Season’s Greetings

19. December 2022

Another extraordinary year is almost over and as always at this time, we take the opportunity to look back and take stock.

The world has changed over the last two years. After we had finally learned to live with the risks of a still ongoing pandemic, we were shocked by the news of the war in Ukraine at the beginning of the year. We asked ourselves what we as a basic research institute can do and decided that one way to support our colleagues in Ukraine was to offer a number of positions in some of our research groups (https://www.h-its.org/2022/03/02/research-positions-at-hits-for-scientists-from-ukraine/).

Life at the institute itself has also changed considerably and at a very fast pace. With now 14 research groups and staff from more than 40 countries our science is going stronger than ever. Research highlights from 2022 include the exciting search and subsequent discovery of an invisible needle in a stellar haystack (https://www.h-its.org/2022/07/19/set-black-hole/), the question of how cells get from A to B by finding the right balance between structural stability and flexibility (https://www.h-its.org/2022/03/17/ilk-pnas/), and the funding of a European Research Area (ERA) Chair to establish computational biodiversity research on the Greek island of Crete (https://www.h-its.org/2022/11/10/era-chair-stamatakis/).

Apart from welcoming many new staff members and Jan Stuehmer as junior group leader for “Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence” (https://www.h-its.org/2022/09/28/mli-start/), we also had to say good-bye to our colleague and “Groups and Geometry” group leader Anna Wienhard. We are very proud that she has been appointed Director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, and our heartfelt congratulations go out to her on this achievement. However, her presence and her contributions to HITS will be truly missed (https://www.h-its.org/2022/11/04/anna-wienhard-mpi/).

One of the things which has remained unchanged in 2022 is our commitment to support those who are less well off, instead of sending gifts to our friends and partners. The Klaus Tschira Foundation has again provided us with funds for this purpose, which will be donated to the “Kinderplanet” (Children’s Planet), a day care center caring for healthy siblings during the cancer treatment of the sick child.

On behalf of everyone at HITS we wish you a peaceful holiday season and a happy, successful, and healthy New Year. Take care of yourself and others.

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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