Applied Cultural Studies in Klagenfurt: Socially critical and diverse

Maria Kravanja, 21 years old from Villach, studies Applied Cultural Studies (AKuWi) at the University of Klagenfurt. She already spoke to us about her life in her self-constructed Tiny House in an interview. As a First Generation Student, she is the first one to study in her family. She talks to us about the path that led her to study, her professional goal of becoming a scientist and tells us what advice she would like to give to freshers who do not have an academic family background.

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Moving to Klagenfurt to study: Two cities where you feel at home

The Upper Austrian Katharina Zarembach came to Klagenfurt via detours. Now she is enjoying the bachelor’s programme Media and Communications here. She has advice for you on how to choose the right place to study and how to start your studies in the best way.

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Studying History and Slavonic studies: “The experience you can gain here is priceless!“

The Carinthian Denise Branz has Slovenian roots. That was one of the reasons for her to study History and Slavonic Studies at the AAU. When asked why she didn’t decide to study to become a teacher, she laughs: “I am simply not a teacher”. In this interview, she tells us what particularly excites her about her studies and why the excursions to Tunisia and Libya will remain in her memory.

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Who do we make good decisions with?

Every day, whenever we make decisions, be it in our professional or personal lives, we are faced with complicated challenges that we cannot always master alone, but manage rather more effectively in a team. Dario Blanco Fernandez, doctoral student at the doctoral school DECIDE (Decision-making in a digital environment), seeks to find out how people collaborate when it comes to solving tasks together and reaching (good) decisions. Read more

Research into COVID-19-related crisis scenarios at AAU: New technology will optimise the supply of medical protective equipment

Earlier this year, it became painfully clear to many in Europe that the supply of face masks, gloves and protective overalls is by no means crisis-proof. A research team consisting of Austrian and Chinese scientists is now working on new technologies that will address different levels of the supply chain and will ultimately lead to the faster, more efficient and cheaper supply of protective equipment across Europe, even in times of crisis.

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Data pipelines: New measures to tackle the last few congested metres

Today’s data networks are well developed: Even so, although the data can pass through the pipelines smoothly and largely unhindered, the last few metres of the pipeline represent a bottleneck. Firewalls, security and the restrictions imposed by the processing software all tend to slow down processing. Now, thanks to a new H2020 project, a research team at the Department of Information Technology, led by Radu Prodan, has started to work on new measures aimed at tackling the last few congested metres. 

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More artificial intelligence for smart meters

Intelligent electricity meters offer insights into smart homes – benefiting the residents. Where older people live alone, their electricity consumption data can be used to determine whether they are in good health. They can also help us to reduce the risk of high electricity bills. As a doctoral student at the DECIDE doctoral school, Hafsa Bousbiat is researching models that make optimal use of the new possibilities.

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Funding for 14 PhD students in the field of optimization in FWF doc.funds project

The approval of this project represents a milestone in the success story of the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Klagenfurt. It’s also a great achievement on the part of the participating professors and particularly for the 32-year-old coordinator, Michaela Szölgyenyi. Starting in October 2020, the project will employ ten young scientists (including eight women), with four more positions yet to be filled. The launch of the doc.funds doctoral school entitled “Modeling – Analysis – Optimization of discrete, continuous, and stochastic systems” will be celebrated on 27 October 2020 with an opening colloquium.

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“ There is a desire to ‘improve’ something in the interest of others, without actually knowing what those interests are.”

In the Western world we are very quick to demand specific ethical criteria relating to working conditions. However, the Pakistani sociologist Farah Naz, who earned her doctorate at the University of Klagenfurt and now researches and teaches at the University of Sargodha, raises the following issue: Before judging child labour and home-based work, we should understand the living and working conditions of the families concerned. Together with sociology professor Dieter Bögenhold, she has published a book with the title “Unheard Voices”. The publication forges links between the work of Pakistani football stitchers and the great global inequalities. The two authors discuss the main ideas of their book in this interview.

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Robots set to learn how to provide better assistance during surgery

Minimally invasive surgery has many advantages for patients and surgical teams, such as shorter recovery times, lower post-operative complication rates, higher patient acceptance rates and increased cost efficiency. One key area here is interventional radiology, where external imaging equipment is used to guide the surgical instruments through the body. Robots can support in this task. However, those who believe that robots “operate” independently are (as yet) mistaken: The robot systems available today are pure tele-operators or mere assistants for holding and targeting tools; that’s all they can do. Now, a research project led by the University of Klagenfurt wants to explore additional advantages of “operating robots” and increase their autonomy when it comes to supporting surgeons. Read more