TUM – Latest news https://www.tum.de/ Latest news of TUM en TUM Thu, 28 Oct 2021 07:24:51 +0200 Thu, 28 Oct 2021 07:24:51 +0200 TUM honorary doctorate presented to Romano Prodi https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/37013 The former Bavarian minister president Dr Edmund Stoiber delivered the award citation via video link. Citing his importance for the enlargement of the EU, with the accession of many Eastern European countries, Dr. Stoiber said that Romano Prodi must be seen as “one of the fathers of the reunification of the continent”. These achievements are above all a reflection of his open approach to dialog combined with a strong will to bring about reform. EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen also sent a video message. She recalled that it was during Prodi’s term of office as the Commission president that the euro was introduced.

At the public event, Romano Prodi engaged in a discussion with the students Fiona Burckhardt and Tamara Nauhardt and with Prof. Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, who holds the Chair of European and Global Governance. Prodi said that Europe’s most important task today, in view of the increasing tensions, is to maintain the dialog between the American and Chinese superpowers.

Campus news President klaus.becker@tum.de news-37012 Tue, 26 Oct 2021 07:36:00 +0200
New X-ray technology first used with patients https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36892 There are millions of cases in which serious respiratory system illnesses place limitations on quality of life. Every year more than four million people die of serious respiratory ailments worldwide. Partially destroyed alveoli and an over-inflation of the lungs (emphysema) are typical of the life-threatening ailment Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

However, the fine distinctions between healthy and diseased tissue are barely visible on conventional chest X-rays. Detailed diagnostic information is only available using three-dimensional computed tomography approaches, in which the computer assembles many individual images. Until now there has been no fast and cost-effective option for early detection and follow-up examinations with a low radiation exposure as used in plain chest X-rays.

A procedure developed at the Technical University of Munich could now fill this gap: dark-field chest X-rays. In the current issue of "Lancet Digital Health" a research team led by Franz Pfeiffer, Professor for Biomedical Physics and Director of the Munich Institute of Biomedical Engineering at TUM, is now presenting the results of an initial clinical patient study, which used the new X-ray technology for the diagnosis of the lung disease COPD.

Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-36891 Tue, 26 Oct 2021 06:50:00 +0200
TUM wins the Indy Autonomous Challenge https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/37010 The Saturday race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was very unique: The race cars weren't piloted by humans, but by computers. Universities from around the world were called on to develop systems based on Artificial Intelligence that would make it possible for the cars to drive the track autonomously. The competition was organized by the non-profit Energy Systems Network and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The main objective of the race was to promote the technological development of autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems.

Qualifying for the race is a success in and of itself: Only nine teams were allowed to participate in the race. Represented by its "TUM Autonomous Motorsport" team, TUM was the only German university among the nine. The young TUM researchers' car managed an average speed of 218 kilometers per hour. "We're totally thrilled by the results," says team manager Alexander Wischnewski. "Our objective was to break 200 km/h, and we did exactly that." Second place went to the "EuroRacing" team, a joint effort on the part of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, University of Pisa, ETH Zurich and the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Artificial Intelligence Mobility stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-37009 Sun, 24 Oct 2021 10:38:00 +0200
Triple success at BioM Award https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/37007 With the m4 Award, initiated in 2011 by BioM, the network organization of the biotechnology industry in Munich and Bavaria, the Free State of Bavaria promotes innovative products, technologies or services of young companies that decisively advance the further development of medicine of the future. The prize is awarded every two years, and a total of 25 research projects have been honored in the five rounds of competition to date.

With prize money of up to 500,000 euros per winning team, the competition supports the further development and validation of the respective project idea for two years in preparation for a spin-off. In the process, the scientists not only receive financial support, but also active guidance from BioM and other partners as well as industry experts.

Entrepreneurship Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-37006 Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:39:41 +0200
"Redefining tradition" https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/37008 A personal history reaching far back and a vision focused on the future: Family-owned companies have to master this balancing act when deploying their operations to last. "It's perfectly clear to us that we'll have to redefine tradition if we want to preserve it for the future," says Sarna Röser, the designated fourth-generation corporate heir of pipe specialist Karl Röser & Sohn in Mundelsheim. She is also the German national chair of the young family entrepreneur's association "Die jungen Unternehmer". Wednesday evening she raised the enthusiasm of both on-line livestream and in-person audiences for lively exchange between business and science.

