Bielefeld University is one of Germany's strongest research universities within a focussed spectrum of transdisciplinary fields encompassing not only the humanities and social sciences but also the natural and technological sciences. One confirmation of this is given by the Excellence Initiative with which the German federal and state governments are promoting top-level research in Germany. Bielefeld University has been hosting a Centre of Excellence on Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) and a Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS) since 2007. CITEC is receiving 6.5 million Euros a year; BGHS more than one million.CITEC - Cognitive Interaction Technology
Technology that understands
Everything from everyday appliances to robots: researchers at the Cluster of Excellence Center in Cognitive Interactive Technology (CITEC) at Bielefeld University develop technical systems that are intuitive and easy to operate for human users. Future technology should adapt to the human user ? not the other way around.
Since 2007, researchers have been investigating the scientific principles necessary for endowing machines with cognitive abilities. These machines should be able to interact naturally with people and adjust to changing situations. Researching the scientific foundations of cognitive interaction technology, a research area founded by CITEC, is the necessary pioneering work.
Interdisciplinary research activities at CITEC are organized into four main areas: motor intelligence, attentive systems, situated communication, and memory and learning. Our round about 250 members hail from 31 research groups and five faculties: Biology, Linguistics and Literary Studies, Mathematics, Psychology and Sports Science, and Technology.
Individuality, internationality and personal initiative - at the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology these attributes are strongly emphasized. 130 doctoral candidates of history and sociology study and research here together under one roof. They profit from the broad thematic variety BGHS has to offer. Historical and political processes of change are some of their main research fields as well as current social issues. However, uncommon dissertation intentions are also welcome here at BGHS. For example, the spirituality in yoga or the exploration of the urban prison system in the late Middle Ages and in the incipient Early Modern Period.
The graduate school considers itself as a researching community of doctoral candidates and professors. That is also what the bottom-up principle stands for, which emphasizes personal initiative and codetermination of the doctoral candidates. They organize workshops and conferences of their own and have an influence on the content of teaching. This is how a culture of creativity and exchange is established, in which young scientists can lay solid groundstones for their future careers.