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New Digital Professorships at the University of Zurich

The University of Zurich (UZH) is strengthening research and teaching on digital transformation. It is creating seven new professorships that will work on important digital topics such as cybersecurity, urban analytics and the sociology of digitalisation.

Hardly any area of social and economic life remains untouched by the digital transformation. For this reason, the University of Zurich (UZH) launched the Digital Society Initiative (DSI) back in 2016 and has been working with the three other cantonal universities since 2020 as part of the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH) to strengthen the research location here.

To this end, another important step has now been taken: UZH recently decided to create seven more professorships as so-called “assistant professorships with tenure track”. This is intended to make younger researchers in particular, who will receive a full professorship if their work is successful, part of the UZH professorship body.

The spectrum of topics ranges from basic research to application-oriented issues. It reflects the enormous diversity of how digitisation is changing academic research and teaching:

  • The professorship “Ancient Christianity and Digital Humanities” makes ancient source material digitally available and analysable, which should contribute to understanding the origins of Christianity.
  • The professorship “Cybersecurity” deals with the analysis and application of secure and privacy-friendly systems with a special focus on the human factor.
  • The professorship “Digital Orthopaedics and Biomechanics” researches new methods and procedures in the treatment of deformities and diseases of the musculoskeletal system (orthopaedics).
  • The professorship “Urban Analytics” develops new data-based methods to find solutions for urban challenges faced by fast-growing cities.
  • The professorship “Mathematics for High-Dimensional Problems” creates a rigorous mathematical basis for the development of new algorithms, for example in the field of machine learning.
  • The professorship “Econometrics in the Digital Age” makes the enormous amounts of data of economic activities more analysable in order to better understand the interaction between people, companies and states.
  • The professorship “Sociology of Social Digitalisation” combines theoretical and empirical approaches to create a comprehensive picture of how digitalisation triggers social change and what effect this has on social inequalities.

The new professorships will be advertised and filled by the respective faculties within the established processes in the coming months. They are co-financed by DIZH funds and thus form an important part of the research cluster supported by DIZH.

Since the start of the DSI in 2016, 31 professorships have been filled on run

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