Campus news President news-37005 Fri, 22 Oct 2021 09:48:32 +0200
Putting the fire lookout in orbit https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36995 Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent everywhere in the world: Even at higher latitudes where heat waves and droughts were rare in the past, the risk of forest fires is on the increase. Dry conditions and winds cause the fires to spread and go out of control faster. Forest and bush fires not only destroy vegetation − they also fuel climate change.

“If we want to fight forest and bush fires, stop illegal slash-and-burn activity and thus reduce CO2 emissions, we need a global early warning system,” says Thomas Grübler, one of the founders of the OroraTech startup. At present it can take several hours or even days before a fire source is identified and reported by ground-based fire watch crews, aircraft or drones, he explains. That may be long enough for a fire to spread over a considerable area. "Satellites facilitate quicker and more targeted tracking of forest fires. With this information, fire crews on the ground can fight fires faster and more precisely,” adds Grübler.

Artificial Intelligence Sustainability Entrepreneurship stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36994 Thu, 21 Oct 2021 08:36:00 +0200
Earning a doctorate at two top universities https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36959 What motivated you to start researching in the field of privacy in the healthcare system?

At school, I really wanted to study security and privacy. After doing an initial research about various courses that the UK universities offer, I decided that Imperial is the best fit for me. As part of my degree, I had to complete an industrial placement, which I spent at an international investment bank. During my placement, it became apparent to me that people in the company were not aware of the concept of privacy and what it implies. They have often confused privacy with security and confidentiality and in some cases, people even used the notions interchangeably. I realised that if institutions such as banks have no idea what privacy means, then there might be a larger problem with awareness in society in general. There is clearly a need for someone to educate the community about privacy and explain how it integrates into daily life as well as into complex business processes that involve working with sensitive information. I decided that this person might as well be me. This motivated me to concentrate on studying privacy in the real-world contexts, devoting attention to data-dependent problems, such as machine learning.

What motivated you to apply for a collaboration scheme for your PhD, and particularly to JADS?

As much as I love my life in London, going somewhere else during my studies is a big opportunity. From an academic point of view, having these two universities in two very different countries – and, as a result, in very distinct learning environments – helps to diversify my research. There are certain traits that are unique to Imperial, as it places more weight onto the independence of your work: you are encouraged to work at your own pace, and are often pushed into self-guided research. And then you also get TUM where everything is about collaboration, working with others and bringing different disciplines together. Having access to both environments and switching between them is probably the biggest advantage you can get out of this collaboration – regardless of your PhD topic. The second obvious advantage is you getting access to two unique research groups. While I work on privacy at both institutions, at Imperial I concentrate more on the adversarial influence in machine learning, whereas at TUM, I concentrate more on mitigation techniques, such as differential privacy.

What advice would you give to future JADS applicants?

Try to be as open minded as possible. You will benefit greatly from the fact that you have access to two unique institutions integrated into two large scientific communities. Try to communicate with the supervisors from both universities to get the most out of it. Your research can benefit from the diversity of two institutions – they are both very well established and have various areas of expertise.

You will move to Munich in a few days. What do you expect?

I am excited about moving to Munich, which is much quieter and more focused, in a way, than London. After my first year of my PhD in London – which was mostly done remotely due to COVID – I am now looking forward to meeting my group in Munich physically, and working in the lab next to people who share the areas of expertise with me:

Artificial Intelligence Campus news Research news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36958 Wed, 20 Oct 2021 08:17:00 +0200
Test procedures under scrutiny https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/37002 Laser beam melting is a common 3D printing process for turbine blades with internal cooling channels. During this process, a laser melts a thin layer of metal powder in predefined areas. Layer by layer, the component forms in a bed of powder. Like in an archeological excavation, the component is then exposed and the remaining powder can be reused for the next printing process.

However, process instabilities can lead to defects and reduce the strength of the component. Typical defects are pores and cracks. Even partial or total separation of individual layers can occur.

Defects in safety-critical components, such as turbine blades, can have serious consequences. "We therefore need to examine critical components after the manufacturing process and of course do so non-destructively," explains Cara Kolb from the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management at TUM.

Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-37001 Wed, 20 Oct 2021 07:30:00 +0200
Electric trucks: ultra-fast charging in the megawatt range https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36963 “Freight transport on our roads is responsible for more than one third of our national greenhouse gas emissions,” says Sebastian Wolff of the TUM Chair of Automotive Technology. Consequently, new truck concepts will be needed if Germany wants to drastically cut its CO2 emissions by 2030.

In the NEFTON project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of the Economy, engineers working in industry and research are developing a prototype for an electric truck and a charging station to power it. 

Mobility Sustainability Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36962 Tue, 19 Oct 2021 10:19:00 +0200
TUM Straubing campus continues to grow https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36993 Minister-President Söder, Bavarian Minister of Science and the Arts Bernd Sibler, Bavarian State Minister for Housing, Construction and Transport Kerstin Schreyer, Bavarian State Parliament Budget Committee Chairman Josef Zellmeier and Straubing's mayor Markus Pannermayr were all joined by TUM President emeritus Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann at the opening ceremonies. Herrmann was a moving force in founding of the Straubing campus.

Minister-President Dr. Markus Söder said: "We are investing 56 million euros in another piece of the world-class Bavarian scientific mosaic. Science will shape the future: We will master the challenges of climate change with Cleantech!"

TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann said: "Sustainability is a task that involves disciplines ranging from physical and engineering sciences to bio-economy and management science. The unique TUM site in Straubing embodies this fact as no other place in Germany can. We are convinced that sustainability and excellence are mutually interdependent, especially for a technical university. We are promoting the heroes of socially compatible technological innovation in which economic, ecological and social benefits go hand in hand."

Science Minister Dr. Bernd Sibler observed: "The TUM Straubing campus is an exemplary institution and a lighthouse project in the Bavarian university landscape. Its broad interdisciplinary curriculum and research on the energy and material-technical utilization of renewable resources, on sustainability and on bio-economy orients the campus towards the decisive technologies of the future. This makes it a true magnet for clever minds from throughout the world. And these clever minds need room to thrive. The completion of the new 'Sustainable Chemistry' building is thus a true milestone for the campus, in which we continue to invest. In doing so we are creating space and excellent conditions for work on the important topics of the future."

Campus news President news-36989 Thu, 14 Oct 2021 18:21:22 +0200
TUM launches School of Social Sciences and Technology https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36964 The transformation of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is moving ahead at full speed: The new TUM School of Social Sciences and Technology has even  "revolutionary potential," said TUM President Thomas F. Hofmann at the founding ceremonies on Thursday in Munich. In addition to scientific-technical excellence and entrepreneurialism, this School opens up an important third dimension on the journey towards human-centeric, socially compatible and trustworthy innovations. Engineers, physical and social scientists  have to be able to learn from one another on equal terms and of course they have to collaborate, Hofmann pointed out.

The new School consolidates the TUM faculties for the subjects Governance and Educational Sciences and the Munich Center for Technology in Society in a single instance at the center of the university. The School has over 39 Chairs and professorships and a student population of approximately 2200. This is part of TUM's commitment to shaping the societal and political relevance of science and technology. The new School will respond to the rapidly growing need for discovery, understanding and explanation in the technical sciences.

Campus news President news-36961 Thu, 14 Oct 2021 14:17:00 +0200
Among the top 50 in four subject areas https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36960 For the rankings compiled by the British publication Times Higher Education, scientists around the world are surveyed on the reputation of universities in research and teaching. In addition, the rankings incorporate data such as the number of publications per researcher, citations per publication, the teacher-student ratio, third-party funding raised from the private sector and the degree of internationalization. These indicators are weighted according to the prevailing culture in the various subject areas.

As in the previous year, TUM is ranked 14th worldwide in computer science and rises to the 4th position in Europe. In almost every other subject area, it moved up several positions. In engineering and physical sciences it now ranks 22nd and 23rd worldwide, respectively, and is thus among the top 10 in Europe in both of these areas. The physical sciences include chemistry, physics, mathematics, earth and environmental sciences, among other subjects. In the life sciences – comprising such disciplines as biology, agriculture and sport science – TUM ranks 43rd. Business and Economics moved up significantly to the 55th position, Clinical and Health reached 59th overall. In its first inclusion in the Education rankings, TUM immediately placed 66th. This means that educational science at TUM, which was only established twelve years ago, takes the top position in Germany.

