Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Medal for Sandra Hirche und Claudia Eckert

Congratulations to relAI fellows Prof. Sandra Hirche and Prof. Claudia Eckert on receiving the prestigious 2023 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Medals from TUM.

We are excited that the TUM honors the exceptional achievements of Prof. Dr. Claudia Eckert and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sandra Hirche with the 2023 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Medals. This annual award of the TUM was presented to the relAI fellows at the recent Dies Academicus in December 2023.  

In the Laudati, Senior Vice President Prof. Gerhard Kramer acknowledged the outstanding contributions of Prof. Dr. Claudia Eckert “at her chair at TUM and as head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security AISEC with the protection of IT systems against hacker attacks.” Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sandra Hirche was recognized for her “groundbreaking work” in control engineering and systems theory. 

A big congratulations to them both! These well-deserved awards are a testament to their dedication and impact in their respective fields, particularly to reliable AI.  

Please find more information about this prestigious price from TUM: https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/facts-and-figures/awards-and-honors/awards-presented-by-the-technical-university-of-munich/heinz-maier-leibnitz-medal  

We are honored to announce that the Zuse Schools of Excellence in AI have been featured in the AI action plan of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (“BMBF-Aktionsplan Künstliche Intelligenz”)! 

This strategic plan aims to significantly advance AI research, development, and application in Germany. It emphasizes strengthening Germany’s position in the global AI landscape. This is done by enhancing research infrastructure and transfer, facilitating AI integration into various sectors such as healthcare, fostering a dialogue on the societal and ethical implications of AI and ensuring AI competencies at all levels in the long term. Notably, the BMBF has committed over 1.6 billion Euros to this AI action plan.  

Being explicitly named in this influential plan highlights the dedication of the three Zuse Schools including relAI, to fostering ethical, reliable AI innovations and preparing the next generation of AI leaders. 

A huge thank you to our supporters, partners, fellows, and students for making this milestone possible!  

Day 2 of the 2023 relAI retreat combined inspiring keynote talks by relAI fellows Sandra Hirche (“Learning Controls with Guarantees”) and Johannes Maly (“Implicit regularization of training algorithms and resource efficiency”) with more sessions of lightning talks and two rounds of group discussions, a new activity introduced for the first time during this year’s retreat.

The first group discussion session dealt with research topics suggested by fellows and students. The presentations of the discussions’ outcomes showed the intensity and depth with which these discussions had been conducted. The second round of discussions focused on relAI organizational topics such as the relAI Blog and Alumni and were very productive. They were presented on the last day of the retreat with amazing outcomes, including a newly founded student committee to coordinate the new relAI blog, and a student representative responsible for building a relAI alumni network. The election of new student representatives and IDP discussion sessions rounded off two very successful days.

Although the weather was very much November-like, everyone enjoyed the talks, fruitful discussions and social activities in this great location. The preparations for the next retreat have already started; it will take place in summer 2024 and we’re looking forward to gathering the relAI family again.

From November 16th to November 18th, the relAI family gathered at the Yachthotel Chiemsee for its second retreat.

The retreat started on the 16th with a warm opening by our two directors, Stephan Günnemann and Gitta Kutyniok. Afterwards, the relAI fellow Debarghya Ghoshdastidar gave the first keynote talk about “Over-parameterization and Over-fitting: Myths, theory and tools” followed by a very lively discussion around this topic.

Day One´s program concluded with a highlight of this year’s retreat, a round of lightning talks, where each of our students introduced themselves and their research focus in one minute. Spread over the two days of the retreat, the one minute presentations together with the social interactions resulted in everyone having a very good idea about what interests all the other students have.

On the 11th and 12th of October, relAI welcomed the new cohort of relAI Master and Doctoral students. The event included informative sessions about relAI and networking activities. At the Munich Data Science Institute (MDSI), TUM, the relAI directors and coordinators presented the relAI program to the new students. The first relAI cohort of students organised a lively interactive session (photo) to welcome and get to know the new students.

On 14 September, the Munich Data Science Institute (MDSI, TUM) celebrated its official opening at the Science Congress Center in Garching. The event included inaugural words by the Bavarian State Minister for Science and the Arts, M. Blume, and the TUM President, Prof. Dr. T. Hofmann. Top-class scientific lectures from MDSI Members, presentations of outstanding MDSI projects, a panel discussion, and a poster session rounded the program. 

The Konrad Zuse School of Excellence in Reliable AI (relAI), a joint project between TUM and LMU funded by DAAD, which had been initiated through an MDSI Focus Topic, was one of the projects highlighted at the opening. relAI Coordinator Dr. Andrea Schafferhans introduced relAI to the audience, giving an excellent overview of its educational and research programs as well as its people. relAI was also widely represented at the poster session by relAI Master students and PhD researchers from the TUM University, who discussed their research projects with the numerous guests of the event, among them, MDSI partners and representatives from industry and other research institutions.

The photo gallery shows memorable moments of our opening ceremony.

The Grand Opening of our Konrad Zuse School in Reliable AI was a great success. Welcome addresses by TUM Senior Vice President Prof. Dr. Gerhard Kramer, LMU Vice President Prof. Dr. Francesca Biagini and DAAD Secretary General Dr. Kai Sicks inaugurated the event. Afterward, State Minister Markus Blume honored us with the keynote address. Our directors Prof. Dr. Stephan Günnemann and Prof. Dr. Gitta Kutyniok introduced relAI to our guests from politics, science, and industry. The representatives of relAI academic, industry partners, and fellows Prof. Dr. Phillip Grohs (University of Vienna), Prof. Dr. Fabian Theis (TUM), Dr. Peter Lehnert (BMW), and Prof. Dr. Frauke Kreuter (LMU) presented our four research Focus Areas “Mathematical and Algorithmic Foundations”, “Medicine and Healthcare”, “Robotics and Interacting Systems”, and “Algorithmic Decision Making”. 

The celebration concluded with a reception combined with a poster session, where our students showed their research projects. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to presenting relAI and to everyone who joined us to celebrate the first successful steps of our school.

 

relAI is happy to welcome five new relAI fellows from TUM, LMU and the research center Helmholtz AI.

The expertise of the new fellows on reliability AI  will strengthen the relAI research and education, particularly on the Mathematical and Algorithmic Foundations relAI Focus area. New fellow Prof. Dr. Daniel Cremers (TUM) is specialised in computer vision and has worked in the AI field for many years, covering aspects of reliable AI. Prof. Dr. Reinhard Heckel (TUM) is interested in developing methods that are robust to worst case perturbation and most importantly to distribution shifts, an integral aspect of reliable AI. Prof. Dr. Johannes Maly (LMU) ´s research is naturally aligned with the goals of relAI. It focuses on understanding how to leverage intrinsic model or data structure and how the loss of information caused by digital processing (quantization) affects theoretical results. LMU fellow Prof. Christoph Kern works at the intersection of statistics, (computational) social science, and data science. His research goals overlap considerably with the research areas and themes of relAI. The research of Dr. Vincent Fortuin (Helmholtz AI) on uncertainty quantification with Bayesian methods also fits perfectly within relAI, especially with the central theme of safety. The contribution of the new relAI fellows to research support, seminars, and lectures will enrich the relAI curriculum and advance the theoretical research of the relAI field.