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2013

Tales from LMU

Stocking young minds – with stories

Telling stories is an effective way to teach things, but school timetables leave little room for it. Trainee teachers from LMU now regularly tell stories at local schools, with a view to improving their pupils’ language competence.

Environmental research

Waste: The Dark Side of Consumption

How can we cope with our waste? Historian Christof Mauch and jurist Jens Kersten discuss recycling and rhetoric, the limited reach of legal measures, and the role of civil society in waste reduction and reuse.

Quantum physics

The light conductor

Immanuel Bloch uses batteries of lasers and sophisticated control circuitry to create artificial crystals with which he can simulate and study physical phenomena at the quantum level.

“Focus on Children”

Coping with separation

When children are involved, marital separation becomes a complicated business. The program “Focus on Children”, developed at LMU, offers advice and support to mothers and fathers in this situation – with an eye to the children’s welfare.

Life-threatening diseases

Facing imminent death

People who are suffering from life-threatening, incurable illnesses contemplate suicide and assisted dying more often than their physicians suspect. These patients, and their families, deserve more psychosocial support, says medical ethicist Ralf Jox.

New CAS Research Focus

Natural experiments in history

Why do Protestants earn more and boys do better in science? LMU professors Ludger Wößmann and Davide Cantoni use historical data to elucidate economic and social developments. Here they discuss the explanatory power of economic history.

The White Rose Organ

Glass in the limelight

The instrument has long been silent – but the White Rose Organ has found its voice again, and on 9. November it will intone Philip Glass’ score for the film Koyaanisqatsi.

Voice actor Max Felder

Echoes of Hogwarts at LMU

He spent his early years with gorillas in the jungle, then he and his friend Harry Potter battled Lord Voldemort, and he lost Bella, the love of his life, to a vampire. LMU student Max Felder has inhabited all of these characters, giving each his own distinctive voice.

Children’s University

Lectures with “light-bulb” effect

It’s 5 pm on a Friday evening in the Audimax at LMU, not a particularly judicious the most favorable time for a lecture, one might think. But the excitement among the audience is palpable – the subject of the lecture is dinosaurs.

LMU Alumnus Philipp Krüger

The career path of a contemporary eclectic

When Philipp Krüger received his law degree, he had no idea it would take him to a UN mission in Sierra Leone, to producing documentaries, and to collaborating with global thinkers in American administrations.

Interview with Gabriele Weishäupl

Show of local pride and cosmopolitan party

Gabriele Weishäupl studied and taught at LMU, and has been in charge of Munich’s famous Oktoberfest for the past 27 years. She talks about her unique Oktoberfest seminar and her career as “First Lady of the Wiesn“.

Images of violence in the Ancient World

The celebration of frenzy

Flaying, violation, torture and impalement: Artworks and texts from the Ancient World often depict acts of shocking cruelty. Historian Martin Zimmermann explains the rationale behind the aesthetic portrayal of extreme violence.

Inclusion

“Deaf children need more support”

The incidence of hearing disabilities among newborns is 2-3 per 1000. Professor Annette Leonhardt from the Institute for the Education of the Deaf and the Hearing Impaired discusses the challenges these children face.

Nurturing excellence

Comprehending the cosmos

The members of the Cluster of Excellence on the Origin and Structure of the Universe study all aspects of the genesis and evolution of stars, galaxies and planetary systems. Computer simulations play a prominent role in this endeavor.

Altering the medical mindset

What medical students take for a mind altering experience

The Medical Curriculum Munich aims to enable today’s students to meet the challenges posed BY tomorrow's world - which is why its LMUexchange program is sending budding physicians into Brazilian classrooms and hospitals.

LMU’s hidden nooks

From clammy depths to stifling heights

LMU’s Main Building is always bustling with people – students, researchers, administrators. But the University also has less frequented passages, as the following “expedition log” reports.

German election forecasts

Getting the result right

Is there a simple way to correctly predict the result of the upcoming general election in Germany? LMU’s Andreas Graefe has helped to develop a method that has performed impressively in US elections. But will it work in a German setting?

Environmental history

“We must respect nature’s power”

Researchers at LMU’s Rachel Carson Center turn to the past in search of solutions for problems that threaten our future. In an interview, Professor Christof Mauch explains how hindsight can help.

Surfin' Munich

The perfect wave

LMU student Marco Smolla is a professional snowboarder. When there’s no snow, he switches boards and indulges in his other passion – surfing. Indeed, in Munich students can slip off in search of the perfect wave between lectures.

Behavioral economics

“Snap decisions can be good decisions”

Martin Kocher, Professor of Behavioral Economics at LMU, uses experimental approaches to study how time pressure affects the quality of our decisions. Some of his findings are quite surprising.

Pediatrics

Caring for the rare cases

“I want to be able to give my patients answers,” says Christoph Klein, LMU pediatrician and clinical researcher. He studies rare diseases, seeking to determine their causes and find therapies. This takes time, but many of his patients have little to spare.

Nurturing excellence

Taking Time’s pulse

A journey to the briefest instants of time: Researchers at the Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics use ultrashort light pulses to study the motion of electrons in atoms – and are finding applications for “attosecond physics”.

Student and Child

Graduating with a child in tow

Caring for a child while taking a degree is a challenge, but it can also be a great motivator. In fact, many couples now decide to start a family before they graduate, and LMU does much to make life easier for students with children.

