SGFI - Carl August Zehnder was appointed new President of SGFI at the recent general assembly. He succeeds Prof. Erwin Engeler who has represented SGFI in ERCIM's board of Directors since SGFI became a member of ERCIM in 1995. Prof. Zehnder is Head of Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich and President of the Swiss Federation of Information Processing Societies. As a professor at the Institute of Information Systems at ETH Zurich, his main research activities are the development and application of large scale information systems. SGFI Vice-president remains Prof. Giovanni Coray from EPF Lausanne. Within the SGFI Board, Prof. Hans-Joerg Schek from ETH Zurich continues to be responsible for international activities, like the representation of SGFI in ERCIM.
GMD - Mars-Media Art Research Studies, a new research program, was installed at GMD in September 1997 which will cover the intersection of art, media and information technology. The GMD is working with an international cooperation of partners like the British Telecom, the University of Geneva, the BBC, London, the Swedish Institute of Computer Science, and the ZKM - Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe on a virtual network of cultural and science institutes. The ERENA (Electronic Arenas for Culture, Performance, Art and Entertainment) project will explore the representation of virtual space in real space, new concepts for interactive TV shows with real and virtual actors. The main objectives are the creation of new knowledge and novel works of media art and culture, scientific and artistic investigation and exploration into the emerging media art forms and the developing of ideas, products and expertise for the content and media industry.
CLRC - The European Commission has just awarded a contract to INRIA and CCLRC which is a leveraging action to improve the take-up of the World-Wide Web Consortium's standards and reference codes within European industry. To recognise the growing emphasis of the World Wide Web in the affairs of the Department, a new group W3G has been formed, headed by Dr Stuart Robinson of Information Systems Engineering. The mission of the new Group is to become a world-class centre of excellence in WWW and distributed object technology through (a) foundational research, (b) application of the appropriate new technologies to real-world problems, and (c) participation in the formation of policy and standards at all levels. The Group aims to provide authoritative advice and assistance on WWW matters within CLRC.
GMD - Wolfgang K. Giloi, former director of GMD's Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology, was awarded the Gold Diesel Medal for his services to the field of supercomputer archi-tecture at Wasserschloss Wittringen near Cologne on 30 May 1997. The medal was presented to Giloi by the Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Johannes Rau. Prof. Dr. Erich Häußer, former president of the German Patent Office and board member of Deutsches Institut für Erfindungswesen made the laudatory speech. Another prominent personality awarded in this year was the Nobel prize winner Prof. Dr. Manfred Eigen. Giloi who joined GMD in 1983 as Director of the new Research Center for Innovative Computer Systems and Technology left GMD with his retirement from the Technical University of Berlin in September 1996. The Diesel Medal commemorates the inventor of the diesel engine, Rudolf Diesel. So far, the Medal had been awarded to Werner von Braun, Claudius Dornier, Felix Wankel, Konrad Zuse as well as to a number of Nobel prize winners, eg Ernst Ruska, Hermann Staudinger and Jan Enders.
GMD Monika Fleischmann, scientist in GMD's Institute for Media Communication, got a recommendatory prize at ARTEC'97, the 5th International Biennale in Nagoya, Japan, for Liquid Views. The media art installation is technically based on digital video and real time morphing, philosophically it tells the story of Narciss with new media technology. Liquid Views was chosen as one of 25 media art installations for its scientific and artistic excellence out of more than 150 works. Together with her research partners Wolfgang Strauss and Christian-A. Bohn Monika Fleischmann uses new media technology to work on recognizing and visualizing the changing cultural identity. She studies the different behaviour of people and the changing of identity reflecting the development of media technology in her installation Liquid Views, which was presented to a japanese audience in the Nagoya Science Museum.