4.5 Million Euros in EU Funding for Saarbrücken Computer Science Research

This year, three computer scientists from Saarbrücken were awarded an "ERC Starting Grant" by the European Research Council. This award, endowed with 1.5 million euros each, is among the most prestigious research grants worldwide. It is intended to support particularly promising research of young scientists. The awarded projects are in the fields of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

Three of the total of four ERC Starting Grants awarded to computer scientists in Germany this time go to Saarbrücken. The award-winners raised a total of 4.5 million euros in third-party funding for Saarbrücken's computer science. The individual projects at a glance:

Isabel Valera is Professor of Computer Science at Saarland University since April 2020. Her research focus is machine learning, more specifically fair algorithms. In the EU-funded project "Society-Aware Machine Learning", Isabel Valera wants to develop a completely new methodological approach for the development of machine learning algorithms. Her new approach is to take into account the interests of all parties affected by an algorithm and thus ultimately contribute to fairer machine learning applications that are accepted by society. "Today, artificial intelligence is already used in many sensitive areas: In the granting of loans, to fill jobs, or to display personalized advertising on the Internet. To ensure that AI does not discriminate or act unfairly in instances like these, algorithms are needed that take into account the interests of all parties affected," says AI expert Isabel Valera.

Dr. Adish Singla has been a tenure-track faculty at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Saarbrücken since 2017. His research focus is "Machine Teaching", a subfield of Artificial Intelligence. In his ERC project "Machine-Assisted Teaching for Open-Ended Problem Solving: Foundations and Applications", Adish Singla wants to develop an AI-driven tutoring system for open-ended learning domains such as programming, conceptual puzzles, and virtual reality environments. The system will automatically adapt to a learner's level of knowledge and provide feedback according to their needs, design exercises, and suggest consolidation tasks. "The best way to learn something new is to be individually supervised by a teacher in the process. But since it is not possible to provide every learner with a personal, human teacher, computer-based tutoring methods are a promising solution. In addition to providing solid foundations, we will demonstrate the performance of our techniques in a wide range of pedagogical applications in open-ended domains," says Adish Singla.

The third of the honorees is Dr. Nico Döttling. The encryption expert is since 2018 researcher at the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, focusing on public-key encryption and secure multiparty computations. He is funded by the EU for his research on so-called "Laconic Cryptography". In the LACONIC project, he wants to develop new computationally efficient cryptographic methods and techniques that guarantee security when computing on very large amounts of data. His research could, for example, pave the way for the secure use of machine learning methods in medicine.

The first two projects are located at Saarland Informatics Campus (SIC). In recent years, a total of 27 Grants of the European Research Council (including 13 Starting Grants) have gone to Saarbrücken. The Saarland Informatics Campus offers a diverse AI research landscape: In addition to the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), numerous scientists at Saarland University and the Max Planck Institutes for Informatics and Software Systems, which are also located at the campus, work on topics related to artificial intelligence. Furthermore, the two internationally renowned AI initiatives CLAIRE (Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe) and ELLIS (European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems), which last year have been awarded the German AI Award, are also active on campus.

About Saarland Informatics Campus

900 scientists (including 400 PhD students) and about 2100 students from more than 80 nations make the Saarland Informatics Campus (SIC) one of the leading locations for computer science in Germany and Europe. Five world-renowned research institutes, namely the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, the Center for Bioinformatics and the Cluster for "Multimodal Computing and Interaction" as well as Saarland University with three departments and 24 degree programs cover the entire spectrum of computer science.

Most Popular Now

AI Helps Physicians Better Assess the Ef…

In a small but multi-institutional study, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based system improved providers' assessments of whether patients with bladder cancer had complete response to chemotherapy before a radical cystectomy (bladder...

AI may Detect Earliest Signs of Pancreat…

An artificial intelligence (AI) tool developed by Cedars-Sinai investigators accurately predicted who would develop pancreatic cancer based on what their CT scan images looked like years prior to being diagnosed...

Smartwatches and Fitness Bands Reveal In…

A new digital health study by researchers at Scripps Research shows how data from wearable sensors, such as smartwatches and fitness bands, can track a person’s physiological response to the...

Open Call U4H-2022-PJ2: Call for Proposa…

The Ukraine crisis has an unprecedented impact on the mental health of the displaced people in the EU coming from Ukraine. The conflict and experiences of people in war zones...

Medical Valley EMN & Volitan Global …

The two healthcare innovation experts Medical Valley EMN and Volitan Global strengthen their existing inbound- and outbound activities through a strategic partnership. The aim is to offer companies access to...

AI Reduces Miss Rate of Precancerous Pol…

Artificial intelligence reduced by twofold the rate at which precancerous polyps were missed in colorectal cancer screening, reported a team of international researchers led by Mayo Clinic. The study is...

DMEA - Connecting Digital Health Opens w…

26 - 28 April 2022, Berlin, Germany. What plans does the new federal government have concerning the digital transformation of the healthcare sector? What are the initial experiences of doctors regarding...

AI can Predict Probability of COVID-19 v…

Testing shortages, long waits for results, and an over-taxed health care system have made headlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These issues can be further exacerbated in small or rural communities...

Using AI to Detect Cancer from Patient D…

A new way of using artificial intelligence to predict cancer from patient data without putting personal information at risk has been developed by a team including University of Leeds medical...

Oulu University Hospital Expands Partner…

Siemens Healthineers and Oulu University Hospital in Finland have entered a strategic partnership for the next ten years, adding to an existing radiotherapy collaboration to jointly expand and modernize the...

Positive Conclusion to DMEA - Connecting…

26 - 28 April 2022, Berlin, Germany. After three days DMEA, Europe's leading digital health event, came to a successful conclusion - with around 11,000 visitors, more than 500 exhibitors and...

AI-Enabled ECGs may Identify Patients at…

Atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac rhythm abnormality, has been linked to one-third of ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke. But atrial fibrillation is underdiagnosed, partly because many...