In the recently published main edition of the THE World University Rankings, based on overall assessments of universities, TUM rose to the 38th position worldwide and number 10 in Europe. TUM also regularly achieves excellent results in other international subject rankings. It is among the top 50 universities in 10 subjects in the QS World University Rankings by Subject and in nine subjects in the Global Rankings of Academic Subjects (Shanghai Ranking). In the Global University Employability Ranking, in which companies rate the quality of graduates, TUM is ranked 12th worldwide.

TUM in Rankings klaus.becker@tum.de news-36954 Wed, 13 Oct 2021 12:35:00 +0200
Dr. Markus Söder praises cutting-edge research 'Made in Bavaria' https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36957 MUCCnet (Munich Urban Carbon Column network) is the first completely automated sensor network for the measurement of urban greenhouse gas emissions to use ground-based remote atmospheric sensing. The network was developed by a working group led by Jia Chen, professor for Environmental Sensing and Modeling at TUM. MUCCnet consists of five high-precision optical instruments that analyze the spectrum of sunlight, measuring concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and carbon monoxide (CO) in order to show the amounts of these gases which are generated directly in the city.

During the informative visit by the Minister-President, Professor Chen commented: "Until now emission estimates have usually been based on projections. Our sensor network measures actual emissions. We want to expand the methods and models we have developed here in Munich on a worldwide scale and thus want to help understand and resolve climate issues. The results will serve as a scientific basis for political decisions." The World Meteorology Organization has in the meantime adopted the TUM measurement technique as part of its global guidelines for measuring urban greenhouse gas emissions. MUCCnet also played a decisive role in the selection of Munich as a pilot city in the European Green Deal project.

Sustainability Campus news President news-36953 Mon, 11 Oct 2021 13:09:43 +0200
Saving the world – Cultivating the city? https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36952 The industrialization of our global food system and growing urbanization do not only exacerbate the effects of climate change and accelerate the loss of biodiversity, but also significantly cause the spatial and mental decoupling of food production and consumption.

Against the backdrop of the associated socio-ecological challenges, a "renaissance" of various forms of urban agriculture can be observed worldwide over the last decade, accompanied by the emergence of new multifunctional productive ecosystems in urban spaces.

“Especially in the Global North, the manifold forms and different dimensions of urban agriculture increasingly show potentials how negative effects along the food value chain can be reduced and how ecological, economic and social added values can be created,” says Monika Egerer, Professor of Urban Productive Ecosystems, who organizes the event. The 14th Weihenstephan Symposium is supported by the Alumni-Club Landschaft TUM e.V. and the World Agricultural Systems Center - Hans Eisenmann-Forum für Agrarwissenschaften

Sustainability Campus news Event katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36951 Mon, 11 Oct 2021 11:45:07 +0200
Which older people refuse to be vaccinated? https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36956 Who are the people who do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or are undecided about the vaccine, even though they are in the high-risk age group? In order to find out more about their demographic, socio-economic and health characteristics, a research team at the TUM Chair of Economics of Aging and the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy analyzed data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), regarded as the largest pan-European social science panel study. The second SHARE Corona survey, conducted from June until early August, collected data on 47,000 individuals in the high-risk 50+ age group across 27 European countries and Israel.

Covid-19 Research news news-36950 Mon, 11 Oct 2021 11:03:25 +0200
“The road of the future is digital” https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36949 Prof. Knoll, in the Providentia research project your team equipped a section of the A9 autobahn near Munich with radar systems and cameras. In the follow-up Providentia++ project, you’re now doing the same with a busy intersection in the district of Garching-Hochbrück. How will this work impact the traffic of tomorrow?

The sensors are positioned at a height of around 10 meters on the overhead sign bridges and masts, where they provide an excellent overview of what is happening on the road. They capture precise data on the position and speed of every traffic participant. An AI system classifies the objects and uses the data to create a digital twin – in other words a virtual model of the real traffic flow.

In case of a safety incident such as an accident or traffic jam, the information can be transmitted to every networked vehicle in real time. This makes it possible to see dangerous situations in advance and warn vehicles ahead of time. The technology can also help to improve the flow of traffic, for example by directing drivers to the lane that will move faster. Hence the name: Providentia is the Roman goddess of providence, but it is also derived from ‘proactive video-based use of telecommunications technologies in innovative automotive traffic scenarios’.

