How do you teach computers to understand natural language in order to structure large volumes of text and make this information accessible?

Professor Dr. Chris Biemann and his group of researchers in the Computer Sciences faculty at the TU Darmstadt have dedicated themselves to solving this problem. For his work he was rewarded with the Adolf Messer Prize, which comes with prize money of €50,000 on Monday 25 November 2013.

The prize money will be invested in the research: various related sub-projects, some of which are managed by renowned guest scientists, will also be financed, as well as a new computer whose architecture is designed to process large volumes of data and consequently promote the research.

Dr. Biemann gained a degree in Computer sciences at Leipzig University, where he also studied for his PhD from 2003 to 2007. In his dissertation he broke away from the traditions of computer linguistics and language technology by showing that machines can solve tasks related to computer linguistics without making recourse to knowledge provided explicitly.

The machine learns “by itself”. After gaining his doctorate Dr. Biemann worked on the semantic search engine Powerset and later at Microsoft Bing in San Francisco. In 2011 he accepted a junior professorship in the Computer Sciences faculty at the TU Darmstadt. He is head of the expert group on language technology. Numerous publications have been produced and a range of research projects and joint ventures established here in the last two years.

The prize of the Adolf Messer Stiftung, which is worth €50,000, is awarded each year. It promotes research and the teaching of young scientists at the TU Darmstadt. Outstanding achievements in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economic and social sciences as well as the humanities are rewarded with this prize.