Gerhard Weikum received honorary doctorate from University of athens

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Prof. Gerhard Weikum (center) during the award ceremony. Photo: MPI for Informatics

Saarbrücken Max Planck Director and Professor at Saarland University, Gerhard Weikum, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. His scientific contributions to computer science in the fields of databases, the World Wide Web and artificial intelligence were particularly decisive.

The rector of the Greek University commented the honors: “The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, by conferring this title, which is the highest honorary title awarded by our Institution, wishes to honor you, a distinguished scientist in your field who through outstanding work has bestowed praise and credit on Computer Science and especially in the field of Databases, World Wide Web and Artificial Intelligence.”

Gerhard Weikum studied computer science at the TU Darmstadt and received his doctorate there in 1986. After a postdoctoral position in Austin, Texas, and an assistant professorship at ETH Zurich, he was appointed to a chair in computer science at Saarland University in Saarbrücken in 1994. The Max Planck Society appointed him Scientific Member and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science in 2003.

Gerhard Weikum is a Fellow of the German Informatics Society and the worldwide umbrella organization Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), as well as a member of several academies. He was awarded a Google Focused Research Award in 2010 and the ACM SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award in 2016, among others. The first publication on the YAGO knowledge bank, co-authored with then PhD students Fabian Suchanek and Gjergji Kasneci, has over 4000 citations and received the 2018 WWW Test-of-Time Award for the most influential publications at the Web Conference. In 2013, Weikum was awarded the European research prize ERC Synergy Grant together with Michael Backes, Peter Druschel and Rupak Majumdar.

Beyond his scientific contributions, Weikum has also been heavily involved in the self-organization of science. Among other things, he served for six years on the Science Council, the body appointed by the German president to advise the federal and state governments on science policy issues.

Background Saarland Informatics Campus:
900 scientists (including 400 PhD students) and approx. 2500 students from more than 80 nations make the Saarland Informatics Campus (SIC) one of the leading locations for computer science in Germany and Europe. Four 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,  and the Center for Bioinformatics along with  Saarland University and its three departments and 24 degree programs, together  cover the entire spectrum of computer science.