It sounds like the project offers enormous added value, even for drivers of non-autonomous vehicles.

That’s true, for example if the information from the digital twin is channeled directly via the 5G network to smartphones – which are attached to almost every windshield these days. The data could also be routed to satellite navigation systems to give drivers acoustic or virtual alerts. With stage five autonomous vehicles, the technology could even intervene directly by automatically braking or taking evasive action in a critical situation.

But what happens if there is an error and the system suddenly shuts down?

We need to distinguish between an outage in the remote control technology and malicious interference. Autonomous vehicles can and must tolerate the former. That means that they definitely must have their own intelligence to brake or stop safely when necessary. In case of malicious hacker attacks from outside the system, the vehicle should be able to check whether the incoming information actually matches up with the current traffic situation. And through the highly secure data encryption and system access points, outside intervention should not be possible anyway.

And what do you say to those who are concerned about surveillance? The system is logging and processing data from vehicles driving on the road.

Our research complies with the General Data Protection Regulation at all times. We do not record any sensitive data such as car registration numbers. And the faces of people in vehicles are never recognizable in our photos although this would be possible. Let me emphasize: The benefits we can offer through Providentia far outweigh the unlikely risks of data misuse. Every year thousands of people are killed and injured in traffic accidents in Germany. We can reduce those numbers! I am convinced: The road of the future must be digital. In that way, we will achieve greater safety, greater transparency and greater optimization and comfort.

What could the way forward to a digital road look like?

For now, TUM has recently set up a test field in Ottobrunn, just outside Munich, where we can gain new experience through direct coupling infrastructure with vehicles. However, we need to get out on the road as soon as possible. That’s the only way of learning how to operate reliable systems under real-world conditions and with real passengers. My suggestion would be to set up an autonomous shuttle between the TUM Campus in Garching and Garching-Hochbrück – and not one that creeps along at 20 km/h.

I am thinking of a shuttle that moves with the normal traffic flow. I think we need to take bold steps if our research is to have any real purpose. To achieve this, it makes sense to provide appropriate infrastructure support through safety systems such as Providentia++. After all, we want to automate as many areas of our lives as possible, above all public transportation. We can do that only with an effective digital infrastructure – as achieved on a very small scale by Providentia++ .

What do you expect from policymakers?

We should be making much bigger investments in digital mobility and implementing this vision step by step. In Munich, Germany’s traffic jam capital, I’m seeing far too little progress. Our public transportation system is overstretched, unreliable and far from up-to-date. If Munich wants to be Europe’s technology capital, then it should be possible to set up a reasonable, IT-based and intelligently controlled local transportation system with a diverse range of vehicle types, linked to individual transportation through a “city brain”. This would ensure maximum convenience and comfort with minimal energy use. It would also guarantee that a passenger could not get from A to B any faster than the way the system suggests. 

How do you see the next steps?

We have reached the point with our technology where we can develop it into a real-world system. This is where the private sector needs to step in. TUM is not a manufacturer of transportation infrastructure. Next we would need state-funded projects to build large-scale sensor installations at least at key traffic nodes. In Munich the Mittlerer Ring bypass would be a possibility. It is the scene of enormous rush-hour traffic jams every day. With its ability to compute wave motions, Providentia could optimize the traffic flow.

To implement this, however, the purchasing power of cities or even the entire state would have to be pooled to bring about a structural transformation – similar to the creation of roads, railways and highways and the “car-friendly city” many years ago. With information technology we now have enormous possibilities for making our cities liveable for people again, while building entirely new industries. As you see, we have a lot of plans. But we need to act on them.

Artificial Intelligence Mobility Research news christine.lehner@tum.de news-36941 Fri, 08 Oct 2021 11:46:00 +0200
Award for TUM start-up socialbee https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36946 TUM President Thomas F. Hofmann praised the dedication of the company at the gala awards ceremony on Wednesday evening in Munich: "As a responsible technical university we orient our activities towards the values, needs and expectations of society. As founder of socialbee our alumna Zarah Bruhn fulfills this social responsibility in an exemplary manner."

