The 11th of November is an illustrious day in the calendar of University of Szeged: this is the Day of the University of Szeged. The ceremonial session of the Senate of the University of Szeged began at 11 o’ clock on Saturday, 7th November, in the ceremony hall of the Central Building of University.
On this special day the most prestigious awards of the University were handed over, including honorary doctorate and honorary senator titles. Among others Professor Gábor Szabó, Rector of the University of Szeged, Vice-Rectors of the University and Deans of faculties attended the event.
The Doctor Honoris Causa degree of the University of Szeged
In accordance with the decision of the Senate of the University of Szeged, the Doctor Honoris Causa degree can be awarded to scholars who carry out outstanding scientific work recognized internationally and who have had continuous, lengthy connection with our university which have led to common, internationally recognized achievements, thus, enhancing the good reputation and appreciation of our university.
On this event Joachim Funke, professor at Karl-Ruprecht University, Germany, Arnold Neumaier, professor at University Wien, Austria, Miklós Sahin-Tóth, professor at Boston University, United States of America, Hans-Peter Steinrück, professor at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany and Eric Francis Wieschaus, professor at Princeton University, United States of America accepted the Doctor Honoris Causa degree of the University of Szeged.
Joachim Funke is a professor of psychology and the head of the Department of Experimental and Theoretical Psychology at the University of Heidelberg. He is one of the most influential researchers in the study of problem solving and general intellectual abilities. His research interests include the development of thinking, complex problem solving, and the effects of dynamics on human decision making. His research received broad international attention as early as the 1980s, when he re-interpreted problem solving and studied its development in a number of contexts. His recent work on the conception of dynamic problem solving and its computer-based assessment has had an enormous impact internationally. Dynamic problem solving became part of the PISA 2012 assessments, when he was the chairman of the Expert Group on Problem Solving. He is an author or editor of more than a dozen books and has published over 300 book chapters and papers in the leading journals of the field; citations of his works number over 4000. He has been guest professor at a number of universities, including the Universities of Fribourg, Melbourne and Nanjing. Professor Funke has been collaborating with researchers at the University of Szeged for almost two decades, a fact which is reflected in numerous publications. He has given a number of scholarly lectures at Szeged, and since 2013, he has been a member of the academic staff of the Doctoral School of Education at the University of Szeged.
Arnold Neumaier is full professor of the University of Vienna with distinguished scientific merits. Two of his publications obtained more than 2000 citations each. He has published over 150 papers and books which were cited more than 12 000 times according to Google Scholar, his H index is 43. 16 PhD students obtained their degree under his supervision and two more are before their defence. Arnold Neumaier’s web pages also play an important role in several scientific fields. For example, his uncertainty modelling webpage is ranked first out of 57 millions of such pages – according to the Yahoo search engine. Several research fields of mathematics and computer science have been investigated by him on a high level. The most important ones are computer aided proofs, development of mathematical modelling languages, global optimization, and reliable numerical algorithms. Arnold Neumaier has an intensive collaboration with our university: he has coauthored several papers with 5 of our colleagues and PhD students. We have completed several international research projects. Our colleagues visited his department in Vienna for months during these collaborative projects. Arnold Neumaier has a strong collaboration with the Institute of Informatics of the University of Szeged: he spent several weeks in Szeged, and held there a doctoral course in 2012. He acted as plenary speaker in some Hungarian conferences, like the Conference of PhD Students in Computer Science. He also worked together with PhD students from Szeged in his own research projects. One of them has been working in his research group for seven years.
Prof. Miklos Sahin-Toth is a prominent, internationally recognized translational researcher, a renowned representative of his chosen field of research. He made seminal discoveries in the characterization of pancreatic digestive enzymes and the genetic risk factors for chronic pancreatitis. His laboratory was the first to identify that mutations in the digestive proteases chymotrypsin C and carboxypeptidase A1 are strongly linked with the development of chronic pancreatitis. These groundbreaking discoveries were published in Nature Genetics. He published 116 peer-reviewed scientific articles; 17 of these in journals with impact factors above 10. He is a council-member and future president for the American Pancreatic Association. Prof. Sahin-Toth has had strong collaborative ties with the First Department of Medicine and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Szeged for the past ten years. He is an accredited advisor in the School of PhD Studies in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences and in the School of PhD Studies in Theoretical Medical Sciences. He has maintained bilateral collaborations with five members of the School of PhD Studies; Prof. Yvette Mandy, Prof. Peter Hegyi, Prof. Tamas Takacs, Prof. Laszlo Czako, and Dr. Zoltan Rakonczay. He offered the opportunity for eight young researchers from the University of Szeged to work and study in his laboratory at Boston University; seven of the eight students used this research experience toward their PhD thesis work. He has been an important collaborative partner in several prestigious research grants funded by the Hungarian government. He visits Szeged two or three times a year when he participates in educational and research activities both at the graduate and post-graduate levels. He published eight articles jointly with the University of Szeged; the high impact factor of these papers attests to the outstanding scientific quality of these collaborations.
Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Steinrück received his Diploma in Technical Physics from the Technical University of Graz in 1983 and his received PhD in Physics from the University of Graz in 1985. He held various positions at Stanford University, at the Technical University (TU) of Munich, at Rutger University, at the University of Würzburg and at the University of Science and Technology of China at Hefei. Since 1998 he is full professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Erlangen-Nürberg. He is an elected member of Academia Europea, elected fellow of the American Physical Society and corresponding member of the Austrian Academy. Prof. Steinrück served as Vice Dean, Dean and Vice President at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. In 2015 he was the Chair of Surface Reaction Section of Gordon Research Conferences in Ventura / California, USA. Presently, he is the Principal Investigator in the Cluster of Excellence "Engineering of Advanced Materials" in Erlangen, member of Editorial Board of Progress in Surface Science, and Editor of Surface Science. The activities of the Steinrück group focus on surface and interface science. Their main research interests are in the development of new materials with novel electronic, geometric and chemical properties, the investigation of elementary steps of surface reactions and in the construction of advanced scientific apparatus. He has more than 290 topping publication in different international journals. He has more than 6000 independent citations, his H-index is 50. Prof. Steinrück is in close scientific contact with chemistry departments of the University of Szeged. Within this productive cooperation, several common publications and reciprocal visits including PhD students and staff occurred in the last 5 years. He is the leader from German side and principal investigator of common research project between two Universities supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Prof. Eric Francis Wieschaus was born in June 1947, in Indiana, USA. After graduating from Notre Dame University in 1969 he was a graduate student at Yale University and received the PhD there in 1974. He was a postdoc with Walter Gehring in Basel (1973-1975) and in the Nöthiger laboratory in Zurich (1975-1978). He moved to the newly-opened European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg where he and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard carried out exciting experiments. Their outstanding results were honored - together with Ed Lewis - with the Nobel Prize in 1995 “… for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development”. Professor Wieschaus established his laboratory at Princeton University in 1981. His research group focuses on molecular cell genetics. They published many-many papers in leading journals of the field. Dozens of students became acquainted with molecular cell biology in his lab. Professor Wieschaus is a member of the National Academy of Sciences US and doctor honoris causa of several universities. Professor Wieschaus has been in professional/friendly relations with Drosophila experts in Szeged Since 1975. The last time he visited Szeged was in 2012 when our University celebrated the 75th anniversary of Albert Szent-Györgyi receiving the Nobel Prize. The Doctor Honoris Causa award provides an excellent opportunity to welcome once again an outstanding scientist and express our gratitude for helping so much the scientific community of Szeged.
