Student research at LMU

4 Oct 2021

Coronavirus pandemic, climate change, applications of AI: LMU students tackle urgent social issues.

This year‘s round of awards for outstanding research undertaken by students at Bachelor and Master levels demonstrate their authors’ commitment to the investigation of socially relevant topics.

On Good Teaching Day, the winners of 11 LMU Student Research Prizes in a range of disciplines were announced. Three of them, and their projects in Philosophy, Medicine and Geography, are introduced below.

© adobestock / IRStone

Automated killing: Military robots and moral responsibility


For further details, see: Military robots and moral responsibility

Read more

“It‘s fascinating to follow how new technologies can complicate the meanings of traditional concepts which philosophers would have regarded as clearly defined up to now,” says philosophy student Felicia Kuckertz. In her Bachelor’s thesis, she addressed the problem of how moral responsibility can be rationally attributed in cases in which autonomous entities controlled by AI-based software cause harm.

“To sharpen my perception of the issues involved, I consciously decided to focus on the extreme example of a potentially lethal military robot,” Kuckertz explains.

Uncovering aspects of the pathogenicity of a novel virus


For further details, see: “Uncovering aspects of a novel virus"

Read more

When the coronavirus pandemic emerged in Wuhan, LMU medical student Alexander Leunig happened to be in Singapore. “We talked a lot about what was happening in China, and we were pretty sure that the pathogen would at some point reach the city and spread further afield. But at that time, no one knew anything about the virus,” he recalls.

On his return to Munich, he was among the first clinical researchers in Germany who were in a position to study the effects of the novel pathogen, and he went on to investigate the role of immune cells in the abnormal formation of blood clot that can occur in COVID patients.

Calculating the course of climate change


For details, see: “Calculating the course of climate change”

Read more

Can a rainforest die of drought? Can an ecosystem that once covered an area of 6 million square kilometers be transformed into a very different one in a comparatively short time? Climatologists say yes.

The Amazonian rainforest is now under acute threat owing to a combination of two mutually reinforcing factors – climate change and ongoing deforestation. This raises the possibility that a ‘tipping point’ may be reached, a threshold beyond which a degraded rainforest can no longer maintain itself, and inexorably turns into a vast savannah.

In her Bachelor’s thesis in Geography, Gergana Gulyeva studied the effects of climate change and deforestation on the Amazonian rainforest.

What are you looking for?