Socialbee combines the traditional concept of part-time work with an innovative integration concept consisting of targeted qualification, social-pedagogical support, language training and recreational activities. The objective is to place refugees in vocational training or in skilled permanent positions as pre-qualified talented individuals after no more than 1.5 years. Here socialbee works with over 70 partner companies, ranging from the smallest of operations to major corporations listed on the German DAX stock index. socialbee has already made more than 500 successful placements.

Campus news Entrepreneurship President news-36945 Fri, 08 Oct 2021 08:52:40 +0200
A strong partner for TUM Venture Labs https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36947 Andreas and Thomas Strüngmann said: “UnternehmerTUM and TUM have created an outstanding start-up ecosystem over the past 20 years. With this funding commitment, our family wants to make a difference by accompanying even more students and scientists on a successful entrepreneurial career.” The two entrepreneurs have already made successful investments in scientific start-ups such as Biontech.

BayWa AG and the Nemetschek Group have also recently signed agreements to support the TUM Venture Labs. Additional support from the private sector, family offices and the public sector are to be announced in the coming months.

Entrepreneurship news-36944 Thu, 07 Oct 2021 11:03:27 +0200
Monitoring protects SARS-CoV-2 patients https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36943 COVID-19 patients are required to go into home isolation. But this can be dangerous for high-risk patients if they develop a severe progression during isolation. In this case, timely admission to the hospital for treatment can be critical for survival.

Unfortunately, many COVID-19 patients do not immediately notice when their condition starts to deteriorate. The alternative of playing safe by admitting all at-risk patients immediately upon diagnosis would overburden the clinics.

Covid-19 Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-36942 Thu, 07 Oct 2021 08:00:00 +0200
The love of detail https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36940 Jürgen Richter-Gebert spent six months studying gold: He bought glitter pens at stationery shops, and studied jewelry store displays. At home, the mathematician moved gold bracelets and rings back and forth, watching the play of light on the surface. All of these efforts related to a single detail: In his “iOrnament: The Art of Symmetry” app, he wanted the gold on the screen to shimmer like the real metal when the screen or the user’s head moved.

The head of the Chair for Geometry and Visualization at TUM does not like to compromise when it comes to software, exhibits and exhibitions. “I set goals that I regard as challenging. I want to overcome boundaries and open doors,” says Prof. Richter-Gebert. The shimmering effect he has achieved with the gold in his iOrnament symmetry app is remarkably realistic. The app uses a sensor to detect movements, which are translated into shifts in the displayed gold color. The effect has delighted users and inspired artists and designers in their work. The renowned English calligrapher Seb Lester has used iOrnament to create works viewed millions of times in social media. Some of Lester's creations are probably the most elaborately ornamented letters ever produced. “It impresses me to see how the same app is used by children, artists, researchers and even a professional designer – with every one of them doing a little bit of math,” says Richter-Gebert.

Campus news Teaching lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36930 Wed, 06 Oct 2021 18:27:00 +0200
Cause found for higher sex-specific risk of mortality https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36939 Compared to women, men have a higher risk of experiencing severe progression of life-threatening diseases such as cancer. For example in Germany, every year over 130,000 male patients die of cancer as compared to only 100,000 female patients.

Comprehensive epidemiological studies conducted in recent years have shown that the increased risk of men experiencing a more severe course of cancer is not exclusively based on a higher-risk lifestyle, such as a higher average consumption of tobacco or alcohol.

Thus, life-style-independent factors have to play a role, making it all the more important to identify parameters which cause the sex-specific course of the disease. This in turn might serve as a basis for improving decision-making and approaches of treatment.

Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-36938 Mon, 04 Oct 2021 11:53:27 +0200
BayWa AG to partner with TUM Venture Labs https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36929 Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann, the President of TUM, and Prof. Klaus Josef Lutz, the CEO of BayWa, signed the new partnership agreement today. The Munich-based company will provide 1.4 million euros in funding to the TUM Venture Lab Food-Agro-Biotech (FAB). In addition, BayWa will apply its outstanding agricultural expertise and share its international experience in an intensive exchange of ideas with the start-up teams and the Venture Lab management. This qualifies BayWa as a Platinum Partner of the TUM Venture Labs.

