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2014 Milner Award Lecture - Statistical and causal approaches to machine learning

  • 27 November 2014

In machine learning, we use data to automatically find dependences in the world, with the goal of predicting future observations. Most machine learning methods build on statistics, but one can also try to go beyond this, assaying causal structures underlying statistical dependences. The hope is that this also allows prediction in certain situations where systems change, for instance by interventions.

Bernhard Schölkopf

Successful through innovation

  • 27 November 2014

Research group leader Samuel Sánchez elected as “Innovator of the year 2014”

Tiny self-propelled motors which speed through the water and clean up pollutions along the way or small robots which can swim effortlessly through blood to one day transport medication to a certain part of the body – this sounds like taken from a science fiction movie script. However, Samuel Sánchez is already hard at work in his lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart to make these visions come true. For his innovative research, the 34 years old chemist has now been named as Spain’s top innovators under 35 by the Spanish edition of the journal MIT Technology Review.

Sámuel Sánchez

Tiny vehicles for medical applications

  • 07 November 2014

Micro- and nano-swimmers can be propelled through media similar to bodily fluids

Micro- or even nano-robots could someday perform medical tasks in the human body. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have now taken a first step towards this goal. They have succeeded in constructing swimming bodies that simultaneously meet two requirements: they are small enough to be used in bodily fluids or even individual cells, and they are able to navigate through complex biological fluids.

Peer Fischer Tian Qiu Andrew Mark Debora Schamel John Gibbs

Günter Petzow nominated as honorary chairman of the DGM

  • 13 October 2014

Former director gets awarded through German Society for Materials Science

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr.-Ing. e. h. mult. Günter Petzow, former director of the Max Planck Institute for Metals Resarch in Stuttgart (now Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems) has been nominated as honorary chairman of the German Society for Materials Science (DGM). In the society's 95 year long history, Petzow is only the second person to receive this title.

Intelligent Communication: Only if there is something to say

  • 09 October 2014

Klaus Tschira Award 2014 for Science Communication in the field of Computer Science

Tübingen / Heidelberg, October 9, 2014. Science in clear words: Dr. Sebastian Trimpe, a research scientist in the “Autonomous Motion Department" (Stefan Schaal) at the Tübingen Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, has written a short, comprehensible text (in German) that describes the research he conducted during his PhD at ETH Zurich. As winner in the category of computer science, he is one of six awardees who received the Klaus Tschira Award for achievements in public understanding of science on Thursday, October 9, 2014 in Heidelberg.

Sebastian Trimpe

Teaching Awards for Moritz Grosse-Wentrup and Daniel Braun

  • 01 September 2014

Winter and Summer Term 2013 / 14 at Graduate School of Neural Information Processing / University of Tübingen

The senior master students present this years teaching awards to Dr. Moritz Grosse-Wentrup (group leader Brain-Computer-Interface group) and Dr. Daniel Braun (group leader Sensorimotor Learning & Decision Making group). Congratulations!

Moritz Grosse-Wentrup


  • 01 August 2014

Tung-Chun (John) Lee will leave the group and move to a faculty position at University College London, where he will start his own group in the Center for Materials Discovery. (August 2014)

Tung Chun Lee

Royal Society Milner Award for Bernhard Schölkopf

  • 01 August 2014

Tübingen Scientist receives award for outstanding achievements in Computer Science

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schölkopf, Director at the Tübingen Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, was awarded the 2014 Royal Society Milner Award for being a pioneer in machine learning whose work defined the field of “kernel machines” which are widely used in all areas of science and industry. The Royal Society Milner Award, supported by Microsoft Research, is given annually for outstanding achievement in computer science by a European researcher. The winner of the award receives a medal and a personal prize of £5,000. Prior to the award ceremony end of November 2014, Schölkopf is invited to deliver a public lecture on his research at the Society.

Bernhard Schölkopf

DNA used as a lightswitch

  • 21 July 2014

A nanostructure made from two tiny gold rods reversibly changes its optical properties when specific DNA molecules are added

Electronics now has a competitor. Information is increasingly being transmitted and processed by means of light rather than electrons. And just as has happened to electronic components, their photonic counterparts are to shrink to nanoformat. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich, and Ohio University in Athens, USA, have developed a switch for nano-optics. Two gold nanorods are the key players here. If the angle between them changes, certain optical properties of the nano-lightswitch also change. The researchers control the angle itself by means of molecules which in living nature are the carriers of genetic information: DNA.

Laura Na Liu


  • 01 July 2014

We welcome three new postdocs to the group: Piotr Garbacz, Jérome Roche, and Dhruv Singh.

Piotr Garbacz Jerome Roche Dhruv Pratap Singh