Anna Wienhard appointed new Scientific Chairperson of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation

29. September 2020

The mathematician Anna Wienhard, HITS group leader and professor at Heidelberg University, will be the new Scientific Chairperson of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF). The HLF is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. During this event young researchers meet award-winning scientists from mathematics and computer science.

Adapting to change often has two sides: difficulty in letting go of the familiar and excitement in the coming opportunity. The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) is experiencing a transition, one that has very deep roots. Computer scientist and former HITS Managing Director Andreas Reuter retires from his post as Scientific Chairperson of the HLFF, which he held since the Foundation was established in 2013 to organize the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF). Andreas Reuter was fundamental in developing the scientific elements for each HLF program and played an integral role in bringing the event to fruition.

All great things begin with an ambitious vision, and the HLF is no exception. In the fall of 2011, Klaus Tschira, founder of the Klaus Tschira Foundation and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), and Andreas Reuter began toying with the quite brazen concept of organizing a networking conference for mathematicians and computer scientists. Just two years later in September of 2013, the 1st HLF opened its doors to participants eager to exchange and discuss with renowned groundbreakers in mathematics and computer science. Though the venture was undoubtedly bold, Tschira and Reuter already had an established history of transforming brash concepts into concrete structures, such as the founding of HITS that was established in January 2010. HITS has supported the HLF as a Scientific Partner since 2016.

Anna Wienhard, a renowned professor of mathematics at Heidelberg University and ”Groups and Geometry” group leader at HITS, will be Andreas Reuter´s  successor starting  1 October 2020. Anna Wienhard has long been an active member of HLF’s Scientific Committee and avid supporter of the HLF promoting its underlying purpose.

After her studies at the University of Bonn she was a postdoc at the University of Basel, the Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Chicago, and an assistant professor at Princeton University. She has held numerous visiting professor positions and has received an NSF Career grant as well as an ERC Consolidator grant.

Anna Wienhard and Andreas Reuter at the HLF closing ceremony. Photo: HLFF

“We thank Andreas Reuter for his valuable contributions to the HLFF and welcome Anna Wienhard in her new role,” said Beate Spiegel, Chairperson of the HLFF and Managing Director of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, at the closing ceremony of the Virtual Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2020. “For the HLFF this change will be an exciting transition, one where the torch is passed between two individuals with a strong common thread: an appreciation for science and a passion for igniting it in others.” (For the whole ceremony, watch the video below)

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About the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF)

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) is a networking conference where 200 carefully selected young researchers in mathematics and computer science spend a week interacting with the laureates of the disciplines: recipients of the Abel Prize, ACM A.M. Turing Award, ACM Prize in Computing, Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize. Established in 2013, the HLF is annually organized by the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF). After being co-initiator of this event, HITS has been scientific partner of the HLF since 2016.

About HITS

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.

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