Founder’s Day 541

Stargazing and stargazers at LMU

LMU celebrates its 541st birthday on 28. June. Astrophysicist Professor Ralf Bender gives this year’s lecture – on “The Invisible Universe”. In LMU’s history, however, astronomy has been anything but invisible.

Nurturing excellence

The click’s the trick!

One of the major goals of researchers at the Center for integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPSM) is to obtain a precise description of the properties of specific proteins – then they can use chemical tricks to modify them.

CAS lecture

A booming market for sperm, egg cells and embryos

Sociologist Professor Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim studies responses to and repercussions of globalization. At LMU she gave a lecture on reproductive medicine in a global context.

Probing a town’s past

LMU team “reassembles” Old Vize

An ongoing video journal allows visitors to the Gerda Henkel Foundation’s website to follow the work of LMU archaeologists in the small city of Vize in Turkey. The researchers are resurrecting the town’s Byzantine past.

A 200-year-old treasure-house

Paradise between paper covers

The Bavarian State Collection for Botany in Munich is celebrating its 200th birthday. A symposium devoted to its history and the significance of the plant materials it holds will be held on 7. June.

Career start

“Students should try things out early on”

Off and running, or stuck in the starting blocks? Dirk Erfurth of LMU‘s Career Advisory Service Student und Arbeitsmarkt discusses job prospects for graduates and how to acquire the skills that make the difference.

Notes from the icefields

Wegener‘s expedition journals online

A fascinating picture of the Greenland expeditions undertaken by Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) emerges from his personal journals. LMU’s Rachel Carson Center has now put the documents on display on its website.

World Asthma Day

Protective particulates

Growing up on a farm reduces the risk of asthma and allergies. Allergy specialist Erika von Mutius is studying why this is so, as the answer could suggest new ways of preventing such disorders.

Nurturing excellence

Program and project – Graduate Schools

New: Four Graduate Schools supported by funds provided by the Excellence Initiative are currently in operation at LMU. Each offers a stimulating and interdisciplinary working environment.

Art at CAS

More than just an ice-breaker

Before the real talking gets underway at the CAS, the art on view helps everyone to relax. Indeed, over the past 5 years, the “Art at the CAS” exhibitions have become a must for insiders, and a further attraction for visitors.

TutorPlus

Train the trainer

Tutors can play an invaluable role in education. But they must be properly trained for the task of training others. The TutorPlus program aims to do just that.

Indian Buddhism

Tracing the early paths of Buddhism

A long-lost language opens a window on an age-old culture. Researchers led by LMU Indologist Professor Jens-Uwe Hartmann are deciphering fragile documents that shed light on the early development of Buddhism.

“Mein München” exhibition

Skateboarders with local color

Looking for something to do over the Easter holiday? Try the exhibition “Mein München” in the Munich City Museum. The show illuminates many facets of life in Munich - and gives an idea of how students view the modern city.

Oncology Winter School

Programmed for practice

In the course of a four-week program at LMU, medical students from around the world get a close-up view of the everyday routines in an oncology clinic. Taught by eminent medical specialists, they also receive invaluable help from their German “study buddies”.

African find

A lot of fish fossils discovered

A research team led by LMU paleontologist Bettina Reichenbacher has uncovered a rich trove of fossil fish in the Rift Valley in Kenya. The new specimens promise to reveal important details of the evolutionary history of freshwater fish in Africa.

International Women’s Day

“We overlook a mass of human potential”

LMU’s Professor Dieter Frey talks about the demands made on high-ranking managers, the difficulties that aspiring talents face on the way to the top, and the leadership qualities of women.

Excellence Cluster set to go

The nerve-center of the operation

Many neurological diseases show striking parallels in pathology. Here LMU biochemist Christian Haass outlines the collaborative strategy the new research network SyNergy is using to dissect the unifying mechanisms.

Global learning network

LMU to present MOOCs

This summer LMU presents its first Massive Open Online Courses to a worldwide audience. LMU President Professor Huber discusses LMU’s partnership with Coursera, and the potential social impact of MOOCs.

World Day of Social Justice

“We are living at the expense of future generations”

LMU‘s Markus Vogt on social justice in Germany and the rest of the world, and the individual‘s need for the respect of his peers.

Valentine’s Day

Love is a Gift

Martin Schmidt of LMU’s Unit for Couple Therapy Research and Practice helps distressed couples to improve their relationships. Here, he discusses the roles of rituals, romantic ideals and the unfathomable in one’s partner.

70 years ago

Remembering the White Rose

In 1943, the members of the inner circle of the White Rose resistance group were condemned to death and executed. The annual White Rose Memorial Lecture at LMU was given this year by Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic.

2. February: Open Day at LMU

What should I study?

LMU offers a vast range of courses, which doesn’t make choosing any easier. But you can find out all you need to know about doing a degree there, and get a feel for the atmosphere and flair of a big university, by attending Open Day.

Returnees

Bright sparks are coming home

The German Academic International Network (GAIN) says that many expatriate researchers are returning home. Munich University Magazine (MUM) spoke to two returnees about their experiences abroad and their reasons for coming back.

DAAD Prize

On the ball - in the lab, on the pitch

He completed two Bachelor courses in parallel, has looked after foreign students, supervised tutorials. Now this blend of talents has won LMU physics student Marin Bukov the DAAD Prize.

Microbiology

The end of egoism

Microorganisms communicate and cooperate: Researchers like LMU microbiologist Kirsten Jung have recently begun to understand the organization of bacterial communities that display forms of social behavior.

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