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Four Doctoral Dissertations Win Ernst Reuter Prizes in 2014

Awards for Outstanding Theses Presented on Founding Day of Freie Universität

№ 416/2014 from Dec 02, 2014

The winners of this year's Ernst Reuter Prizes of Freie Universität Berlin have been announced: On December 4, the anniversary of Freie Universität's founding day, Karim Adiprasito, Jens Elze, Tobias Koch, and David Schweinfurth will be officially commended by the Ernst Reuter Society of Friends, Supporters, and Alumni of Freie Universität Berlin (ERG) for their dissertations. The Ernst Reuter Prize is awarded annually in four different subject groups for outstanding theses. It includes a monetary award of 5,000 euros.

The Four Ernst Reuter Prize Winners and Their Dissertation Topics

Dr. Karim Adiprasito

Karim Adiprasito, 26, majored in mathematics at Freie Universität Berlin and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The topic of his dissertation, which he completed at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Freie Universität, is "Methods from Differential Geometry in Polytope Theory." For his dissertation Adiprasito dealt with the issue of what geometry can predict about discrete or "countable" objects, i.e., objects that are not geometric. He used methods that were originally derived from mechanics and architecture.

Jens Elze

Between 2001 and 2008 Jens Elze, 34, majored in Spanish and English languages and literatures as well as comparative literature at the University of Potsdam, Freie Universität Berlin, and Georgia State University. He earned his doctorate at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies at Freie Universität on the topic "The Picaresque: Literatures of Precarity – Precarious Literatures." "The picaresque novel is an episodic narrative form that originated in Spain at the transition from the Middle Ages to modern times," says Elze. For his dissertation he investigated how and why this genre is repeatedly taken up again in recent English-language texts stemming from formerly colonized countries.

Dr. Tobias Koch

Tobias Koch, 31, majored in psychology at Freie Universität Berlin from 2004 to 2009. He completed his doctorate at the Department of Education and Psychology. For his dissertation he investigated the measurement of changes in psychological characteristics, such as well-being and stress, over time. He used a variety of different methods, such as self-reports, reports of parents, and reports of friends.

Dr. David Schweinfurth

David Schweinfurth, 29, majored in chemistry between 2004 and 2009 at the University of Stuttgart and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA. He completed his doctorate at the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Pharmacy. He studied chemical materials that, in the future, could help to save energy and produce less toxic waste.

The Ernst Reuter Society is the central alumni funding society of Freie Universität. Supporting research, teaching, and early career researchers is the main goal of the Society. Awarding the Ernst Reuter Prize therefore has special significance for the Society.

Further Information

Simone Graetsch-Schröder, Office, Ernst Reuter Prize, Tel.: +49 30 838-73641, Email:

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