 681 9325-5000