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The 2009 Leibniz Prize: Eleven new scientific discoverers
Date:12/11/2008

on probabilistic robotics has been especially groundbreaking, having shown that it is possible to estimate the position and orientation of a mobile robot efficiently, even without knowing its starting position. Previously, it had been assumed that this would not be practically possible. On the one hand, Burgard's research is basic science, yielding fundamental insights into mobile robots' ability to navigate, while on the other hand, it also contributes greatly to the engineering development of robots.

After studying computer science in Dortmund, Wolfram Burgard first became a research associate in Dortmund, before moving to Bonn, where he obtained his doctorate in 1991. He then spent a period as a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, before being appointed as the chair of computer science at the University of Freiburg in 2006. In addition to his work, which has received numerous prizes, Burgard is also active in other areas of robotics for instance an international museum project, for which he developed the first ever robotic museum guide.

Prof. Dr. Heinrich Detering (49), modern German and Nordic literature, Seminar of German Philology, University of Gttingen (2.5 million euros)

In going to Heinrich Detering, the Leibniz Prize has been awarded to a humanities scholar who has enriched the cultural debate far beyond the boundaries of the discipline in recent years. As a literary scholar, Detering is primarily interested in German and Scandinavian literature since the 18th century, and his studies address original problems as well as fundamental and hitherto disregarded correlations. For instance, with his perceptive and precise analysis of the "literary productivity of a taboo from Winckelmann to Thomas Mann" he has been able to show that the suppression of homoerotic tendencies has led to a subtle narrative, thus having a positive effect on the art of storytelling. As the co-editor and commentator of the Frankfurt collection of w
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Contact: Marco Finetti
marco.finetti@dfg.de
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Source:Eurekalert

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