Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues
One of UZH’s strategic priorities is digitalization. The flagship of our endeavors in this area is the Digital Society Initiative, involving all seven faculties and interdisciplinary collaboration among their researchers. Some of these scientists and scholars will be featured in the picture gallery accompanying this year’s annual report.
The report also gives insights into current research and teaching at the University. The statistics section presents the latest facts and figures for UZH.
Sincerely, Professor Michael O. Hengartner, President
im April 2019
Foto: Philipp Rohner
How is digitalization affecting democracy? How can large volumes of data be protected from manipulation? How can IT help improve the life of farm animals? Can artificial photosynthesis revolutionize the energy business?
Researchers in all faculties are joining forces to study the risks and opportunities of digitalization. Photographer Philipp Rohner has made images of some of them.
Photo: Communications researcher Thomas Friemel. He’s investigating the way social media affects the lives of children and young people.
IT professor Abraham Bernstein is looking at how to optimally analyze and integrate data from a wide range of different sources. His work will help improve processes in many areas, including pig farming.
Willy Kuo, a PhD student at the Institute of Physiology, is using high-resolution 3D imaging to virtualize kidneys. He’s involved in an interdisciplinary project looking into how to determine the distribution of oxygen in this crucial organ.
Chemistry professor Sandra Luber learns from plants. Her aim is to model photosynthesis on the computer to harness its processes for the extraction of hydrogen. If she succeeds, it could revolutionize the supply of energy.
Thanks to digital technologies, voters can get directly involved in political discussions and decisionmaking. Professor of politics Fabrizio Gilardi is studying the benefits of digitalization for politics.
Smartphones and apps are transforming the way we communicate. In her “What's up, Switzerland?” project, language expert Elisabeth Stark is investigating whether this is also changing linguistic structures in this country.
Learning to Surf
Understanding the mechanisms of the World Wide Web makes it easier to deal with the threats. Communications researcher Eszter Hargittai is looking at how we use the internet, and how risks can be avoided.
How can car owners, garages, insurance companies, and road traffic authorities share data on vehicle use to save time and increase the value of vehicles? Business IT specialist Gerhard Schwabe is developing a blockchain-based platform in response to the challenge.
Serious Moral Games
The ethics of business experts in the financial world has fallen into disrepute. Professor of business psychology Carmen Tanner wants to help develop the ethical competence of students. She’s come up with an online game that enables people to practice responsible behavior.
Religion on the Web
The internet is also omnipresent in religion. Professor of theology Thomas Schlag is investigating the diverse phenomena of “digital religion,” asking what opportunities and risks this is creating in terms of the way we live our lives, individually and collectively.
Until recently, stargazing involved literally peering out into space with a telescope. Now astrophysicist Ravit Helled is able to use a computer to simulate the formation and evolution of planets and describe their characteristics, both inside and outside the solar system.
With this 3D scanner and CT imaging machine at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, engineer Till Sieberth can do a three-dimensional digitalization of a corpse within a matter of seconds. This gives him crucial clues to the progression of events or an unusual death.
Research for All
Thanks to smartphones and home computers, these days many people are in a position to gather and compute data. This knowledge is harnessed in citizen science projects. Rosy Mondarini is the managing director in charge of UZH’s Citizen Science competence center.
What happens when one day autonomous drones take over from aircraft to perform civilian and military roles in the air? Ethicist Markus Christen is investigating the impact and implications of autonomous digital systems.
The School of Democracy
The less the press report on local politics, the lower the voter turnout is in the municipalities, a study by political scientist Daniel Kübler has shown.
The Power of Wonder research project is looking at the way moments of astonishment and surprise can be deliberately exploited in science, art, and politics to influence the way we think and behave.
Getting Research off the Ground
The Innovation Park Zurich creates great opportunities for research at UZH. The focus is on air and space travel. UZH’s Space Hub initiative is already using the airfield infrastructure for projects.
Remote sensing expert Michael Schaepman wants to use a new aerial sensing method to investigate the complex interplay between ecosystems, species, and genes.
Out of the Poverty Trap by Text Message
Poverty reduces people's ability to think and take action. Poor people often make the wrong decisions, which means they stay poor. Brazilian economist Guilherme Lichand wants to change this – by text message.
Funding New Approaches to Teaching
MUZH’s Competitive Teaching Fund is designed to support innovative teaching and learning formats to give impetus to a form of teaching that meets the needs of the digital era. The fund helps open up completely new worlds of the mind.
Door-Openers to the World of Scholarship
Tutors perform important roles in the university’s teaching – and get an intense and valuable experience in return for their efforts.
New Forum for Research
The University of Zurich is to build a center for education and research on its City Campus by 2027: The FORUM UZH. The new building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is inspired by the surrounding UZH and ETH buildings.
Help for "Black"
The Vetsuisse Faculty's animal clinic is repositioned. The 24-hour emergency service was expanded and staffed. In addition, the consultation hours were extended into the evening hours.