Gathering of Scholars, Fellows and Alumni 2021


After a pause in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, current and former scholarship-holders met once more in Ladenburg from September 20 to 22. All the lectures were held in Domhof Hall, with observance of the applicable protective measures.

The academic part of the program was opened by mathematician Dr. Frank Reinhold from the Freiburg University of Education, who has been supported by the Foundation since 2021 for his work on computer-aided didactical methods in mathematics. In his lecture, Reinhold addressed the use of digital tools and their positive influence on learning processes. Dr. Carsten Engelmann (Clinic for Pediatric Surgery, Brandenburg an der Havel University Hospital) and Dr. Benjamin Wipfler (Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn) reported on individual steps in their interdisciplinary cooperation, which deals with the technical transfer of animal capabilities to the production of medical devices. By analyzing the jaws of forest ants and their movements, Engelmann and Wipfler have derived needle-holding principles for an improved design of surgical devices and have gained new biological insights in the course of the project.

Dr. Daniel Unterweger from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön then reported on findings from his research project on bacterial communities and their interactions during an infection. The insights gained by his research group lead to a better understanding of infections and yield new approaches to therapy. Dr. Nari Shelekpayev from the European University St. Petersburg discussed historical connections between opera houses and the political development of capital cities. In his presentation, he focused on the history of opera houses in countries of the Middle East that were only opened in the course of the last few decades, such as the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman or the Cairo Opera House in Egypt. With her lecture “True or False? The Art of Drawing Conclusions” Jun.-Prof. Dr. Franziska Jahnke from the Institute for Mathematical Logic and Foundational Research at the University of Münster then presented intriguing insights into propositional logic. Jahnke’s research deals with connections between statements, their implications, and logical formal models.

In the concluding evening lecture, Prof. Dr. Jörn Müller-Quade, head of the Cryptography and Security research group of the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, provided some illuminating insights into the field of cryptography. In his lecture “Cryptography Is Like Magic” Müller-Quade first gave a stimulating historical overview of cryptographic methods and then described how communication between senders and receivers can be encrypted.