Campus news Entrepreneurship news-36928 Wed, 29 Sep 2021 13:48:27 +0200
“Parties are neglecting the social policy aspects of AI” https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36927 Which issues do the parties highlight with regard to artificial intelligence?

The electoral platforms mention AI mainly in connection with the economy, foreign policy and the area of education and research. The proposals are mostly framed in the context of the competitiveness of German and European companies. The need for better international cooperation on AI and the issue of whether the technology should be used in military intelligence are mentioned with similar frequency. Another important topic is research funding. In general, positive paradigms outweigh the statements with neutral or negative connotations. However, the proposed measures tend to be non-specific and do not go beyond conventional instruments such as public investments or state regulation, for example in connection with automatic face recognition to fight crime.

Where do the parties differ?

FDP and the Greens place the strongest emphasis on the positive aspects of AI, while the policies of the SPD and especially the Linke focus on the potential challenges and risks. The CDU/CSU are more neutral, but lean towards a positive outlook. The program of the AfD make few mentions of AI, and is thus difficult to assess. State investments in AI-based technologies are advocated above all by the CDU/CSU, Free Democrats and the Green Party, whereas the Linke and the SPD prioritize state regulation – consistent with the latter parties’ emphasis on the social policy risks. In some areas there are also explicit differences. For example CDU/CSU strongly support autonomous, AI-based weapon systems for the German military, but also call for international condemnation of such systems. The SPD, the Linke and the Greens generally rule out the use of such weapons. Similar differences are evident in other areas, for example in the balance between the right to privacy vs. the use of AI-based surveillance.

How do you see the range of policies, given the importance of the issue?

It is significant to note what the party programs do not address, both in terms of the topics covered and the proposed measures. With few exceptions, key issues such as the use of AI technologies in healthcare, the consequences for the working world, or the protection of individuals against discriminatory algorithms play a secondary role. More complex political instruments to manage the development of artificial intelligence such as the creation of platforms and institutions to bring together the various societal actors or with the goal of educating the public on AI are also lacking. It appears that the political debate is centered around the familiar fault lines, especially that of state regulation vs. market freedoms. But it was surprising to see such big gaps in one of the most important dimensions of AI: the need to shape the related social policies.

Artificial Intelligence Research news klaus.becker@tum.de news-36926 Fri, 24 Sep 2021 11:20:29 +0200
New potentials of the traditional raw material wood https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36918 Wood is renewable, multifaceted and multifunctional. These three properties made the raw material one of the most important materials for mankind for centuries. It was only with the industrial revolution and the development of fossil resources that wood temporarily lost its importance as a material. But in the meantime, wood is once again valued as a sustainable resource. Currently, the raw material is in great demand and is becoming more and more expensive.

Prof. Klaus Richter heads the Chair of Wood Science at the TUM School of Life Sciences. In his lecture (in German), he will show how wood is structurally and chemically constructed and how the material is used, for example, as a material for the construction industry. He also addresses the question of how wood can be used as efficiently as possible in a forest-based bioeconomy and how the technologization of this natural resource can succeed. 

After the lecture, all participants are invited to put their questions to the speaker. The Q&A session will be moderated by TUM professor J. Philipp Benz.
Lecture date: Thursday, September 30, 2021, 7:00 p.m. 

The event will take place on site in Freising, in the pavilion of the Freising Music School, Kölblstraße 2, and will be simultaneously broadcast via Zoom. Due to Corona regulations, advance registration for the on-site event is required. Interested parties can register online; the information can be found at www.freising.wzw.tum.de.

You will also be able to ask the speaker in Zoom (password: 707568).

Sustainability Campus news Event katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36917 Mon, 20 Sep 2021 11:09:37 +0200
News on fine cocoa flavor https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36916 The new method is already suitable for practical use in companies and can be applied at any point along the value chain from cocoa beans to chocolate. In addition, the initial research results obtained using the new method lay the foundation for a world map containing comprehensive data on flavor-relevant cocoa ingredients.

“In the future, such a map could help to further optimize processing and production processes by making the flavor profiles of cocoa-containing products, such as chocolate, objectively predictable on the basis of molecular parameters,” says food chemist Andreas Dunkel of the LSB, who played a leading role in the study

Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36908 Fri, 17 Sep 2021 09:27:00 +0200