Two LMU projects on innovation and education funded

22 Sep 2021

LMU projects on distributed computing and modern STEM teaching are among ten projects funded by Stifterverband in its anniversary initiative.

© Stifterverband/LMU

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its foundation, Stifterverband (Germany's donors' association) launched a new funding initiative under the title Wirkung hoch 100 (“Impact to the power 100”). Its aim is to “support the best ideas in education, science and innovation”. A committee of experts has now chosen 10 projects (from a total of some 500 submissions) for funding. Two of the successful applications were submitted by LMU researchers.

Federated Secure Computing
Data are the life-blood of the industries of the future. Businesses, politicians and society as a whole are dependent on trustworthy data as the basis for informed decisions. Moreover, rational integration of data obtained from diverse sources provides the opportunity to enhance the value, and make the best use of the information available. On the other hand, in many cases, such sources often cannot, may not or refuse to make their data available to others. Some 61% of all European businesses exchange no information with others at all. The primary grounds for this lie in concerns relating to data protection and security. What is known as privacy-preserving computing enables public institutions, commercial firms and individual citizens to jointly work with their distributed data, without having to share it among each other. This means that the data remain under the control of their respective owners, while enabling them to be used collaboratively. Trust, consent and privacy are ensured. With its open-source project Federated Secure Computing, an LMU team led by Dr. Hendrik Ballhausen and Christian Hinske (Professor of Medical Informatics) has now developed a ‘middleware’ architecture which facilitates the development of such solutions by acting as an interface between user and server levels.

Climate Change - Understanding and Reacting
Climate protection begins in the classroom: According to this principle, a team led by Dr. Cecilia Scorza from the Faculty of Physics has developed the project Climate Change - Understanding and Reacting, a special educational programme for STEM subjects. This topic, which is highly relevant for young people, has not been addressed enough in school lessons so far. "The STEM subjects, however, are of outstanding importance," says Scorza. "An appealing education in the subjects of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and geography is therefore indispensable for solving the upcoming problems of mankind such as man-made climate change." The project offers lectures, workshops and teaching materials, one element of which is the "climate suitcase": it contains all the necessary materials to support teachers, educators and experts in teaching the consequences and causes of climate change. In this way, groups of pupils can experimentally explore the scientific background, effects and STEM nature of climate change. They are motivated to work on effective solutions through joint projects. In doing so, they take responsibility themselves, learn about possible courses of action and experience self-efficacy.

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