The title Senator Honoris Causa
In accordance with the decision of the Senate of the University of Szeged, the title Senator Honoris Causa can be awarded as a recognition of any outstanding public or artistic work or significant moral or financial support to our university or one of its units. Awarding this degree enhances the good reputation of the University. The title Senator Honoris Causa was awarded to György Gömöri, professor at University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
György Gömöri, has been nominated senator honoris causa of our University by the Institutes of Hungarian Literature, English and American Studies, and the Center for Hungarian Studies. The main facts of his life: he was born in 1934, his eightieth birthday was celebrated last year. Between 1953 and 1956 he studied Hungarian and Polish philology at ELTE University, Budapest. In 1956 he became the member of the Petőfi Circle and soon emerged as one of the leaders of the student movement, initiating the Revolution. He emigrated in 1956 and studied at the University of Oxford. Between 1969 and 2001 he was a lecturer of these literatures at the University of Cambridge, England. His career developed in three areas: 1/ a highly appreciated poet with a number of volumes published, including Levél hanyatló birodalomból, 1976; Őszi magánbeszéd, 1997; Rózsa-lovaglás, 2014; Polishing October: New and Selected Poems, 2014). 2/ He is a translator of poetry, across Hungarian, Polish and English. 3/ A literary and cultural historian with a wide range of interest embracing primarily the Renaissance period but also of modernity. His monographs include: Cyprian Norwid (1974, 1989); Erdélyiek és angolok (ta¬nul¬mányok, 1991); "Jöjj el, szabadság". Írások a XX. századi magyar költészetről (1999); A rejtőzködő Balassi (2014). Gömöri's connections with the University and with the city of Szeged are manifold and began already decades ago. As a researcher of old Hungarian literature ha has been cooperating with Bálint Keserű and his students; but he has also had good relations with the English Department and the Center for Hungarian Studies. Since the 1970s he has been helping colleagues from Szeged to find their way in Cambridge and his house was often home to those visiting there from Hungary on a small budget. Last but not least, it should be remembered that in 2000 it was Gömöri who initiated the foundation of the Cambridge–Szeged Society in Cambridge and ever since he helps to nurture these connections. His literary achievements were acknowledged with a number of prestigious awards. György Gömöri, having emerged from a persecuted freedom fighter to an internationally acclaimed poet and a respected philologist, has an exemplary stature. The University of Szeged is distinguished to have him among our honorary senators.
Pro Universitate award and title Professor Emerita, Emeritus
The Pro Universitate award can be handed to those at the University of Szeged, who have done some very notable for the results of university education and research, or has acquired prominent merits at leading and development of university. Furthermore took part actively in the development of international institutional, professional and economical connections, with regard to the old and new ones. The Senate of University of Szeged awarded Pro Universitate award to Dr. Elemér Balogh professor at Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Dr. Tibor Krisztin professor at Faculty of Science and Informatics, Dr. János Rakonczai, professor at Faculty of Science and Informatics of University of Szeged.
In accordance with the decision of the University Council of the University of Szeged the title Professor Emerita, Emeritus can be given to those retired university professors, who has done some outstanding teaching and research activities at least 10 years as a university professor at the University of Szeged or at the predecessor of the University. This activity may mean naturalization of new subjects and faculties or development and reinterpretation of textbooks and notes. In addition to that, those who receive the award, have done internationally recognized academic and scientific work enriched scientific publication activities, successful scientific projects, and above of all awards and honours given by domestic and foreign universities. At the Senate Meeting Dr. László Szörényi was awarded the title Professor Emerita, Emeritus.
Kristó Gyula and Klebelsberg Kunó awards
The Kristó Gyula award was founded to commemorate Professor Gyula Kristo who was a prominent medieval researcher. This award can be given for teachers and researchers, who worked at the University of Szeged, but were not employed by the University of Szeged and achieved excellent results at medieval Hungarian sciences. The Kristó Gyula Foundation Board of Trustees awarded Kristó Gyula award to Dr. Attila Kiss.
The Klebelsberg Kunó award can be given for those, who have done some significant work in science, education, culture and art at the University of Szeged, or have contributed to familiarization of scientific results and cultural values. The Board of Trustees awarded Klebelsberg Kunó award to Dr. János Csirik professor at Faculty of Science and Informatics, Dr. Péter Paczolay professor at Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Dr. Ferenc Szecsődi professor at Faculty of Music, Dr. Éva Fekete professor emerita at Faculty of Science and Informatics and Dr. János Lonovics professor emeritus at Faculty of Medicine.
János Csengery medallion and Pro Laudande Promotione Award
The János Csengery medallion can be given to those researcher, who played an outstanding role in the development of pedagogy and teacher training. The János Csengery medallion was awarded to Dr. György Benedek professor at Faculty of Medicine.
The University of Szeged founded Pro Laudanda Promotione Award in 2015. The award can be given for those, who graduated at University of Szeged as PhD student and fulfilled all the requirements excellently. The University of Szeged awarded Pro Laudanda Promotione Award to Dr. Anita Aranyi, Doctoral School of Chemistry, Dr. Ádám Auer, Doctoral School of Law and Political Sciences, Dr. György Gehér, Doctoral School of Mathematics, Dr. Krisztina Nagy, Doctoral School of Multidisciplinary Medicine, Dr. Márta Sárközy, Doctoral School of Multidisciplinary Medicine and Dr. Dóra Székesi, Doctoral School of Literature.
The Day of The University of Szeged celebration began with the Hungarian Anthem and the event ended with the Szózat.