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Viola Priesemann erhält Young Scientist Award der DPG

(mpi-ds) During this year’s spring conference of the German Physical Society (DPG), Professor Viola Priesemann received the Young Scientist Award for Socioand Econophysics. The physicist conducts research at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and the University of Göttingen. The prize is endowed with 7,500 euros and honors her work on propagation processes in complex systems.

Understanding complex networks such as the neuronal connections of the brain is at the heart of Priesemann’s research. In this context, she and her research group model networks to investigate the processes of learning and thinking in the brain. During the coronavirus pandemic, she used this expertise in modeling complex systems to describe the spreading of the virus based on specific scenarios and parameters. The aim of her work is to decipher the physical principles underlying such networks.

The international jury described Priesemann as "an outstanding scientist who has made important contributions in the field of data analysis and the theory of complex systems". At the Göttingen Campus, Viola Priesemann conducts research as part of the Cluster of Excellence "Multiscale Bioimaging" and the research networks "SFB Cognition of Interaction", "SFB Quantitative Synaptology", "RTG Curiosity" and "SPP Evolutionary Optimization of Neuronal Processing" on the question of how information spreads in neuronal and social networks - and how these networks learn.

"Understanding human behavior using statistical physics approaches is a particular challenge," says Priesemann. "The novel data sets from social media such as Telegram or Twitter, or from the context of the corona pandemic, are the basis of our studies. I feel very honored to have received such a prestigious award for this new work."

The Young Scientist Award is presented annually by the Association for the Physics of Socio-Economic Systems. It is intended to recognize the work of young researchers who contribute to a better understanding of socio-economic problems using methods derived from physics. The prize was awarded at the DPG Spring Meeting of the Condensed Matter Section in Berlin at the end of March 2024.