The highest distinction that the institute awards is the “HITS Fellow”. It is given to scientists in recognition of their outstanding contributions to defining and implementing the scientific agenda of HITS and for their exceptional service to the institute.
Isabel Rojas (1968-2013)
Isabel Rojas was among the first scientists who joined EML, the predecessor of HITS. Through her interdisciplinary approach, Isabel Rojas contributed significantly to the long-term strategy of HITS and its predecessor institutions. For her services and outstanding achievements, she was the first scientist of the institute to receive the “HITS Fellow” award. Read more.
In 2010, Volker Springel joined HITS as a group leader with a joint appointment as Professor at Heidelberg University. At HITS, Springel developed the biggest and most detailed simulations of the Universe, which he carried out on supercomputers as co-leader of the “Illustris” project. He refined his “Arepo” code, the basis for many astrophysical simulations and cited in more than 1100 publications. In numerous outreach and media appearances, he contributed greatly to the public awareness of HITS’ research activities. In recognition of his exceptional scientific achievements and his service to the institute, Volker Springel was named a “HITS Fellow” when he left HITS to become Director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in August 2018. Read more.
In 2015, Anna Wienhard joined HITS as leader of the associated group “Groups and Geometry” at HITS, in addition to her appointment as Professor at the Mathematical Institute of Heidelberg University. Since October 2020, she has also been Scientific Chairperson of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation that organizes the annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF). During her time at HITS, she actively contributed to the HITS Lab, and she established the geometry and dynamics research station at Heidelberg University. Furthermore, she was co-spokesperson of the STRUCTURES Cluster of Excellence. In 2021, Anna Wienhard has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant. She left HITS to become Director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in November 2022. Anna Wienhard was named a “HITS Fellow” in July 2023, at a “Math Colloquium” to honor her scientific achievements and service to the institute. Read more.