As of January 2017, Prof. Dr. Michael Strube is the new Scientific Director (“Institutssprecher”) of HITS. As the position of Scientific Director rotates through the group leaders, this is a planned change in the HITS management. Rebecca Wade, who was Scientific Director for the last two years, stepped down from the position at the end of the year. The new deputy Scientific Director is Priv.-Doz. Dr. Wolfgang Müller.
Michael Strube is Group Leader of the Natural Language Processing (NLP) group at HITS and Honorarprofessor in the Computational Linguistics Department at Heidelberg University. After his Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics at the University of Freiburg, he he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. For 17 years he has been a researcher at HITS and its predecessor EML Research. His research interests focus on questions related to processing, understanding and generating discourse. Moreover, he addresses the public with talks on the “dark side of NLP” addressing the risks of processing natural language automatically.
Wolfgang Müller is Head of the Scientific Databases and Visualization group (SDBV) and Privatdozent at the Faculty of Information Systems and Applied Computer Science at the University of Bamberg. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, and did his Habilitation at the University of Bamberg. He has been working at HITS/EML Research for nine years. His research interests focus on data retrieval and on tools and technologies to enhance data with knowledge. In Fall 2016, Wolfgang Müller moved with his group to the second HITSsite in the “Mathematikon”.
The Scientific Director (“Institutssprecher”) is a group leader appointed by the HITS shareholders. The order of the appointment is determined by the length of activity as a group leader at the Institute. The Scientific Director represents the Institutes in all scientific matters vis-à-vis cooperation partners and the public.
The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.