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Discussing Luther, archiving for the ages, speaking into the night

The latest issue of the university publication uni’leben has been released

Freiburg, Oct 23, 2017

The Reformer

To this day it is contested as to whether Martin Luther really nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church on October 31, 1517. What we do know is that his protest rocked the world in the late Middle Ages. His ideas resonate even today – both within and beyond Europe. Freiburg researchers from history, musicology, theology and medieval studies have approached the person and reformer Martin Luther in a mosaic of ideas.
Read the article (only German)


Archived for a million years

How long can documents be stored? And on which type of data storage unit – paper, CD, hard drive or USB stick? How should we know which medium or technology will still work and can be read in the year 2525 – and with which devices? 500 years is an extremely long time because digital data have a much shorter shelf life than books or cuneiforms. Freiburg scientists and their colleagues from the “Human Document Project” have ambitious plans: They have set out to determine how we can archive information for a million years.
Read the article (only German)


It’s not only the man in the moon who’s listening

In the night between November 23 and 24, 2017, the ‘Long Night at the University’ is being held for the third time in Freiburg. Researchers will hold entertaining thirty-minute presentations about their work and answer questions from the audience until dawn. The student-run event has the goal of granting the general public insights into various subjects. Rahel Stahmann und Kai Gallant from the organization team explain what awaits the guests during the nocturnal event.
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The brain and its conditions

Being able to read the brain like a book is the dream of many a scientist. The computer scientist Dr. Michael Tangermann and his team have come one step further to realizing that dream: “We have developed algorithms that help us analyze and decode brain signals,” says Tangermann. In this way the computer should learn how to differentiate between brain condition A and brain condition B in order to recognize, for instance, when someone is being attentive or not. The idea: If you can recognize the brain’s condition, you can control apps with it. If doctors know, for instance, what the brain’s condition looks like when a patient with a paralyzed right arm wishes to move it, they can observe the brain’s conditions and control an artificial limb accordingly.
Read the article (only German)


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Rimma Gerenstein
Editor, uni’leben
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-8812