Biologists and computer scientists at Freie Universität use a robot bee to study the insect’s “waggle dance.”
Do you know the song “Summ, summ, summ, Bienchen summ herum”? Raúl Rojas laughs. Rojas, a professor of computer science at Freie Universität, doesn’t recognize the children’s song at first. But knowing a song isn’t all that important compared to his knowledge about the language bees use with each other, most of which he learned from neurobiology professor Randolf Menzel. That knowledge forms the basis for an unusual project between the two scientists: Working with their teams, the biologist and the computer scientist aim to show that bees use a dance to communicate with each other when looking for food. To provide evidence, the scientists have developed a robot bee that they hope will let them put in a word inside the hive – showing, under controlled conditions, which signals are important during these insects’ movement rituals.
Scholars at Freie Universität study the phenomenon of forgiveness
“To err is human; to forgive, divine,” we say, or “forgive and forget”: The phenomenon of forgiveness appears in many popular sayings, and various authors and filmmakers have tapped into it for their works. Now, scholars working on the “Forgiveness: Conceptual and empirical analyses” project within the Languages of Emotion Cluster of Excellence are studying the various aspects of this phenomenon. We talked with sociologist Sonja Fücker, one of the members of the project.
British archaeologist Kevin Lane is an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at Freie Universität
Kevin Lane owes his career as an archaeologist to heavy rainfall and a healthy dose of coincidence. Lane made his first discovery at the age of six, in his hometown of Gibraltar: parts of a human skeleton, long buried behind the city wall that had been washed free by heavy rain. Lane, now 40, holds a doctorate in archaeology and is currently doing research as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at Freie Universität Berlin.