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From climate change to earthquakes: Calculating uncertainties

Published on 11. Juli 2019, 17:36 h
Bielefeld University participates in Helmholtz Association project

How will the climate change, how certain is our energy supply, and what are the potentials of molecular medicine? Through statistical analyses, large amounts of data on the greatest variety of issues can be processed in ways that permit new knowledge and predictions. Nonetheless, predictions are always accompanied by uncertainty. The new project ‘Uncertainty Quantification’ is applying methods from probability theory to integrate uncertainty into analyses appropriately in order to calculate the reliability of predictions. The project is headed by Professor Dr Christiane Fuchs from Bielefeld University and Professor Dr Martin Frank from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. A total of four million euros is being invested in this research, and it is receiving funding from the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.


Prof. Dr. Christiane Fuchs is heading a new project that is calculating the uncertainties in predictions. Photo: Helmholtz Zentrum München
Prof. Dr Christiane Fuchs is heading a new project that is calculating the uncertainties in predictions. Photo: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Professor Dr Christiane Fuchs has been Professor of Data Science at Bielefeld University’s Faculty of Business Administration and Economics since January 2018. At the same time, as part of a cooperation with the Helmholtz Zentrum München, she is also the head of the Biostatistics Research Group there.

‘In the new project, we want to work out what different applied cases have in common in mathematical-methodological terms. Then we can use this to achieve a knowledge transfer in the data analysis,’ says Christiane Fuchs. ‘Our methods enable us to find common features in data on climate change and energy supply just as much as in data on seismology or medical genome research. By understanding the uncertainties in the data, methods, and predictions, we can integrate them better in research and public relations work.’

Apart from Christiane Fuchs’ research group at Bielefeld University, the chair held by Professor Dr Frank Riedel, head of the Center for Mathematical Economics, is also participating in the project. A total of 16 project coordinators from ten universities and research institutions are involved in the project.

The project ‘Uncertainty Quantification’ is receiving a total of two million euros from the Helmholtz Association over a three-year period. The remaining funding is coming from Bielefeld University and the other nine participating institutions.

Professor Christiane Fuchs is working on gaining knowledge from data that can be used to benefit medicine, the environment, and society. This is why she is engaged in data science in interdisciplinary and international teams. At the Helmholtz Zentrum München, she is head of not only the Biostatistics Research Group but also the statistical consulting service that she founded. The researcher began her academic career by studying theoretical mathematics at the Leibniz University Hannover. She then studied computational modelling at Brunel University in London (Great Britain), statistics in which she gained her doctorate in 2010 at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and biomedicine as a postdoc at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. This all forms the basis for her current work on applied sciences.

Further information is available online at:
‘Helmholtz to invest in innovative information and data science research projects’ (Press release of the Helmholtz Association dated 11 July 2019): https://bit.ly/2Lf6r2r

Contact:
Prof. Dr Christiane Fuchs, Bielefeld University
Faculty of Business Administration and Economics
Tel: 0521-106 2576
Email: christiane.fuchs@uni-bielefeld.de

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