New Research Institute at Saarland University Combines Computer Science and Social Sciences

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Ingmar Weber, Humboldt-Professor in AI (left), and the Professor for Political Science Daniela Braun (right) will head the new "Interdisciplinariy Institute for Societal Computing (I2SC)" at Saarland University.

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On September 7 and 8, the “Interdisciplinary Institute for Societal Computing (I2SC)” at Saarland University will open with a two-day symposium. The institute promotes interdisciplinary research at Saarland University and provides a platform for exchange between social sciences, humanities and computer science. It is headed by Ingmar Weber, Humboldt Professor of Artificial Intelligence, and Daniela Braun, Professor of Political Science.

The research of the institute can be divided into two main areas: Computing of Society and Computing for Society. The first focus area concentrates on the use of computer-based methods to explore social phenomena. The second focus is on using these methods to develop approaches to improve society.

“With the I2SC, we are pursuing the goal of building bridges to society beyond scientific publications. We plan to work closely with various stakeholders such as the United Nations, various NGOs in Germany and abroad, and public institutions. These are cordially invited to approach us with their research questions,” says Institute Director Ingmar Weber.

“Networking the disciplines and implementing joint projects are at the heart of our work,” adds Institute Director Daniela Braun. “Many current issues, such as the impact of AI, require an interdisciplinary approach. The I2SC in Saarbrücken offers a new platform for this exchange.”

Daniela Braun is a European politics expert whose work focuses particularly on the European elections. In her current research project ActEU, which is funded by the European Union, she uses web scraping, among other things, to analyze the extent of polarization in Europe and the legitimacy of European political systems on social media. She also heads the Euromanifesto project, which processes election programs from European elections for research.

Humboldt Professor Ingmar Weber heads the research group “Societal Computing” at Saarland University. Among other things, he investigates the use of social media data to monitor the situation in crisis areas, gender equality and the dissemination of information on the Internet. For example, he already presented his research results in the field of “Digital Gender Gap” to the United Nations General Assembly.

Students of Saarland University shall also profit from the new institute: A certificate program in Societal Computing is planned to be introduced at the I2SC. “The certificate will confirm that social scientists and humanities scholars have furthered their education in computer science and that students of computer science are engaged beyond their own discipline,” explains Professor Braun.

The I2SC kicks off with an opening symposium on September 7 and 8. International panels will discuss the challenges and research questions of the interdisciplinary field. The new research institute will not occupy its own building, but will bring together scientists from different disciplines in a virtual way.

Further information:

Questions answer:

Prof. Dr. Ingmar Weber
E-Mail: iweber(at)

Prof. Dr. Daniela Braun
E-Mail: d.braun(at)


Background Saarland Informatics Campus:
900 scientists (including 400 PhD students) and about 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, the Center for Bioinformatics as well as Saarland University with three departments and 24 degree programs cover the entire spectrum of computer science.

Philipp Zapf-Schramm
Saarland Informatics Campus
Telefon: +49 681 302-70741

Press photos for download for use free of charge in connection with this press release:

Porträtfoto von Professorin Daniela Braun Daniela Braun is a professor of political science with a focus on European integration and international relations. Photo: Jörg Pütz
Informatik Professor Ingmar Weber Ingmar Weber, Humboldt Professor of Artificial Intelligence. Photo: Thorsten Mohr/UdS